Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Yom Hazicharon Shnitzel

I worked until 7:30pm last night. Then I drove to a friend of a friend’s home to help him install his new computer. He had made aliyah from the States along time ago. He’s in his mid-forties, married with three sons in the army. Nice polite kids, all strapping healthy lads, long hair and little knitted kippot dangling from various angles of their head.

Usually they’d be talking about the latest movie they’d downloaded from some P2P leecher/mod program written by some Israeli kid to beat the file sharing credits system but tonight they were all in subdued moods. At 8:00pm the sirens wailed throughout Israel. After the siren they continued to stand, lost in memories of their comrades. I decided to remain still as well, waiting for them to make the first move. Eventually their father led me into the room where we were to set up the new computer.

While I worked, he spoke to me of what Yom HaZicharon means to him and the mixture of anxiety and pride he has in his sons who risk their lives to defend you and me. We got on with the installation. I left at about 11:15pm exhausted and blind with hunger. I hadn't eaten since 12 midday. It would be another 40 mins to get home I estimated so I drove through the industrial part of the area looking for a takeaway to buy something. Of course I soon realised that they were all closed due to Yom HaZicharon.

I was just about to turn off to get onto the main road that led back home when I noticed in the midst of all those dark shop fronts there was one place with bright lights. It was quite surreal to see it. I parked the car and went to see what was going on. It was a burger / al-ha-aish place open and packed with young American Chareidim, girls and boys, chatting away.

Yes, I admit it, I ordered a schnitzel and water to take away. It took five minutes. The banter and laughter from the beautifully and smartly dressed kids was loud. One group of girls was talking about how to deal with someone in their class who gossiped all the time, reminding themselves that what they were doing was not in fact lashon hara as they were trying to help this girl and her victims. They were enjoying themselves very much. Another group of boys was discussing the pros and cons of various PDA phones and best place to buy them. I haven’t even begun to analyse last night’s experience.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can guess where this place is...