Conversations with my Rabbi / Lori Mendel
Blog #10 July 15
I have to tell this story to Rabbi Ayala Samuels:
When I first came to Israel, I took a few days to visit Jerusalem and stayed in the YMCA Hotel.
Wandering around the Old City, I got hungry and went into the little grocery store that is near the Hurva Synagogue. The easiest thing I could get was 4 cartons of yogurt.
Standing in line at the checkout, a nice man with a great mustache, holding a can of beer, said to me in English, “I see you like our dairy products.” I laughed…so obvious that I was not a native?
So he and I went out to the plaza and introduced ourselves. As his name was Abraham and my middle name is Sara and we were in Jerusalem, I thought this was divinely planned.
He was smitten. I told him I was currently living in Herzelya, had recently arrived. He offered to come get me on the following Shabbat and we would go to the beach.
We went to Hof Dor, an easy place for swimming. Floating around in the water he said, “I will be your anchor.” How nice! How comforting?
So after some time of dating he suggested I come stay with him on his moshav. He had to tell his Bulgarian father, who lived in the house, that this was serious so that it would be acceptable.
I did move in with him. I was working in Tel Aviv and had to walk from his house out to the highway to catch the bus. He told me I was lucky that now the road was paved as before …” we had mud up to here…” gesturing to his knees. I thought to myself, “…well, in Santa Monica I had a car and a driver!”
It got very, very cold that winter and that was part of the reason I decided I had to prepare myself better and went back to Los Angeles to reorganize.