But the second one is good. Wherever your home is.
Yesterday, on our way to Migdal David in the Old City, I was walking on one side right as one enters the Jaffa Gate, waiting for my son and family to cross over. Here’s a photo from inside the Tower looking out.
I didn’t end up taking one from outside, as you will see why in a moment.
There was a chasid standing on the same side of the street. It looked like he was waiting for a ride, since he was stopping vans and asking them something. So when he started speaking to me, asking me in English where I was from, I was actually very surprised. After all, why would he, a man, speak to me, a stranger/woman?
I should have known better.
Anyway, I told him I was from New England (I actually said Boston, since I thought that would be more recognizable.) He asked me if I know the Bostonner Rebbe. I answered, “Of course! He’s a wonderful man.” He informed me that his father was his third cousin. Strange way to put it, but okay.
I responded that this was wonderful yichus. But as it says here in this post,
Yichus is humbling – if it goes to our heads, it’s just a big zero…
clearly this guy thought his family connections gave him permission to push his ego on the world.
The next step was not unreasonable; he asked me if I spoke Yiddish. I answered “no.” So of course, he starts talking in Yiddish. I understood, as he suspected. He asked for tzedakah for his yeshivah.
Oh what a fool I am.
So I start looking for my wallet, not wanting to give him much, not having too much cash on me, not having expected to go into the Old City that day since I would have brought some American dollars to give to those who might ask for handouts, and really more so because I do not really support his style of Jewish “scholarship” and would rather give my money to those institutions and people who are doing things that help grow the truth of Torah in a positive way…
He added now again in English,
“Of course, if your husband allows you the money…”
Oh NO he didn’t!
Oh how fast I pulled my wallet back into my purse! Oh how fast I started walking away from him!
“It was a joke! I didn’t mean anything by it!”
“You can’t say that. To anyone. This is my money and I’ll decide how to use it. And I would never agree to give anything to you!”
That’s right. Zero.
I met up with my kids a second later, still fuming. I told them what happened and then when I looked to point him out, he was gone.
I will even this out with another story how people can work together, and a wonderful thing happened later on that day to illustrate it. I don’t want to end on this bitter point.
After a long time in the Old City viewing Migdal David and going for lunch, we went over to the Old Train Station. I had thought there were some puppet shows there, but they were actually across the park. No worries–we found lots of things to do there while waiting for the cousins to come in from Efrat.
There were a few men trying to close a section of a tent over the space.
They couldn’t do it with 4 guys. They needed more help.
So they called in anyone around who would assist, including my son.
Real assistance. With real results.
Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem.