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חיפוש בבמה

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מדורי במה







נועם סמואל
/ Day of Atonement

Before that day, I had never fasted on Yom Kippur. I was
always too secular, too tethered to life, too cool to even
consider fasting. Sure, I didn't watch television. Sure, I
didn't drive; no one in Jerusalem did. But fasting on Yom
Kippur was beyond me. Even as a teenager, when I went
through all phases of religiosity, I never did fast. Not
until that very day. However, on that specific Yom Kippur,
September 16, 2002, I walked out of my house with neither
food nor water. Something was different. I wasn't becoming
spiritual or anything, but throughout that last year I've
asked myself many questions I couldn't answer.

My steps echoed loudly in the empty stairwell of my
apartment building. It was very early morning, even for the
religious. My hands fingered the wall slowly as I
reflexively reached for the light button, but then I
stopped. If I wasn't going to eat, I most certainly was not
going to use electricity. The door opened with a creak - I
should have asked the house co-op to fix it - and I was
outside. The gentle morning air, cool but not cold, touched
my face. That day was going to be hot, and for a second my
determination to go without food or drink until sundown
wavered, but I had decided.

The street was empty, all the cars were parked and most
pedestrians and bikers were still asleep. I started walking
in the middle of the street, remembering the days of my
childhood in which I used to run up and down the road on Yom
Kippur. With no cars on the road, it seemed as if we had
once again conquered a territory that was long held by an
enemy faction, the cars. For one day the streets were ours
again, and the cars were gone. There was a certain measure
of gloating in running down the middle of the road.

But when I became an adult my view of Yom Kippur changed. It
was no longer a ''holiday'' as much as it was a pause; it
was one day for me to truly stop, think, and say sorry. I no
longer went out to the streets in joy, gloating at the cars,
because I was one of them, one of those people driving on to
work, not noticing their surroundings. Well, not on Yom
Kippur.

I walked past the Ministry of Health Building and turned
into a side alley that led me to Ben Zacai road. I looked to
my right. If I were to walk down that path, turning right, I
would go to the same place I went every day for the last two
years, to the Gonen neighborhood, one of the most
crime-ridden neighborhoods in Jerusalem. I had dedicated too
much time to reducing crime in that neighborhood to forget
it, even for one day. Immediately the details of the latest
case rose to my mind. The most likely suspect, Asaf
Ben-Sheva, was 17 years old and...

No, I shouldn't work on Yom Kippur.

So rather than go down the road to Gonen, I turned the other
way. I had no clear purpose in mind. I gazed back for a
second at the blinking yellow traffic lights and then
continued walking away. My stomach started to growl for
breakfast. I hadn't eaten the traditional meal before the
fast. But that didn't matter. I continued.

And then I nearly died.

I jumped aside just in time for the bicycle to pass me. It
stopped and the cycler got off, throwing the bicycle aside.
In my panic it took me a moment to recognize him. Tan,
unnaturally slim and barely muscular. I stared at the face
of Asaf Ben-Sheva, the prime suspect in the Gonen drug
trafficking case. His face twitched slightly as he helped me
up - I hadn't even realized that I was lying on the road.

''Hey, old man,'' he said. I wiped some dirt off of myself.
''Where are you going?''

I was startled. Where was I going? ''To the Wailing Wall.''

I did not expect myself to say that, but when I did I knew
it was true. Like many of the residents of Jerusalem, I had
never been to the Old City, let alone the Wailing Wall.
Those places took on a rather mythical air, especially on a
day like Yom Kippur.

Asaf looked at me for a second, concentrating, and then his
expression changed. ''Well, then, why don't we go
together?'' He threw his bike to the side of the road. I
hesitated. Why the sudden change of mind? Did he want to
keep an eye on me? I felt myself almost instinctively
turning back towards work, back towards Gonen, but something
stopped me. For one day I wanted to be free of those
concerns, and yet...

''Come along,'' I replied.

We both started walking, leaving the bicycle behind. I
wondered why Asaf didn't bother taking it, and whether it
was even his to start with. The street was still silent, but
some people were walking around in it already. Some of them
went to the nearby synagogue; others had little intention to
do so. I tried to decide whether or not I could tell who was
fasting by the look on their faces. It was not easy. As I
thought of that I returned to my uncomfortably grumbling
stomach, and wondered whether it was too late in my life to
start.

''Do you fast?'' I asked. Asaf grumbled and then shook his
head, patting the bulge in his pocket. It was not the first
time I noticed it, and wondered whether it could be a gun,
but I decided it couldn't. Guns were hard to get, and a
knife would be almost invisible and just as deadly. Could it
be that he was telling the truth, and it was just food?

Maybe even criminals stop on the day of atonement.

No, I thought. I shouldn't be working today.  I turned my
thoughts instead to the Old City, to the wailing wall, and
to the Shofar, a tusk horn that signals the end of the fast.
How grand, I thought, it would be to hear that sound after a
day of fasting, the sound that told me I could eat and drink
again. And then I would celebrate the new year. The idea of
enduring Yom Kippur seemed like a test of character as much
as it was an act of self-punishment, and the end of Yom
Kippur began to seem almost mythical.

The sun was already glaring by the time we reached Emek
Refa'im, a major street with many shops, and Asaf seemed as
if he were itching to go faster. However, I couldn't help
but stop and stare. The street wasn't empty; people were
walking along it, some of them probably on the same
pilgrimage we were undertaking. All the stores were closed,
and I suddenly realized I was never near this street on
Saturday. But even on Saturday there would be a one-off
store that would stay open in a place like that. Not on Yom
Kippur; on that day there was not a thing open. Besides, on
a regular Saturday there would be cars, not people, in the
streets. I suddenly remembered that children's song, ''It's
not so fun to see a closed kinder garden''.

Asaf looked irate. ''You coming?''

I stared at him blankly for a moment. When I stopped, an odd
lethargy overtook me. I didn't really want to move; my legs
felt weak. I was vaguely aware of my thirst and hunger.
Finally, Asaf started walking and, sighing, I went after
him.

Eventually, we arrived at a small park. A fountain stood in
the middle, but no water was running. This was not an
uncommon sight in the city of Jerusalem, which was, if
anything, poorly maintained. I sat on one of the benches,
rusted with peeling paint, and took a long breath. I was
feeling weak, and I could not think clearly. More than
anything, I wanted to arrive, to see this mythical place
where all my problems, it seemed, would be solved. In my
mind I saw celebration, and togetherness, and safety. I
thought of hearing the Shofar and knowing it's over.

Asaf sat next to me and took a sandwich and a bottle with
apple juice out of his pocket. He looked at me for a second
and then said, ''you want some?''

''No thanks,'' I replied, ''I'm fasting.''

He gave me a hard look and began eating. I envied him. I
wasn't exactly hungry, and I couldn't bring myself to eat
even if I wanted to, but I knew that eating would end my
woes. It didn't matter. I wanted to see the fast through.

The sun shone harshly and I couldn't help but think of the
cool shade the stone walls of old Jerusalem must provide. I
wasn't sweating, but I felt unnaturally warm, and my
breathing felt odd.

''Let's continue,'' I said, surprised at the irritation in
my own voice.

''Brother, let me finish,'' he said. I paced around, and
then sat on the ground. I didn't have enough energy. He
looked at me for a second and stowed his food back in his
pocket. ''Are you sure you don't want any?'' he asked. ''You
don't look well.''

''No, no. I'm fine.''

We continued, going past a side street (Asaf said it was
shorter) and onto a bridge and then near the Jerusalem
Cinematek. Everything seemed blurred, general and unreal.
The only thing that was real was our destination.

When we got to the Jerusalem Cinematek, I looked up and saw
it. There it was, the Old City. All the images of salvation
flooded my mind and I began running. I could feel Asaf
behind me, struggling to catch up. I heard his words but
nothing registered. And then I felt to weak to run, and I
stopped. The world began spinning and I was on the road
again.

Asaf rushed to me, ''Should I call a doctor?''

I nodded. I could hear the sound of his cellphone and then
the sound of his voice, but I couldn't identify words.

Then he returned to me, ''You'll be all right. An ambulance
will be here any minute now, I'll just get you to the side
of the road.'' He began dragging me until I bumped into
something solid, and then we both waited. ''Old man...
Inspector Moshe?''

''Yes?'' I muttered weakly.

''I'm sorry,'' he said.

''You are excused. Gmar Chatimah Tovah.'' And with that I
finally went out.



The next thing I remembered was waking up on a hospital bed.
Asaf and a doctor rushed over to me.

''Are you alright?'' Asaf asked.

''I'm fine,'' I said, feeling a slight headache.

The doctor then started lecturing me about my condition,
using words like ''hypoglycemia'', ''extreme dehydration''
and "Pikuach Nefesh". But I wasn't really listening, because
somewhere in the distance I heard someone blowing the
Shofar.







loading...
חוות דעת על היצירה באופן פומבי ויתכן שגם ישירות ליוצר

לשלוח את היצירה למישהו להדפיס את היצירה
היצירה לעיל הנה בדיונית וכל קשר בינה ובין
המציאות הנו מקרי בהחלט. אין צוות האתר ו/או
הנהלת האתר אחראים לנזק, אבדן, אי נוחות, עגמת
נפש וכיו''ב תוצאות, ישירות או עקיפות, שייגרמו
לך או לכל צד שלישי בשל מסרים שיפורסמו
ביצירות, שהנם באחריות היוצר בלבד.
ביטלג'וס
ביטלג'וס
ביטלג'וס!!!


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תרומה לבמה




בבמה מאז 15/10/08 1:20
האתר מכיל תכנים שיתכנו כבלתי הולמים או בלתי חינוכיים לאנשים מסויימים.
אין הנהלת האתר אחראית לכל נזק העלול להגרם כתוצאה מחשיפה לתכנים אלו.
אחריות זו מוטלת על יוצרי התכנים. הגיל המומלץ לגלישה באתר הינו מעל ל-18.
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