Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Such Goodness חסד "Chessed" From Others, Only in Israel Tremping Stories

Do stories like these happen anyplace else?

I consider it "only in Israel," because where else is hitchhiking so prevalent? Tremping is what we call hitchhiking here in Israel. It's most prevalent in rural and semi-rural/suburban-type areas such as Judea, Samaria, the Golan and Jordan Valley. That's because of two factors:

  • Public transportation isn't sufficient in terms of frequency and time efficiency. Sometimes it can take half a day to get from point a to point b by bus, while a direct ride is only fifteen minutes. And some communities aren't serviced at all by public transportation.
  • Not everyone has a private car, and if a family does, it can't service everyone in the family.
There used to be signs at the
Jerusalem "city line." 
The culture of giving and accepting rides from friends, neighbors and even total strangers is part of Israeli culture where I live in Shiloh. We have never had a car. My husband mostly takes buses to and from his part-time job in Jerusalem. He is also the type that doesn't mind waiting. I work part-time in Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin, and study once a week in Jerusalem. I wouldn't survive without the tremps I get from friends, neighbors and strangers which supplement the buses, which I do take, too.

In theory I could use just buses to commute to work, but especially since I sometimes finish late at night,  my schedule doesn't match the bus schedule and I find waiting for buses less efficient than waiting for rides I combine those forms of transportation.

The חסד chessed, goodness of others is amazing. Not long ago, during the recent Jewish Holiday season,  I did a big shopping in the Rami Levy Discount Supermarket before signing in for my night shift, with the hope that I'd find a neighbor to take my stuff home to be picked up later by my husband. A neighbor took the bags and left them by my door since she had to leave home again before my husband expected to be home. I was very relieved, because Yafiz, where I work didn't have the space for those bags, and it's much easier to tremp home sans shopping bags, especially after 9:30pm. 

After finishing that long pre-Holiday shift I waited by the Rami Levy exit for a ride/tremp and suddenly I saw that same neighbor. She had come to look for me, since she didn't have my phone number. She had finished with her evening plans and was passing by, so she stopped into Sha'ar Binyamin to look for me. Such a wonderful neighbor. 

And the other night, again after a long late night shift, I caught a ride with someone I didn't know at Ofra, which is halfway home. He dropped my off at the Shiloh Junction. I put on my reflector-vest and suddenly noticed that he had u-turned. He decided not to leave me on the corner. He took me all the way home.

People are wonderful and G-d is Great!

I have a lot to be thankful for!


Rickismom said...

comming from HH! GRIN
Great stories!

Batya said...

B"H, thanks