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Sunday, April 22, 2018

... In The Eye Of The Beholder

Many towns and villages in Israel have email and/or Whatsapp groups to allow their respective residents to ask for/seek rides, post important community news, give-away/seek furniture and household items, and exchange other information; both urgent and mundane.

And within regions, it is not uncommon for these email lists and whatsapp groups to have a certain amount of overlap.  Meaning that residents of neighboring communities often have members signed up for more than one community's lists.  This ends up being helpful if anyone wants to spread a message or seek information beyond the borders of their town or village, since anything posted ends up having a ripple effect outwards geographically.

So it is with us. 

My town — Efrat — has a lively email group (sometimes too lively, if you ask me), and there exists a fair bit of overlap with other communities in Gush Etzion and the southern Hebron hills.  This offers a sense of extended community throughout the heart of Judea.

The reason I'm sharing this bit of communication esoterica is that last week word went out from one of the other communities that a hitchhiker had caught a ride from one of the villages south of Hebron, to the Gush Etzion junction, and had accidentally left his cell phone in the car.

Now, anywhere else in the world, a hitchhiker leaving something in a stranger's car would simply kiss it goodbye and move on.  The anonymity of the brief hitchhiker-driver relationship combined with the long distances that the lost property could potentially travel once the passenger gets out of the car, would usually be insurmountable obstacles to recovering forgotten property no matter how urgently the driver and hitchhiker may want to locate one another.

But because of our overlapping network of email and whatsapp groups, the young man who forgot his phone didn’t lose hope.  He simply tossed a pebble into the regionalal pond, and within a short time, word had spread the length and breadth of our part of the country.

The pebble/message was a simple one:

"I was in a 'tremp' (ride) from Susya to Gush Etzion Junction this afternoon and left my mobile phone in a grey Renault driven by an old man with glasses and hearing aids."

Within minutes of him posting that, the ripples of that tossed stone spread from community to community, until someone from a town near ours who knew the route I drive to and from work, called my wife and asked her if I happened to have found a cell phone in my car.

FIrst of all, while I do wear glasses and hearing aids... and I do drive a grey Renault... I'm not 'an old man'!!!

But when I checked, it turns out that a cellphone had, indeed, been left in my car.  Which leaves me with decidedly mixed feelings.

On the one hand, it feels nice to have been able to return lost property to its rightful owner.  But on the other hand, the fact that I was 'that driver' shines a glaring light on how someone under 25 actually sees me.


I guess age, like beauty, is truly in the eye of the beholder.

Posted by David Bogner on April 22, 2018 | Permalink


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Well, Dave, Old man, welcome to the club.

Posted by: Matt Greenberg | Apr 23, 2018 10:04:27 PM

And that, dear brother, is a sad thing indeed! But on the other hand, you were memorable in your own way!

Age is a number and I think you look fantastic...for an old man!!

Posted by: Jake | Apr 23, 2018 11:22:10 PM

What happened to the red Vespa?

Posted by: Quietusleo | Apr 24, 2018 12:05:34 AM

when my kids tell me I'm old, and I am not much younger than you, it all depends on which side of the grass you wake up on!

Posted by: ,Aharon Fischman | Apr 24, 2018 12:23:08 AM

Hmm, to quote my son (who used to live in Efrat for a few years): "Dad, back when you were young, before you killed the last dinosaur" ....

Posted by: Sal Guggenheim | Apr 26, 2018 11:07:18 PM

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