leon gork tour guide
Yom Kippur 5780
Updated: Feb 15, 2020
Leon’s No Newsletter No 248
Yom Kippur 5780 9th Oct. 2019
Turning over a new leaf
Waiting for the 77a (mysteriously Egged scrapped the old 4a), my bus to the Samuel the Prophet Junction, to catch the 110 to Modiin, to visit Eitan and Tamar, a shiny, silver-grey, car stops and a pretty lady gives me the come on. It’s Rivka, our next door neighbor.
I realize that I’m a real “Shmo” (blind fool, in Yiddish) for, until now, not having taken a closer look at her, because even at around 70 she’s a good looking lady.
Ettie’s on her stoep, every chance she gets, drinking coffee, munching brownies and nattering over one and all and all and sundry. I never participate, not because I don’t eat brownies (they contain too much sugar for my constitution, which reacts in a painful way to sugar), also not because I don’t like hearing gossip about the neighbors, I do like hearing about what the neighbors are up to, but I don’t have much to contribute.
Sad to say I hardly know who they are, unless they happen throw cigarette buts on the sidewalk at my front door. Mosty this is the bad habit of our Korean neighbor, whose usually a nice guy, also a tour guide for tour groups from Korea.
Our neighborhood, Hahayil Str. has be
come quite cosmopolitan; downstairs is a pious looking, long, white bearded, black coated, tall black hatted man (named Weiss,which means white) with his family, I’m presuming that the several little girls, I see on the sidewalk, now and again, are his. I don’t think that I’ve seen his wife, unless she’s one of the little girls.
I’m not suggesting that he’s married to a child, it’s just that the older I get the younger everybody else appears, so
that I can’t guess ages anymore.
I presume he’s Jewish, because he looks like the other Jews one sees in Mea Shearim, the ultra orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Jerus
alem. In any case, someone, I don’t remember, told me that he was a Christian convert to Judaism. Now he’s apparently being ultra pious, to make up for all the years that he was a Christian.
Now that I think about it, his demonstration of piety looks more Christian than Jewish. It’s strange to say, but pious Jews don’t take their piety very seriously; one sees pious Jews in Mea Shearim, smoking, changing mo
ney, being sociable with all and sundry, commenting on all the things around them, the traffic, the price of popcorn, the weather, or whatever.
The only thing you’ll never see a pious Jew doing in public, is speaking to a woman. It’s terrible to think that speaking to a woman is worse than smoking or changing money. As far as I can see the only thing that a woman ever did that can be considered bad, is Eve giving Adam the apple. I don’t consider tempting Adam such a bad thing. After all, without that there wouldn’t have been any procreation of the species. In any case, I think it’s a bit hard to
hold that against women for all these years. In any case most of those guys don’t even seem worth tempting.
Below Weiss are two apartments with Arab families. I know that the one guy is a doctor at Hadassah. We now have altogether 5 Arab families i
n our street. They all seem to be professional people, like doctors and teachers. I met one of the families, at a neighborhood party given by Michaela, who really makes it her business to know everybody. That was about 4 years ago. I’m really impressed with her and Rivka and Ettie, who make it their business to know all the neighbors. Unfortunately Michaela hasn’t been well so there have
n’t been any more parties.
Rivka never fails to send a few brownies, with Ettie, after the nattering is over, to give to Noga, my 4 year old granddaughter, the cute, smarty pants, daughter of Ittamar and Anat, my lovely daughter in law. Noga rocks up and
say to grandma Etti, “I see you’ve been to Rivka again”, then returns to Barbie Girls, on the Ipad.
Emanuel opened the door, I sat down at their dining room table and partook of Turkey or Chicken schnitzel. Eitan had some money burning a hole in his pocket. Emanuel agreed to drop us off at the Azrieli canyon(Hebrew for shopping mall).
Eitan, 8 years old, took me by the hand, as he always did when we went to the canyon. First of all to make sure that he didn’t lose his old grandpa and secondly to make sure that we shopped right, which today meant Steimatzky’s bookshop. Eitan reads like lightning, the way he does most things. He’s always
in a hurry to get things done. His principle is “fast and then stop and do the thing thoroughly”.
I can’t keep up with his reading, so he certainly doesn’t have patience for my slow reading. We bought three books for the price of one. Each of them