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Meryl Danziger
Author, Educator, Creator of "Music House"

Band-Aids on Shabbat

This morning I got a nice, wide cut on my thumb and realized I was out of Band-Aids. On a Saturday—Shabbat—few stores would be open, so I shmeared some Bacitracin on the cut, hoped for the best, and headed out the door toward the weekly dancing at Gordon Beach. On Yarkon Street, a few blocks short of my destination, lo and behold, one little market was open. With the displays of tangerines, candy bars, toys and flip-flops, Band-Aids seemed an unlikely commodity, but with my thumb whimpering pitifully, I had to try.

Inside, the proprietor stood chatting with a fellow in Arab garb. They stopped talking and looked up. “Excuse me, do you have Band-Aids?” Their faces fell ever so slightly. “Or maybe just one Band-Aid that you could give me?” “Hassan,” snapped the proprietor, and with a mere toss of his head sent his jalabiya-clad friend scurrying toward one of the shelves. Shading his eyes, Hassan craned to see the upper shelves. “Down, down!” shouted the proprietor, and Hassan dropped his gaze. From the lowest shelf he selected two boxes and brought them back to the cash register.

“I’ll take the little one, thanks,” I exclaimed eagerly. The proprietor picked up the box, opened it, and began to take out a Band-Aid. “No, no, it’s okay, I can buy the whole box!” He looked up and our eyes met. Pausing for a moment, an inscrutable expression on his face, he methodically extracted two Band-Aids and proffered them with an outstretched arm. “Oh no, really… I’m happy to buy the box… I just meant…” Hassan stood grinning at my discomfiture. The proprietor was not about to give in. “Nu?” he said with some impatience. Gushing profuse thanks and apologies, I accepted the Band-Aids.

So overwrought with gratitude that an emotional meltdown seemed imminent, I thought it wise to leave quickly. But back on the street I got to wondering: What became of the open box of Band-Aids? Did the proprietor discard it, gift it to Hassan, put it in a drawer for future use, or stick it back on the shelf?

I have a pretty good idea, but that would be a whole ‘nother blog post.

About the Author
Meryl Danziger grew up in NYC. During her time living in Israel Meryl pursued a career as a violinist, and taught at the American International School in Kfar Shmaryahu. Returning to NYC, she taught at the Little Red School House in Greenwich Village. Meryl’s career continues to reach into every corner of music from performance to education to writing. Her presentation at the 2019 Carnegie Hall Summer Music Teachers Institute explored a cornerstone of her Music House approach: teaching through relatable imagery. Her book "Sing It! A Biography of Pete Seeger" (2016, Seven Stories Press), the first bio of Pete for young readers, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, and has been a feature of numerous festivals and radio appearances. Several of Meryl’s city blogs have appeared in the New York Times “Metropolitan Diary.” A published songwriter, her original songs, stories and plays are regularly performed by children of all ages. Her articles on education and music education have appeared in NEA Today as well as in Homeschooling journals nationwide. .
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