Conversations with my Rabbi / Lori Mendel
# 8 for June 15
I like to tell Rabbi Ayala Samuels about the special Israeli things that happen to me.
When I came from Los Angeles in 1986 I took advantage of the airline offer of two stops on the way: New York and Paris. I got to the merkaz klita on Brodetsky Street in Ramat Aviv late in the evening and found a room on the main floor. Inside was an army cot and a desk and a note that said welcome to Israel. Also for me was a bucket and a mop, and a plate and a glass. I thought to myself: I can do this; I have just spent a whole winter skiing in all kinds of weather.
In the morning I was told to go upstairs to an office and that I would be sharing a room with another woman. Uh oh….I could do sparse, but I couldn’t do sharing.
I found a room to rent in an apartment with another long term olah in Herzelizya. How to manage? My bag was in Ramat Aviv, I was in Tel Aviv. I went to a café on Dizengoff street and sat there trying to figure out my new maneuver. The guy in the café saw my stress and said, What’s going on? I told him. He said, Not to worry, I will take you.
We went in his car to the merkas klita in Ramat Aviv, I got my bag, walked out in my suit from Paris, carrying the mop and the bucket, and he took me to the new address in Herzeliya. He said, Good luck! And drove off.
Some time later, I found my way to his café and thanked him again and again!