by Tzvia Ehrlich-Klein, Jerusalem
In Israel: It’s Often Crazier Than You Think – ‘Passing it Over’
Life sure is interesting here in Israel. There really is never a dull moment, if you keep your eyes and ears open….
Our sages say, “Even the [mundane] conversations of the people who live in the Land of Israel are Torah” (Vayikra Rabba 34:7). They sure knew what they were talking about! Every day here in Israel is an education!
Edith F. is a prestigious Rebbetzin who lives in my neighbourhood. She recently told me this story that had happened to her only a few days previously. Really and truly, Only In Israel.
Rebbetzin F.’s husband had had a Cat Scan done on his head, and she had gone to the hospital to pick up the results. She traveled on the #27 bus since its busline runs very close to her home and it stops right in front of the entrance-way of the hospital she needed.
After getting the CAT Scan results and the x-rays, she boarded another #27 bus for her return trip home.
Though she was carrying the huge brown envelope which held her husband’s x-rays and results of his CAT Scan, she decided to get off the bus anyway for a quick “jump” into the outdoor fresh food market of Machanei Yehudah in order to pick up some fresh vegetables and a few fresh pitot [Sephardic style bread], since the bus was passing right by it anyway.
After making her purchases, Rebbetzin F. then caught the next #27 bus, and continued on her journey home.
However, upon walking into her apartment, she suddenly realized that she no longer was carrying the big brown envelope with her, that contained her husband’s CAT Scan.
Knowing that the CAT x-rays were important and that it would be time consuming and unpleasant if her husband had to redo the CAT Scan on his head, Rebbetzin F. returned to Machanei Yehudah in order to search for the large brown envelope.
Unfortunately, she couldn’t find it there, and none of the vendors she had gone to had seen it either.
Returning home via another #27 bus, she told the bus driver what had happened and asked him for the phone number of the last bus stop of the bus, thinking that perhaps she had inadvertently left the CAT Scan results on the original #27 bus, and that someone might have found the huge envelope and therefore turned it in.
Sha’ar Shchem (Damascus Gate) was the bus’s last bus stop.
Upon Rebbetzin F.’s return home, she immediately phoned the number she had been given, and explained the entire story to the man who answered the phone. The man checked his “lost-and-found” area and told her that, yes, she had left the CAT Scan envelope on the bus, and that he had it.
Now, normally, when someone leaves something on a public bus, the person has to go down to the last bus stop of that bus and pick up the lost or forgotten item. Obviously. That only makes sense.
But I guess that the bus employee heard the tiredness in Rebbetzin F.’s voice. Or perhaps he just didn’t want her to have to go through the inconvenience of shlepping around Sha’ar Shchem.
Because, when she asked him if he could please give the huge brown envelope to the next #27 bus driver coming up Shmuel HaNavi Street, which is where she lives, the bus employee immediately said that, yes, he would.
That in itself is amazing to me. (I do take it for granted, however, that items lost or forgotten on a bus will be turned in and collected at the bus’s last stop, because I have lived here for over 28 years, and it happens all the time.)
Anyway, Rebbetzin F. went up to Shmuel HaNavi Street, and waited for the next #27 bus to pass.
When it did, the driver asked who she was, leaned over, and handed her the huge brown envelope with her husband’s CAT Scan x-rays inside.
Rebbetzin F. said “Thank you” to the bus driver, and he continued on his route.
What a lesson in chessed and consideration! And what an unbelievable country, B”H!
Author of ON BUS DRIVERS, DREIDELS AND ORANGE JUICE (Feldheim), HAPPY HINTS FOR A SUCCESSFUL ALIYAH (Feldheim) and A CHILDRENS’ TREASURY OF SEPHARDIC TALES (Artscroll), Tzvia Ehrlich-Klein writes for many publications in Israel., England, and the U.S.A. and has edited TO DWELL IN THE PALACE (Feldheim), an anthology on life in Israel, among other books.