A Ride With Santa Claus:

By: Tova Goldman

While it is still too early in the season, and while he is neither  part of my heritage, culture, race or religion, and while generally speaking I’m sure  his trips to this part of the world are sporadic to say the least, last night I had a ride with Santa Claus.

I was waiting for a bus when someone pulled over and with a jovial voice asked if I wanted a ride.  He told me he was heading north going to _____E.M. (perhaps on his way to the north pole) I asked him if I could have a ride to junction ___S.

“No problem.” He boomed. “Hop right in.”

Let me tell you, Santa travels in style!! We are not talking about travelling with his reindeer.  (My guess is that he left them at home, because he knew the traffic would be brutal.)  We are talking about zooming across in a 7 seater  jeep, with leather seats, and a monitor for every person.

Travelling with Santa (or his exact double), was Mrs. Santa, (who by the way is just as jovial and just as plump as Santa himself) and 2 other people.

When we were a few minutes from where I needed to get off, I asked Santa if I could get off at the next intersection.  Santa said no. He would take me all the way into my yishuv.

On the way in he found another person who was also on his way home.  Of course Santa insisted that he join the party as well.  After the initial disagreement, he got in, because what can I say? Santa drives a hard bargain.

What struck me about this man was that he was willing to make a total detour, when he still had at least another 20 minutes of driving left.  It was the end of the day, and I’m sure he wanted to get home, but he took 10 minutes out of his life for someone else.

This is not a religious message, or even a Jewish message.  It is a universal message of humanity and kindness, reminding us that we all have godliness and goodness within us.  To me, it was a gentle reminder that even the smallest acts of compassion light up the night and chase away evil.

While I know this to be a universal truth, during these dark days, it is comforting to receive proof.

So, thank you Santa for the ride and the lesson.  Whatever your name really is, and wherever you are really going, have a safe journey home