“The heart though small embraces the whole wide world.” Yiddish saying.
The collective Israeli psyche, if such a thing exists, is ambiguous, capricious, mysterious and odd. Israelis often demand “savlanut” (sahv lah NOOT), or patience, from others, for example, while most of them refuse to stand in line, honk at red lights in traffic as if to insist that they turn green and look down on those who pause while others speak. Although patience may be perceived as virtue here in the Land, its practice is rare.
But let an old man stumble on the street, a young mother need assistance while hoisting a baby carriage onto a bus, or a child look about hopelessly, seeming lost, and the restless Israeli soul invariably inclines toward the sublime. Help and genuine concern for a fellow human being in real need, friend or stranger, Christian or Jew, seems always forthcoming in Israel.[Read more…]
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