Israel Stories

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Cup

Some people will use any excuse to turn a minor insignificant incident into a major disaster either by their own design or just because of their nature.

Spilt coffee can be cleaned up, chocolate puddings can be wiped of the wall, and a little scratch on the car in unforgivable, but we’ll get used to it in time. It’s been one of those mornings.

It’s all about how you approach a situation. Whether it’s a knighthood or cartoons some people just don’t understand perspective.

I would say to these people who would rather burn their towns and people than be civilized that we are ‘not at home to mister temper’. I could have worked for the UN or the BBC! I could also say to the people of Sderot that its your fault that you are being bombarded, now if your don’t mind please, you and all your people, cease to exist so we can have world peace. Now my job at the UN or the BBC is surely secure.

It’s all about perspective.

The Kotel stood there before me, its huge stones reflecting the afternoon light as they had done for 2000 thousand years. Filled with or and renewed spiritual vigor I slowly backed away from the wall determined to do some good in the world, determined to shine some light on these dark times and determined to repair the worlds ills.

My opportunity arrived quicker than I determined when I saw an old Hassid milling about the worshipper, plastic cup in hand. Here was my chance. The first step on the road to spiritual renewal was to give to the needy. And what better way than slipping a few coins to a schnorrer at the kotel.

Without wasting another second I raced over to the old man. He said nothing as he lifted his cup. I opened my wallet looking for a decent amount, finally selecting a shiny 10 shekel piece. I smiled at him and then dropped the money into his cup and turned to walk away.

“Oy”, shouted the old man. Wasn’t it enough, I thought to myself, had I insulted him, was he being rude?

“Oy”, he shouted again. I turned to face him, uncertain on what my next move would be.

"Oy”, he wailed for a third time, “you’ve ruined my coffee!”

“I may have ruined your coffee” I answered kindly, “but at least you’re ten shekel up. You can buy a new coffee and still have change for your chosen charity. And anyway look on the bright side at least your cups half full now.”

His old face cracked in a beaming smile and he went on his way giggling with the words ‘my cups half full’ trailing after him.

It’s all about perspective.

This story is for Chen to celebrate her Bat Miztvah


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