The beauty of Israel are these surprising, only in Israel moments. Especially surprising and extraordinary for a gentile from Canada.
I was on my way home from Bet Shemesh, back to Jerusalem. I had just spent some time at the office of United With Israel working on a project for them. The sunset over the hills outside my office window was spectacular that night. Hot yellow and pink splashed across the sky as the sun began to disappear over the horizon. I still had work to do, so I moved the fan closer and carried on. Oh, it was a hot and sticky evening again.
Thank goodness for the cool blast of air conditioning as I climbed up into the bus. The bus driver greeted me as usual. Being a woman on the own, the bus drivers always looked out for me and insisted that I sit up front so we could chat and they could practice their English. I was always the first to get off the bus as well, since my stop was Mevasseret Zion, a community just outside of Jerusalem, to the west of the city center.
As we made our way through the winding, hilly streets of Bet Shemesh, the bus made the usual stops picking up very well dressed religious people heading to the Kotel, the Western Wall, to pray.
All of a sudden, we came to a traffic circle and we were not able to move. We all looked. Was there a problem? Of course not – it was just an entire neighborhood dedicating a Torah Scroll for their Synagogue. The dancing, the joy, the singing!! It was contagious! I watched in awe as the residents of the neighborhood gave thanks to Hashem for His words on the Scroll, taking place in the street and we just had to wait until they were finished before we could pass by! Only in Israel.
This isn’t the footage from my experience as somehow I’m not able to locate it, but this is very similar to the scene that I witnessed out of the windows of the bus.