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The Nicest People in the World

By Tzvi Fishman
2/7/2011, 12:00 AM

I love Israelis. I think they’re the nicest people in the world. Let me give you an example.

Because of my many sins, my car started to complain, so I had to take it to the garage for some “tikunim,” what people generally call repairs. Having to do something in town, I hopped on a bus. Was I in for a surprise!

First, let me preface what happened by saying that I haven’t traveled on a bus for a long time. Having a car, I don’t need to go public. So when a man, who was probably a little older than me, stood up in the crowded bus and kindly offered me his seat, I was stunned! Declining his considerate offer, I walked along deeper into the vehicle when a soldier stood up and offered me his seat as well.

“What is going on here?” I wondered. The last time I was on a bus, no one offered me their seat. Then I realized that time had passed, and I now had a long grey-white beard, and though I still felt 30 years-old inside, I now looked about 3000.

Once again I declined the polite offer. As I moved further along the double accordion bus, a teenage girl stood up to graciously offer me her seat. Not yet being an official senior citizen with a Jerusalem Municipality Senior Citizens card, I turned down her offer as well. Beside me, a young Ethiopian fellow graciously gave up his seat to a woman with a baby carriage and baby.

Offering a lady his seat.

You see, Israelis are very polite and considerate. So, if you happened to get an elbow in your side, or your foot stepped on during your last visit to Israel, chances are you deserved it, just like me with my car.