When we were young and foolish, my now-husband and I (along with another friend) spent a weekend hitchhiking through northern Israel. We were spending a semester abroad there and made up our minds to see more of the Galilee and Golan Heights than our class field trips would allow. It was one year before the second intifada and two years before 9/11. Looking back, I know we were privy to a peaceful season, a thin sliver of the young country’s history when things were exceptionally calm.
So many people picked us up and gave us rides in our weekend trip. One was a dairy farmer from a nearby moshav who knew my hometown of 4000 people (and many more cows) because he had visited it to improve their own dairy methods. Another was a thoughtful, articulate guy with red hair and a nice car who talked to us about the plausibility of a peace deal.
The most memorable ride wasn’t really a ride at all. A small truck filled with Russian-speaking men passed us several times as we were making our way to a nature reserve. The last time they passed, we watched in wonder as they stopped at the top of a hill and backed slowly down to where we were standing. The men piled out–the oldest couldn’t have been more than 25–and opened the back of the truck to show us huge bunches of bananas. With hand gestures and broken Hebrew, they let us know they couldn’t give us a ride but didn’t want to be unhelpful. And then they pushed bananas into our hands, took a picture with us, and climbed back into the truck and driving off...
Read the rest over at The Wisdom Daily.