A Story Told

It feels like I am always driving. I am blessed to have clients located in various parts of Israel. We bought a hybrid car to cut down on gas and make us feel that we are doing some small part for the environment, but nothing can cut down on how often I am driving and so, when I have the chance to have someone else drive, I take it.

Elie was driving yesterday when he came upon a very slow moving car. The “Lamed” on the top of the car indicated that it was a student driver out on a lesson. Elie carefully passed it on the left and then moved back into the right lane. The car moved a bit into our lane as Elie was passing it, but then moved to the left lane. From there, it cut behind our car all the way to the right, cutting off another car before turning into a predominantly Arab neighborhood in Jerusalem. The driver was a woman wearing a veil; the instructor yet another.

Somehow in the conversation that followed, yet another story from Elie’s time in the army came out. He was in a car leaving Jerusalem. As a commander, he sat in front; the driver to his left. Suddenly, Arabs tried to run them off the road – this was a major highway. Elie pulled out his gun and shot in the air and then pointed the gun at the tires of the car driven by the Arabs as, over the microphone, he ordered it to pull over.

Once the car did as it was ordered, the soldiers called the police, who came and arrested the Arabs. No one was hurt – not the Arabs, and not the soldiers. Not Elie, whose car was nearly forced off the road.

I sat there almost dumbfounded. I can’t help but wonder how many more stories are like this, buried deep inside him. “How many other times did you have to raise your gun?” I asked him.

Elie smiled and kept driving. He loves dropping these little bombshells on me. I can’t really worry now, a few years later, can I?

Elie laughs at the idea that he lied during his army service. He loves slowly telling me that so often he wasn’t where he said he was. “You deliberately lied to me!” I said with feigned indignation.

“Yup,” Elie answered with the grin that I cherish so much.

Another story, another reality he lived with, lived through. And deep beyond the pretend indignation I show him, is the gratitude that I didn’t know. A defense mechanism in mothers, I think.

5 Comments on A Story Told

  1. More than once Arab drivers have deliberatly teried to cause my son (when driving in the army) to have an accident…..

  2. From what I read about driving in the Middle East, how can you tell if their homicidal driving techniques are intentional or not!

    Just kidding… but I have read from others that both Israelis and Arabs are known for their… ummm, “aggressive” driving habits! 🙂

  3. Children in the settlements ride in school buses accompanied by an IDF escort. My son was riding in a school bus one time and they came upon some Palestinian vehicles blocking the road. He thought they were probably just pulled up side by side to talk on a lonely stretch of road and it was not an ambush, but since the sad truth is that children in school buses are not off limits to Palestinian terrorists, he put a mean look on his face and raised his rifle to them and they scurried into their cars and moved them to the side.

    What makes me angry is that another time a woman in a settlement raised hell with my son for not allowing a school bus to leave because the rest of the IDF convoy hadn’t arrived yet to escort them. He refused to budge. The children were going to be a little late, but they would get there safely. That woman should have been thankful for my son’s attention to his duty, not rude and obnoxious. How quickly some people forget the horrific things that have happened in the past. If you want to live in a dangerous area, if you want to raise your children in a dangerous area, be grateful for the protection.

    P.S. to Joe. Someone from an American Jewish organization told me that my son was in more danger riding in a car in Israel than from the rockets raining down on Israel during the Second Lebanon War. That did not make me feel better. In fact I thought it was a stupid analogy spoken by a man whose children were safe (although I acknowledge his attempt to comfort me – it didn’t work!).

  4. poor mommy, always driving…at least you CAN drive! Brace yourself…
    things will be changing…your son brutalizes cutting boards…probably people to…

  5. MPFollett – I have to tell you. Sometimes, with some comments, I don’t know if someone is telling a joke, trying to tell a joke, or being serious. I’ve got to admit – that’s my problem with your comment. Yes, I’m always driving…okay. Now about others that do not – is this a reference to Palestinians…who do drive? Women in many Arab countries that do not drive? No idea.

    Things will be changing – here’s hoping.

    And now…my son brutalizes cutting boards? Are you serious? Is this a joke? It must be…it is, after all, such a silly comment.

    So then we get to… “probably people to” – well, I’m stuck again. No, my son never brutalized people. He fought in a war that began with 120+ rockets in a single month launched against Israel; he manned a checkpoint for many months…in which he tried to find the balance between the rights of those who wish to come in to Israel to work, shop and get medical care against those he has promised to protect. Your comment simply serves to throw nonsense into an already difficult situation while showing a tremendous lack of knowledge.

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