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January 22, 2011

wow!!  i have a few minutes to myself!  i have forgotten what this feels like.

an interesting event happened today that got me thinking.  if you see injustice in the world, small events… like someone being shoved or small scale racism, would you do anything about it?  does it matter?  assuming that if you walked/ drove along, it would have almost no effect on your day or your life.

today, i was on a special group taxi that goes between my kibbutz to a neighboring kibbutz and naharyyia (the closest ‘big’ city).  A Thai man got onto the taxi and it was clear he was not from the kibbutz, but was a guest of one of the Thai workers.  An elderly lady (who was one of the sweetest women i have encountered in Israel) tells the Thai man that if there are potential riders in the neighboring kibbutz, then he will have to get off for one of the other passengers.  I. Was. In. Shock.  Right in front of me, it was some sort of ‘you must stand so the white man can sit’ kind of situation.  No one said a word.  this gentleman was a paying customer just like me or anyone else.

we arrived at the neighboring kibbutz and there were other riders, despite the fact that i was praying that the waiting area would be empty.  so here you have it.  do you keep quite, start arguing on behalf of the visitor whose english was passable at best.  there were 9 people in the car including me, and except for the elderly lady in the front seat- everybody (including me) remained silent.  so when we got to the second kibbutz and there were other passengers waiting, i told the thai man to stay put and i got off.  Dory, another volunteer from Budapest, also got off with me.  i know that i could find a way to naharyyia but i wasnt sure that he could.  the driver felt bad and called one of his friends and asked him to take us to naharyyia.  we arrived before the other car did.

it seemed, today, there was a little bit of justice in the world.

in other news, it was Tu-B’Shvat yesterday, the birthday of the plants.  we celebrated by eating dry fruits.  yay.

5 more weeks of volunteering, 2 weeks in budpapest (about), 1 week in rome.  This adventure is slowly coming to an end!

spending this saturday with the kids at nirim (boarding school)

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Pat Rayman permalink
    January 22, 2011 4:59 pm

    Good for you Justin. In situations like these not to say anything, not to do anything (and you chose to do something) would mean you would be no better than the sweet old racist woman. We have learned this from our history. It is sad to hear that no one (besides your friend) bothered to object to this unjust act.
    Sounds like you are continuing to have the time of your life. I am so glad for you. These are memories and experiences you will keep forever. Everyone must be so proud of you. Love Pat

  2. Ann Sharpe permalink
    January 22, 2011 8:09 pm

    Yaaaayyyyyyy!!!!! Justin!!!! I am sooo proud of you and Dory.
    The “GOLDEN RULE ” of Judaism is: What is hateful to you , do not do to your neighbour. This is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary. Hillel, Talmud, Shabbat 31a.
    Also-do unto others as they would do unto you.
    The update is- do unto others as if you were the others.
    I also have a lot of respect for the driver. People are people no matter what colour they are. I still maintain that everyone should have bags over their heads and then we can get to know the person inside better. Thank you for giving the Thai guest a pleasant experience in Israel.
    The time is really going fast, only 5 more weeks, hard to believe.
    Loved the pictures, too!!! Especially the one with the rainbow.
    So glad to get your blog. Life is definitely a learning experience.
    Happy Tu’BShvat!!! Did you eat bokser???Do you still have your teeth intact. I will be sending you an article titled “Everything I needed to know, I learned from a tree.
    Enjoy the rest of your time in Israel. Keep on learning and meeting the World. The World needs more people like you!!!
    Lots of love and hugs, Bubby Ann

  3. Auntee Sandee permalink
    January 23, 2011 6:49 pm

    Yo Just, Stand up for what you believe in – even if you’re standing alone…at a bus stop. The truth is integrity is also about what you do when no one you know is looking.
    There’s an article in the Toronto Star this Saturday by Arthur Frommer (think Frommer guides) on the lessons travel has taught him. “Travel teaches us that it is absurd to react to people according to their colour. It makes everyone a member of a minority group on occasion. The experience changes all of us.” We can wonder about this woman if she would be the minority; however we only have the experiences in front of us and the bus incident. Somehow I would have hoped that the driver would have spoken up as it’s his bus however…

    Unfortunately common sense and common courtesy are anything but common. Here’s hoping that there’s a lot of joy and silliness ahead for you as well! Hugs, Mee

  4. Dad permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:57 pm

    Hi Justin!

    WoW! What a rainbow!

    Great picture! I wonder if anyone noticed…?

    Strange world we live in. Great story of the taxi ride. Really proud of you!

    Miss ya!


  5. Jenna Adler permalink
    February 6, 2011 2:16 am

    Good for you!! You totally did the right thing!!!! I am very proud of you!!!!!
    When do you come back to Toronto?
    I will be home the weekend of March 4-6. Will you be back by then???
    I can’t wait to see you soon!!!!!

    • February 6, 2011 9:14 am

      i wont be back that weekend, i will be in Budapest! We will have to catch each other another weekend.

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