Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tephilos, my Fiat M-a-r-e-a, a Pre Pesach story

I've owned a Fiat M-a-r-e-a W-e-e-kend for 11 years now. It is long overdue for the scrap yard but I havn't had the money to replace it. Now I have no choice. The garage who services the car tells me that there are no spare parts left in Israel. If something major goes wrong then I've had it!

The car has cost me about NIS 8,000 in the last year in repairs. I consider this money down the drain. I'll be getting some money together in September to buy an ex-rental car so Be'ezras Hashem, I can keep the Fiat going until then. So on Tuesday I was driving home from work at about 7:30pm. I was talking to my wife on the phone about Pesach shopping. I had just driven past "Mayain 2000", the Chareidi supermarket in Ramat Eshkol where I often buy things on my way home. All of a sudden I here this terrible noise coming from the car and then I became aware of a terrible smell of burning chemicals.

I told my wife that I would have to get off the phone because there was something wrong with the car. I parked on the side of road and opened the door. There was this really powerful smell of burning chemicals coming from the engine. I looked down and saw bubbling liquid coming from underneath the car. That's it I thought. Game over! The engine has blown up! I looked up to the heavens. My tephilos (prayers) to HaKodesh Baruch Hu that He should look after my car until September had not been answered. I bent down to look under the car and was struck by this overpowering smell of burning chemicals.

I stood up to catch my breath and my balance, my head spinning. I thought I was going to faint from the fumes. It took me a minute to recover. I then walked to the front of the car and looked underneath where the engine was to see if I could see what was causing the noise. I was certain that the engine had fallen out. Well what did I see? I saw a large 5 litre bottle of bleach that had got stuck under the engine block.

The engine block had melted a whole in the side of the plastic bottle and was boiling the bleach which was pouring out all over the road. I went to get my trusty umbrella (after 20 years in Eretz Yisrael I still retain some of my Englishness) and bashed the bottle, (which was glued to the underside of the engine) until it eventually came loose. I put the bottle on the pavement. There was still some bleach in it despite a huge whole burnt into into its side.

Obviously this bottle of bleach had rolled into the road from someone's Pre-Pesach order outside the supermarket! I looked up to the heavens again, this time to apologise. "Baruch Hashem".

I started off again but there was burning fumes coming through the air vents of the car. I opened the windows and drove back home like this, grateful to Hashem that the car was fine. I phoned my wife to tell her not to worry. I wrote to my parents in England to tell them the story. My mother replied in her usual pithy fashion. "Well", she remarked. "With all that bleach, at least you won't have to kasher the engine and air vents for Pesach!" Now there's a new chumra!


Lol said...

Nice blog Reb Mordechai! I suppose your oven cleaning tip is useful for people who are either too lazy or scared to kasher their oven or have space to stash the Pesach oven and gas hob after Pesach.

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