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Reply #114: GREAT PERSONAL STORY. PLEASE READ. [View All]

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Bonobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-25-07 11:56 PM
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114. GREAT PERSONAL STORY. PLEASE READ.
Edited on Fri Jan-26-07 12:32 AM by Bonobo
Background: I am Jewish, living in a very progressive town...

It was the day after Israel started bombing Beirut last year... I felt horrible, shamed...

I went to the park, I think it was a Saturday... a beautiful sunny day. I saw a large picnic of Middle Eastern people. The men were gathered around a hookah and seeing it, I felt myself wishing I could be there with them and somehow bridge the horrible gap that I felt between us and assuage some of my guilty feelings...

I approached them nervously, not knowing how they would react and I asked them if I could try the hookah. You see, I had watched how carefully they had drawn fresh water for it from the pump and it all looked so beautiful and interesting (I hadn't smoked a hookah since college -he he)

They were so friendly and soon passed the hookah to me in turn. I drew in the delicious, citrus flavored smoke as everyone asked me how it was. I felt very warmly accepted for the brief time, and asked them where they were from. They were all Lebanese...

I didn't want to risk spoiling the mood by telling them I was Jewish, but secretly and strongly wished that I could have and that right there, I could have bridged some distance...but I was afraid...afraid of their reaction and of making a scene (would they wipe down the pipe with alcohol or burn it now?)
Still, I apologized for the horrible thing that was happening to their homeland and wished them well and thanked them profusely for sharing.

Looking back, I am regretful that I felt I couldn't share with them my true identity as a Jew and I wished I could have apologized as a Jew to them.

Isn't that a beautiful, but sad story?

How easy it is for misunderstanding and dislike and distrust to fester, even among good folk...
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