I need to tell this story, this is awesome. I decided to take an evening bike ride over to Bene Brak, I hadn’t had the chance to explore that city at all yet.
The ride over is relatively easy, you cross over the bridge from Givat Shmuel and BOOM you’re in Bene Brak.
It’s like entering a new world. Where Givat Shmuel (from what I can tell) is relatively secular, with the university and what not. Bene Brak is CHARADI. Not that I have an issue with that of course but it’s kind of an interesting culture shock, part of which has to do with that this is the first time I ever went to another city via bike. I’ve only gone in some kind of gas-guzzling transportation before.
Anyways, I exited what’s known as the “Coca Cola Bridge,” made a right and just decided to go straight until I decided to turn back.
I think I caused some questions as I rode past. I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt with my tzitzit expertly tucked into my back pocket. I have a friend, fellow blogger Frum Satire, who has this happen to him in Monsey. There the kids are asking “nu, a Yid?” No such question in this country!
Let’s just say I attracted quite a few stares.
The best part of the story happened somewhere along this road. As I was riding I was assaulted by a Chassid looking for a tenth guy for a minyan. I would have been happy to stop except I was not exactly in the right attire for davening in such a chashuv place.
“Lo Chashiv,” I told him pointing to my shorts.
He said it wasn’t a problem and directed me into this tiny little shteeble wedged between two apartment buildings.
When I got inside I realized another problem with this situation. I removed my helmet and discovered that (as I usually do while biking) I did not have my kippa.
The guy standing next to me noticed and immediately handed me a kippah. Who said Charaidim weren’t kiruv ready?! I do think the guy was thoroughly confused though, he probably thought I was some chiloni guy, except the tzitzit was throwing something off. Tzitzit, but not kippa, usually it’s the other way around.
So that was my first trip into Bene Brak. Next trip will be to track down, what I hear, is the best Shawarma shop in the country!
Pics are here, more shots of that magnificent Israel sunset: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=9400&l=fccf2&id=299900444