Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ahh, cabbies

OK, here's another one to match the one below:

So I'm sitting at the bus stop, minding my own business (the eventual destination was Tel Aviv, for a very nice evening), learning from a Gemara, in fact, when a cab pulls up in front of me. At first I think the guy wants my business, but then I realize he's asking me something. Something about...Yehuda HaNasi?

Now, let me explain: Yehuda HaNasi (Judah the Prince) was a third-century rabbi. The Greek Colony, the next neighborhood over from where we were, is full of streets named for rabbis from that period, and I assumed (my headphones had been in) that he was asking me where "Yehuda HaNasi"- that is, Yehuda HaNasi Street- is. Logical, right? Translating from the Hebrew:

Me: Um, I'm not sure...somewhere down that way...

Cabbie: Sorry! You don't speak Hebrew?

Me (boldly): Yes, but I'm just not sure where it is...

Cabbie: No, no! Who was Yehuda HaNasi?

Me: Ah, who! He was a rabbi, a Tanna. Lived in the year...

Cabbie: I just told someone he arranged the Mishna! Was I right?

Me: Certainly! He was the one! Live in the year two hundred...

Cabbie: Two thousand? [The words sound vaguely similar in Hebrew.]

Me: No, two hundred.

Cabbie: Ah, of course! But he arranged the Mishna...are you sure?

Me: Definitely!

Cabbie: Thanks!

And he drives off, and the bus comes. Nice, eh?

Incidentally: My synagogue changes their various cloths- the ark curtain, the reading table cover- fairly frequently. Today (whoops, yesterday) I noticed that the cover they had on was dedicated to those people from the city of Brody who were killed in the Holocaust. And I thought- my father's family was from there; most of them were killed in the Holocaust. Good to see them remembered in Jerusalem.

3 comments:

at the edge said...

Wedding @ 92

Jacob, age 92, and Rebecca, age 89, are all excited about their decision to get married. They go for a stroll to discuss the wedding and on the way they pass a drugstore. Jacob suggests they go in. Jacob addresses the man behind the counter:
'Are you the owner?' The pharmacist answers yes.
Says Jacob: 'We're about to get married. Do you sell heart medication?'
Pharmacist: 'Of course we do.'
Jacob: 'How about medicine for circulation?'
Pharmacist: 'All kinds.'
Jacob: 'Medicine for rheumatism, scoliosis? '
Pharmacist: 'Definitely.'
Jacob: 'Medicine for memory problems, arthritis, jaundice?'
Pharmacist: 'Yes, a large variety. The works.'
Jacob: 'What about vitamins, sleeping pills, Geritol, antidotes for Parkinson's disease?'
Pharmacist: 'Absolutely.'
Jacob: 'You sell wheelchairs and walkers?'
Pharmacist: 'All speeds and sizes.'
Jacob says to the pharmacist: 'We'd like to register here for our wedding gifts, please.'

Lonely frog

A lonely frog, desperate for any form of company, telephoned the
Psychic Hotline to find out what his future has in store.

His Personal Psychic Advisor advises him, "You are going to meet a
beautiful young girl who will want to know everything about you."

The frog is thrilled and says, "This is great! Where will I meet her,
at work, at a party?"

"No," says the psychic, "in a Biology class."

Lady-Light said...

Nachum, found your blog from your comment on Jameel's. Nice blog! Mazal tov on your Aliyah--when did you arrive?

Lady-Light said...

Forgot to add: your story about the cabbie was wonderful. There was a time, in the early years of the State, when bus drivers could recite the Mishna and most people were highly literate, either in Yiddish/Hebrew literature or Torah learning.

I thought those days were over, but your cabbie story was heartwarming: maybe, just maybe, we're still Am Kadosh. . .