When I spent a Shabbat in Holliswood, Queens two weeks ago, I took advantage of Parshat Korach during my presentation during the pre-Mincha talk to point out that the real problem with the story of the revolt of Korach is that after the swallowing up of Korach and the 250, the fire, the plague and the censers and the appearance of the cloud, the people were still non-believing in the leadership of Moshe. And, in a similar fashion today, the real problem is not bad politicians but that the vast majority of the populace lets the leaders get away. They always have the power to make things right but fail. Politicians we expect to be corrupt, semi or otherwise, but we should also have faith in the ability of the people to see through and react.
Today, while going home, I had an example of the Israeli mentality which, I suggest, shows how screwed up things are.
They are tearing up the stretch of road at the beginning of Emek Refaim and leading to the King David Hotel and some sidewalk as well. Coming from the Begin Center, I stood at where the bus stop used to be (they removed it this morning) and where there was a break in the barriers that separated the road from the reduced sidewalk. I admit, I did not see that some100 yards further towards the German Colony they had set up a substitute bus stop. And so, when the bus came along, I only then noticed the stop. I started to move towards the bus and, fortunately, it had to stop, due to the traffic light turning red up ahead, right where I was originally standing.
I knocked on the door, gestured and then shouted to the driver that I was unaware that the stop had been moved. He ignored me, staring straight ahead. Again I banged, gently, on the door and made an apologetic face. Nothing.
So, I started to step toward the front of the bus and began to remove my pen from my pocket in order to take down his license plate number. He immediately opened the door to shout at me but, despite my age, I quckly step backwards, thrust my right arm with my bag into the doorway, and took one step up into the bus. He tried closing the door on me but, like Shimshon HaGibbor of old, I pried open the doors. He then yelled at me, saying, "you think I'm afraid of you hatzaga (show)?" and I replied, "I guess so, after all, you did open the door."
He then tried to yell some more but I moved off to the back,
Now, I didn't try to stop the movement of the bus or interfere with it. The driver had stopped to wait for a change of light and for the traffic in front to move. The stop had just been altered that morning. But he had to be "in charge" over a little thing like that.
A societal trait of your average Israeli.
With that attitude, who cares about Qassams, prisoner exchanges or Eretz-Yisrael?