Last Tuesday was special. I had an hour between things and I decided to go shopping. I took the bus down to Kanfei Nesharim (Har Nof ‘s shopping area, for those of you who live in the Carpathian Mountains).
I got off at 'Crazy Line', perused the merchandise, which was offered at a 70% discount, and quickly decided that there was a reason for their beneficence. As I instinctively felt for my pocketbook to get out my Rav Kav (no, not a miniscule rabbi who lives in my purse, a transportation pass by that name), I discovered that it wasn’t there. I left it on the bus. In spite of my being rather scattered, I can honestly say that nothing like this has ever happened to me. I was in the store less than five minutes, so the best option I came up for reclaiming my bag was flagging down a cab. The Great Plan was to ask him to catch up with the 75 buses. Since he would not be making any stops, this sounded feasible. One thing stopped me. I didn’t have my wallet- it was in the pocketbook. What if the bag was stolen, or the money “disappeared”? - I would have no way to pay the driver. Bad idea. Try again. I recalled that my daughter Guli (who some of you know) was on her way to Har Nof by cab. I called her, and asked her to pick me up at the shop so that we could then reroute her taxi to the 75 bus. It arrived within a few moments. I told the driver what I needed him to do. He discouraged me. “It’s rush hour. This isn’t going to work. The roads are jammed. You’ll miss him.” He told me in a rather authoritarian tone. It only took one moment for us to face the traffic that had backed up onto the street before I realized that he as right. “Back to Her I asked. “I have a webinar in 20 minutes. “What’s going to be with your bag?” He asked. “ I guess I’ll call the bus company’s lost and found in the morning” I responded
“What? Giveret, they’ll blow it up! To you it is your pocketbook. To the police it is a suspicious object!!
I knew he was right. Once a bag of mine was exploded at the Kotel. I ran with one of my toddlers to the rest room, and when I returned the police had cleared the entire Kotel area, and a robot did its duty….
I called the police. The woman who answered was extremely concerned, and called her superior immediately. He used their computer system to locate the bus and to make contact with the driver (who had already been given the black pseudo leather star of the show). From my perspective this was the end of the story for the day. The next chapter would take place when I contact the lost and found.
Dahan (The driver who now had taken over the entire battle) was not satisfied. “You have your papers and your cash inside. NO. We have to take care of this NOW. He drove his chariot into the Egged headquarters at the end of Har Nof, and within seconds found his mirror image. Also in his forties, also Moroccan, and also very much In Charge. The two consulted briefly. “Who took out the 75 about 20 minutes ago?” Gershwin” “You have his number?” Yes, but I can’t give it out. “Call him, and ask him to leave the bag here at headquarters when her finishes his route.” “No problem” replied his fellow general. Dayan then continued on to Rechov Kablan. He didn’t ask for even one more shekel than what the meter showed for a very short ride. He called at 8:45 we heard from him, and by 9, the bag as safely home.
For Dahan getting my bag back was the same ting as getting his own wife or mother’s bag back. It wasn’t my problem. It was OUR problem. When I reflected on the entire sequence of events, it occurred to me that this is one of the many events that take place constantly that have long reaching effects that you can only see when you have some distance. Dahan taught me more about caring sincerely than I would have learned from many essays written by erudite sages on this topic. He touched more than my mind; he touched my experiential sense of what is real and what is possible (and maybe even what is expected). The day’s events no doubt opened his own consciousness as well, since you are always touched more by what you do than by what you hear. It was only after I thought this through that another aspect of the entire story came clear. I recounted the story to my dear friend Aviva, and she pointed out something that had escaped my scrutiny.
Guli left home to get to Har Nof before I left my pocketbook on the bus. Hashem sent her (and Dahan) in preparation for the next chapter in the