Skip Navigation
September 1, 2014 | 6th Elul 5774

And Now For Something Completely Different

Galilee Diary #486, April 14, 2010
Marc Rosenstein

You shall not hate your kinsfolk in your heart.  Reprove your kinsman but incur no guilt because of him.  You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your countrymen.  Love your fellow as yourself: I am the Lord.
            -Leviticus 19:17-18

Herewith a translation of a piece I recently published in www.dugrinet.co.il, the Hebrew-Arabic internet magazine sponsored by our foundation.

Once the Chilazoner Rebbe was sitting with his Hasidim around the holiday table, and he told the following parable:

Once I was driving along the highway and a car passed me and cut in quickly in front of me, cutting me off.  "Damn Arab kids," I said.  "They have no respect for the laws of the land, not even for the traffic laws.  They whine about having no rights, but they refuse to accept responsibility!"  A few minutes later I found myself stopped at a red light next to the car that had passed me.  The driver was Ultra-Orthodox.

Once I was driving along the highway and a car passed me and cut in quickly in front of me, cutting me off.  "Damn Ultra-Orthodox," I said.  "They have no respect for the laws of the land, not even for the traffic laws.  They think they are holier than the rest of us, that they can run the country as they want, forcing everyone else onto the shoulder."  A few minutes later I found myself stopped at a red light next to the car that had passed me.  The driver was a settler.

Once I was driving along the highway and a car passed me and cut in quickly in front of me, cutting me off.  "Damn settlers," I said.  "They have no respect for the laws of the land, not even for the traffic laws.  They think they can hold the rest of us hostage to their messianic meshuggas - driving us all to disaster."  A few minutes later I found myself stopped at a red light next to the car that had passed me.  I recognized the driver from his picture in the business section of the paper, a prominent lawyer from Herzliya.

Once I was driving along the highway and a car passed me and cut in quickly in front of me, cutting me off.  "Damn North Tel Aviv snobs," I said.  "They have no respect for the laws of the land, not even for the traffic laws.  They throw around their money and power and treat the whole country as if it were their own private estate."  A few minutes later I found myself stopped at a red light next to the car that had passed me.  The driver was my neighbor.

Once I was driving along the highway, in a hurry to pick up my kid from the Acco train station.  I passed a whole lineup of cars moving irritatingly slowly, and then had to squeeze back into the right lane before the West Acco intersection.  A traffic cop pulled me over after the light.  "What, did I do something wrong?" I asked him incredulously.  "Are you kidding?"  He sneered.  "You just cut off that whole line of cars - an Arab, an Ultra-Orthodox, a settler, a lawyer, and a local."  You almost caused a serious accident!"

"Wow," I said.  "I didn't see them.  I really didn't see them."

There was silence at the table as the Hasidim contemplated their master's deep wisdom.  Then one spoke up, hesitantly: "Perhaps the Master would agree to interpret the parable?"

But the Rebbe would only repeat the last sentence: "I didn't see them.  I really didn't see them."

And those who have understanding will understand.

Comments left on this website are monitored. By posting a comment you are in agreement with Terms & Conditions.
 
Multimedia Icon Multimedia:  Photos  |  Videos  |  Podcasts  |  Webinars
Bookmark and Share About Us  |  Careers  |  Privacy Policy
Copyright Union for Reform Judaism 2011.  All Rights Reserved