One thing that becomes immediately obvious being in Israel is the line drawn between those who keep shabbos and those who don’t. Religious neighborhoods do everything they can to keep cars from driving through on shabbos. Some places have fixed gates that swing shut come Friday eve. The more ghetto places have stolen police barriers, plastic fencing, and I’ve even seen uprooted trees and road signs dragged into the road for the sake of shabbos.
The most interesting fixture to me though is the screams of the Israeli kids (and by kids I mean, people into their early twenties) of “SHHHHAAAABBBBBBOOOOSSSSS” at the passing cars. I’m not sure what the purpose of this is. I have yet to see a car stop, it’s driver get out apologetically explaining how he had no idea, and how grateful he is to them for informing him of this fact. I’m fairly certain they can’t even hear the shouts, what with the engine, the radio and the thrust of a diesel engine moving them past the screams at speeds of thirty miles per hour. Really, all they’re doing is annoying me. Some of those kids can shriek.
Luckily, the shabbos patrol has hit upon another method of carrying out their duties as modern day town criers. The hurling of small blunt objects, such as rocks or unruly children. This makes far more sense to me and heeding the commandment to keep the shabbos day holy, I eagerly join in the launching of these airborne kiruv minerals. Of course, I asked about the proper way to go about this.
For starters, you have to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. If you see someone driving on shabbos, you have to assume that his wife is having a baby or someones ill and it’s a matter of life and death. That’s why before shabbos I write “Mazel Tov!” on one side of the rock, and “Get well soon” on the other. Only then do I feel comfortable delivering my message of goodwill right through their windshield.
You also have to keep in mind that not everyone is Jewish. Israel is also populated by Arabs and various Christian groups. That’s why I also wrap a few printouts of Noachide shirum around the rocks with rubber bands before launching my gift of kiruv into the driver.
Don’t call me a hero, I’m just trying to make the world a better place. Okay, you can call me a hero. Just once. Maybe twice. You know I can’t resist adulation from you.