“There’s a sign for a multi-faith prayer room,” my wife said and off I went to see if it was a fitting place for shacharit. I found the room on the 2nd floor of the 3rd terminal, and walked in. Sitting down were a Muslim and a Christian.
I smiled as a few funny ‘a Jew, a Christian and a Muslim’ jokes popped into my head.
“Do you mind if I pray in the corner?” I asked innocently. I’m not sure why I asked, but I just wanted to make sure I wouldn’t disturb them. The Muslim man smiled – I took it as a yes. As I put my bag down someone came in and asked, “Are you a Muslim or a Christian?”
Guess he missed my kippah.
“I’m a Jew,” I said.
Ever wonder what went through Daniel Pearl’s head when he uttered that phrase? Not sure why, but that thought entered my mind.
“Come,” the man said, “I’ll find a quiet, secluded area for you.” I noticed his identification tag – he was the head priest for the prayer room.
I thanked him, and as I returned to the original room to get another chair, the Christian man whispered, “You know Jesus was a Jew?”
I bit my lip – probably not be the best time for a joke.
I smiled and nodded my head, “I know,” and went back to my area. As I sat down and started praying, I noticed the man had led the Muslim to another part of the prayer room. Oh well, at least we started together!
After I finished praying, I went to put the chair back and the same Christian man started talking to me, “I volunteered on three kibbutzim in the ’80s.” I nodded as he mentioned each kibbutz even though I had no idea where any of them were. He then asked me if I knew of the Crusader ruins outside the kibbutz he had volunteered on near Petach Tikva. Yet again, I had no clue … but I offered him a solution nonetheless, “Why not call the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem? I’m sure they’ll be far more helpful than I can be.” He smiled, “Excellent advice.” As I started walking toward the door, he said, “I still remember some Hebrew.”
Go on, surprise me.
I smiled. Not bad sir, not bad at all.
Uuuh sir, it’s Monday.
Now you’re talking.
“Goodbye to you too sir, take care and have a safe flight.”