In the Kingdom of the Blind

Uplifting light rail moment.
Many of us in Israel are suffering horrendous traffic and packed public transport today due to some petty *ahem *ahem goings at the Knesset.
I’m going to balance out the road rage with some warm fuzzy “awww, Israel” moments.
Like this one moment on the light rail, after work.
It’s packed.
Anger and discomfort simmer in the air tight quiet.
We’re hot.
The barometer for the mood in the train car is pointing to thinly veiled grumpiness (or completely unveiled grumpiness).
An elderly man with a bandaged eye gets on and goes for the only empty seat available.
A moment later a blind woman is led on.
The old man with the eye bandage is the first to call over to her and insist she takes his seat.
In typical Israeli fashion she refuses, says she has been sitting down too much today.
They argue for a bit, trying to outdo one another.
The blind woman wins, her clearly strong spirit irrepressible.
When she finally gets her own seat some stops on, she’s still saying something nice about the old man who had, by then, gotten off.
She’s cheerful and mothering in that abrasive, disarming way Israeli women can be.
As she gets off she calls out as an advent to her descent, “Tzadikim, tnu li la’avor.”
And all the Tzadikim, from various religions, cultures and beliefs, listen.
They shuffle as best they can.
She stumbles by the door and catches the arm of the young soldier directly to her left.
He doesn’t detach it until she is ready to leave.
And when she does the train car is a little quieter.
And a little less grumpy.

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