Monday, March 14, 2011

An Extra-Credit Mitzvah, In Memory of The Fogel Family, HaYa"D

May this be li'lu'i nishmatam of the murdered members of the Fogel Family.

As I trust you know, we don't have a car and we travel by bus and "tremps," rides from generous people.  Some of the people giving us rides we know, and others just open their homes on wheels to help us and many others out.

Recently, I've been working part-time (and a different schedule each week) at the Yafiz Clothing Store (of Rami Levi) in Sha'ar Binyamin.  I can take a bus there, since all of our buses are required to stop there if a passenger requests it, but I frequently get rides.

Last week, I got a ride from a neighbor who was taking his daughter to the girls high school in Kochav Ya'akov.  He left me off at the gas station bus stop, less than a kilometer from Sha'ar Binyamin.  If there had been a sidewalk, I would have gladly walked the distance, but it's a busy highway of sorts.  I waited for a ride or bus, but nothing came.  Then my neighbor waved as he passed by again on his way back to Shiloh.  I waved and continued waiting.  Suddenly he returned.  He had decided that he ought to finish the chessed mitzvah (good deed) and take me the rest of the way to work.

Yesterday, I got a ride to Ofra, and before I even made it to the bus stop to wait for a bus or ride someone came by and offered me a lift.  He, too, was going to Kochav Ya'akov.  I said that I'd get off at the gas station.  He then asked where I needed to get to.  I told him Sha'ar Binyamin.  Imagine my surprise when we passed the junction to Kochav Ya'akov and he took me those extra few hundred meters to my destination!

There are wonderful people in this world.  We must remember that.  There's a very big difference between the values of Jews here and the Holy Land and the neighboring Arabs.  We celebrate life and helping others, while the Arabs celebrate barbaric murder.

HaMakom y'nachem... May G-d comfort the mourners...

And may G-d bless our leaders with true wisdom!


Anonymous said...

If I'm not mistaken, Rav Melamed, in one of his Revivim columns in B'sheva last year, stated that giving a ride to someone is Hachnasat Orchim. Letting someone come into your car is the same benefit as inviting someone into your home.

Of course, needless to say, you still have to maintain the usual precautions of whom to let into you house and car in this day and age.

HS said...

Aren't you a bit too quick in your comparisons?

Did you check if your arab neighbours gave each other rides for free? I trust they do!

Quite similar to your neighbouring arabs, the settler community has great solidarity "inwards", but also clear limits "outwards".

I sometimes wondered how such gentle people as you describe here could be so cold, dismissive and even cruel towards people who do not belong to their group or share their opinions. There are gentle and good people who think the Goldstein massacre was a good thing. There are gentle and good people who say it is allowed to slay arabs, no matter who they are, how old they are. There are even very religious people who say it is a mitzwa.

I am sure those same people will gladly give you a lift even go out of their way if you need it.

I suppose your "neighbouring arabs" function more or less along the same lines: generous, giving and caring towards the members of their group and hostile towards the outside.

Batya said...

Shy, thanks
HS, who are you and why do you think the Arabs are so nice?

Bloue said...

truth is, we, as living in yehuda or shomron would give a lift to almost anyone who don't looks dangerous.
Can't count the times I helped people not religious or even arabs (help, yes, lift, never, too dangerous).
Because yes, most of our neighbours would love to gave us frees rides... to hell.

HS said...

Well, you know, some time ago, I stumbled on the paradoxon that ku-klux-klan members might be the best neighbours: friendly, affable, caring, always ready to help.

Somehow I could not wrap my head around this: if they are so friendly, why are they ready to lynch innocent black people?

The solution is really easy: They have a "Friend" modus and a "foe" modus: they are nice and helpful towards friends and hostile and agressive towards those they consider their foes.

If you look back to humankinds history, you will find that humans tended to assemble into groups that often fought wars against other groups. So this behaviour makes sense in this context.

Arab hospitality is legendary, and I suppose it still exists. But that does not keep them from fighting their foes, which might be us.

The settler movement is also based on a lot of solidarity inwards, and a strong feeling of friend vs. foe outwards... As far as I understood, the settlers identify the following groups as foes:
1) Arab terrorists
2) Arabs in general
3) Muslims in general
4) Israelis who are ready to dismantle settlements
5) All foreign persons, nations or Institutions who think israel should go back to the pre-six-day-war-ceasefire lines

Batya said...

Bloue, I'd be more careful than that. I don't go into just any car.

HS, you have a very distorted way of seeing things. I'm planning a post that may answer some of your points. It will be about the Arab reaction, based on what Arabs told a friend of mine.