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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

In Praise of Tremping aka Hitchhiking

The "tremping post" outside of Ofra.
I find myself there at least a few times a week.
In my world tremping  is a pretty normal form of transportation. I know that it has gotten a rather bad rap of late, but I wouldn't survive without it.  We don't have a car, and public transportation isn't all that frequent. And sometimes it isn't even all that reliable.

Tonight was a wonderful example of how tremping was extremely helpful.

Just before I finished work at Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin I saw a friend who lives nearby. We set that if I didn't get a ride sooner, I'd wait for her. She had a big shopping to do in Rami Levy and I was tired. I sat down near the exit and looked at the people checking out. There weren't too many. At least pretty much everyone shopping was Jewish. Since the Arab terrorist kidnapping of the three Jewish teenagers, the percentage of Arabs shopping in Sha'ar Binyamin has gone down drastically.

Since I wasn't desperate for a ride, I didn't ask everyone passing me, not like there were all that many. Most just didn't look like they'd be going to Shiloh, Shvut Rachel or passing by on their way to the Shomron. And none looked like they were going to Ofra or the communities west and northwest of Ofra. Suddenly I saw a woman who looked "just right." I asked her where she was going:
"The Shomron," she said. "Where do you need?"
"Shiloh," I said. And off we went to her car.
But we didn't get very far when we saw a young man with a wagon full of purchases. He asked where we were going, and she asked him where he needed to go.
"Shiloh," he said.
He didn't look familiar, but I don't know everyone in Shiloh.

We got moving and when we got to Ofra there were many people waiting for a ride including two more neighbors. So they got in, too. It ended up that the neighbors told us that they hadn't planned on tremping. They had taken the bus which had broken down. That's why they were waiting at the "tremping post."

Our driver, the mitzvah lady, announced that she'd take us all the way home and not drop us off on the road at the junction. She insisted that it was no problem. That's what the car was for, to help others. We discussed how life in rural Israel, such as the Shomron (Samaria) requires that neighbors and strangers help one another. Tremping and giving tremps is a very necessary part of life here.

After I was already home, my friend called to ask if I still needed a ride. And now I can go to sleep.

People are so wonderful!


Leah said...

I'm glad you and your neighbors are all safe. Stay safe, Batya.

Batya said...

Thanks, bli eyin haraa.