Israel Stories

Friday, September 02, 2005


In Israel, as in every civilized country, and use the word civilized very loosely, it is mandatory to have an MOT and Tax disk. In Israel there are only a handful of garage test centers that can issue you with an MOT and at the same time your new Tax disk or sticker.

The MOT is very simple; they test lights, breaks, tires, steering and electronic windows. The first four I can understand, but electronic windows sounds a bit strange. I asked the mechanic about it and he told me if there was crash you may need to climb out the window. A bit strange I thought. They don’t test doors and that’s an easier way of exiting a car.

My problem was, my front window wasn’t working and as I didn’t want to mortgage the house the pay for the repair, left it. “Sorry mate”, said the mechanic (in Hebrew) “but I can’t pass your car if the window doesn’t work.” “But you did last year”, I exclaimed. “I didn’t know it broken last year.” Problem was, because I couldn’t hear him shouting instruction about turning my lights on and off while he tested them, I opened the door. That was my downfall. “Why didn’t you open the window?” he barked, “I don’t know, just wanted to.” To late, he was in for the kill and before I knew it he was testing all my windows.

“Sorry mate, get them sorted and come back”. I immediately phoned my cousin, who is in the police and asked him if this was law. He told me he didn’t know but thanks for telling him what happened, forewarned in forearmed. Great!

I went across to my repairman, and asked him to deal with my car, it didn’t matter if my children starve or my wife gave up shopping for a week, I gad to have the window fixed.

I continued my investigation into this strange and obscure window law. No one had heard of it, police, lawyers even the garage mechanic. Then I found the answer. Imagine this scenario; you are queuing in traffic to enter the airport, an armed guard wants to check your car and asks you to wind down the window. He has his Uzi pointing down but ready. Instead of winding down the window you open the door. He jumps back, and in a flash you’re history. Now that may sound extreme but when you are at an army checkpoint going across the green line, it really could make a difference. You’re nervous, they’re nervous, its not worth upsetting anybody by making them skip a heartbeat.

Answer found, I grudgingly got my window fixed. As I returned to the test center I noticed that the mechanic was not testing anybodies windows. Angrily I asked what not. Because sir we don’t usually bother but as we saw your window wasn’t working we failed you.

I left the garage thinking, what a sad law this was. What a reflection of the times we live in, when the only reason my window had to be working was to stop an already nervous security guard or soldier become even more nervous.

Maybe we should add a special prayer in our davening hoping that one day this law will be abolished forever.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home