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  • Writer's pictureiKonnect

The Taxi Ulpan

Everyone has an "Only in Israel" story!

Here's Rachel's story:

It was winter of 2014 and I was living in Jerusalem and needed to take a taxi to Hadassah Medical Center to pick up and bring home a 90-year-old woman who just had hip replacement surgery. The news was talking about a possible snowstorm in the next day or two and closing down the roads in Jerusalem

My taxi driver was a bald man in his 40's, with an earring in his ear. He spoke to me in Hebrew (of course) and I told him I do not yet speak Hebrew, only English. He asked me how long I had lived in Israel and I told him since August 2012. He then proceeded to reprimand me for not learning Hebrew yet and said he would teach me some words as we drove. So throughout the drive, he would tell me words in Hebrew and what they meant in English! He had me repeat them after him! Then he asked me to teach him some words in English.

An Israeli taxi car in the middle of an intersection
Credit: Kayla R

At one point I mentioned the possible snow and road closures and asked if he was concerned about it since it would affect his work. He said, no, he is not concerned, it would give him time home to enjoy with his wife and kids.

When he dropped me off he gave me a blessing to have a good life here in Israel and told me we are mishpaha (family). I gave him a blessing for a good life with his family and thanked him for the Hebrew lesson.

After all, we are family!

From this taxi driver scolding me for not learning Hebrew and then teaching me as we drive, to his choice to be home with his family if snowed in and not worrying about the money, to the blessings we gave each other.

This is just one of the so many experiences here in Israel that have touched me deeply!


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