Monday, November 8, 2010

Nothing but the (Lubavitcher) Rebbe


Last Thursday, I took Egged bus no. 982 from Zfat (Safed) to Jerusalem. The bus was supposed to leave Zfat at 11.03 am and came to the bus stop, more or less, on time.
The majority of the bus passengers were religious Jews. I regard myself as religious but I didn't fit into the frum passenger crowd. Mostly Haredim including at least twelve young Yeshiva guys belonging to Chabad. Not only "ordinary" Chabadnikim but  Meshichistim (those who believe that the last Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson who dies in June 1994, is alive and soon revealing himself as the Meshiach).
It was a Thursday and the soldiers on the bus were on their way home. Also the Yeshiva guys from Chabad went home for Shabbat. The bus ride was quiet and the young Chabadnikim were discussing religious issues among themselves. 

Suddenly one of them, an about 18 year - old blond Bochur, got up and placed himself into the alleyway of the bus. 

I had seen him getting more and more nervous while he was still sitting. Then he jumped out of his seat.

He stood up and screamed through the whole bus a saying of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. "And the Rebbe says … !" He continued his "Drasha" with a Rebbe quotation about the Ge'ulah (Redemption) and Meshiach.

An elderly Sephardi Jew shouted from the back:
"Shut up ! We don't want to hear this !"

"It is very short !", the Chabadnik yelled back.

"Let him speak !" a female bus passenger shouted.

Everyone kept quiet and the Chabadnik continued with the Rebbe's quotation but wouldn't stop anymore.

The old Sephardi kept on screaming "Shut up ! Do you call this a short teaching ?"
However, the young Chabad Meshichist was so much into his thoughts that he heard nothing else but the Rebbe.

In the end, the Chabadnik asked everyone to pray for the speedy arrival of Meshiach and sat down. We all, including the bus driver, answered with AMEN and this was it.

I thought that this can only happened in Israel. That an entire bus (except for the guy sitting in front of me who listened to the music on his MP4 player) listened to a Drasha on a public bus. My second thought was that it somehow does bother me when Jews are so fanatic and don't care about other people's opinion. In fact, some bus passengers were prepared to listen to the Drasha but other weren't. Especially not because the person giving it was a Chabad Meshichist. On the other hand, it was quite brave getting up and giving a Drasha on a bus; no matter what.

Many times I am seeking for religion and religious Jews but there are also times when I am glad that I don't have them around me at a particular moment.

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