A taxi driver in Jerusalem made me cry

In the taxi this morning – Sky smudged, the color of old hummus, eyes gritty, I took a shower two hours ago, and already I feel dirty.

I’m late to work. And I haven’t had coffee. And the dust — this cloaking, choking dust.

But then taxi driver starts laughing.

“What?” I ask my one earbud still in my ears while I listen to Red Hot Chili Peppers.

“That guy — Menachem,” he points to the driver of the taxi next to us. “He makes me laugh.”
He rolls down the window.

“Shalom! Ma kore? — How are you?” he shouts in Hebrew — his “k” hard and his “o” guttural.
Menachem in the other taxi rolls waves “kif halak?” He replies in Arabic, as he adjusts his black yarmulke.

We drive off.

“Do all the taxi drivers know each other?” I ask.

“Of course! We are family! We all look out for each other- especially when there’s war or when things are hard. When Menachem’s wife died, I came for shiva, and we break the fast together at least once every Rammadan.”

“Wow that’s great.”

“La. It’s just reality. We have to be gentle with each other. At the end of the day, everyone just wants to get home.”

About the Author
Sarah Tuttle-Singer, author of Jerusalem Drawn and Quartered and the New Media Editor at Times of Israel, She was raised in Venice Beach, California on Yiddish lullabies and Civil Rights anthems. She now lives in Jerusalem with her 3 kids where she climbs roofs, explores cisterns, opens secret doors and talks to strangers, and writes stories about people. Sarah also speaks before audiences left, right, and center through the Jewish Speakers Bureau, asking them to wrestle with important questions while celebrating their willingness to do so. She also loves whisky and tacos and chocolate chip cookies and old maps and foreign coins and discovering new ideas from different perspectives. Sarah is a work in progress.