An Israeli Drunk

My parents enjoyed a glass of wine now and then. I know that had some alcohol in the house, but they were never the martini type and as kids, I don’t really remember there being much wine in the house – except maybe before Passover. My husband doesn’t love to drink…and neither do I and so each week we make kiddush, the blessing over wine that begins the Sabbath meals, over grape juice.

Our kids aren’t drinkers – most don’t even like the taste of wine and none of them like beer. The except seems to be with our other kids – the ones we took in. Yaakov and Chaim are, by our standards, wine connaisseurs. I once called Chaim on the phone to ask his advice on which wine to buy and he was a bit taken back to hear that my liquor store was the local supermarket.

Once, when Elie was in the pre-military academy before entering the army, he stayed over there to celebrate the holiday of Purim with the other students and rabbis. It is a custom on Purim to drink – even to drink too much. Elie wasn’t drinking and one of his teachers asked him why. He explained that he didn’t really like the taste of alcohol and so the teacher handed Elie his M16 and said – okay, so you be the guard. Elie thought that was way more cool than drinking.

Last night, after having dinner with visiting cousins from the States, I drove one car to where Shmulik was on duty as a security guard for an events hall. My husband had gone back to the office to get his computer and would meet me there. The idea was to give Shmulik the car and drive home together, leaving Shmulik a way to get home when his shift ended.

For whatever reason, there was a rather long delay and so I stood talking to Shmulik while I waited. The owner/manager of the place came over and Shmulik introduced us. He insisted that Shmulik give me some soup and a drink while we waited and told me what a wonderful young man he is. A while later, a couple walked out, leaving the party a bit earlier than most.

“Whose guarding here?” he asked Shmulik, “you or your mother?”

His wife answered with a smile, “he’s guarding the place and she’s guarding him.”

“God should bless you,” he told Shmulik, and watch over you.”

After they’d walked away, Shmulik turned to me and said, “you know he was drunk, right?”

Yes, I knew he was drunk – and yet, think what amazing things came out of his mouth – not loud, not angry, not silly but rather a blessing for a young man to be safe. I love this country so much – even the drunks among us!

Shabbat shalom – may it come in peace and may Got watch over all of us.

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