One of my favorite pastimes is to speak with strangers visiting Israel while riding on public transit. One day last summer I was sitting on the Jerusalem Light Rail.
Opposite me sat a middle-aged woman that I thought might be a Filipino. Upon opening up a conversation with her I learned that she was a Christian Tourist from the Philippines who came to Israel to visit the “holy sites” of her religion. Once we had established a contact I asked her the question I ask everyone who I meet that comes from outside of Israel.
“What is the most amazing thing that you’ve discovered or experienced while visiting Israel?”
Without a split second of hesitation, my sweet little tourist acquaintance blurted out: “Jews!”
Not quite clear what she was trying to say, I mean she must have known that Israel had a sizable Jewish population, I pressed her for more of an explanation.
“There are so many kinds of Jews!” she explained. Before I could ask any further questions, she continued.
“Big Jews, Little Jews, Tall Jews, Short Jews, Black Jews, White Jews, Yellow Jews, Asiatic looking Jews, European looking Jews . . . “ and on and on she went, her amazement at the diversity of the appearance (and origins) of the Jewish population of the country called Israel simply knew no boundaries.
In the hundreds of conversations I’ve initiated with unsuspecting tourists visiting Israel from around the world, the diversity of the Jewish People who live here was mentioned again and again.
What about you?