The time is 8:28 AM, during rush hour on a weekday morning. The Tel Aviv- bound train is scheduled to leave the Rosh Ha’ayin train station at 8:31. I approach the back of the line leading to the security check at the entrance to the station, and a few other commuters quickly file into line behind me. The line seems to a be a bit longer than usual, but is moving at a relatively fast pace.
The time is 8:29 and my fellow commuters are looking at their watches nervously, then glancing at the station clock, hoping that the train will arrive later than scheduled. At this point, I am already close to security, confident that I will make it to the platform before the train arrives.
To my left I see a young woman in her early twenties who exclaims to the patiently waiting commuters, “Excuse me, my train is coming very soon, and I hope if you don’t mind if I cut the line to get into the station!” An audible chuckle is heard along the line of commuters and some of the commuters smile at one another. One of my fellow commuters turn to the young woman and patiently explains that everyone in the line is waiting to get on the same train, which is scheduled to arrive in under 2 minutes.
The young woman, with a nervous smile, apologizes and quickly walks to the back of the line. As the train approaches, I notice that the young woman has made it past security to board the train in time.
This week I celebrated my move to Israel from the United States 14 years ago. One of the most difficult parts of adjusting to Israel was the lack of manners and order that I was accustomed to in the US. When I first moved to Israel, lines were rare and crowding, elbowing and pushing were common.
Israelis, I think you’ve come a long way. I am happy to say that today’s commute was typical in that there was order and people patiently waited in line. Sure, there are still pushers and line cutters, but all in all, despite the constant fast pace, Israeli society seems to be moving in the right direction.