Wednesday, April 02, 2008

These are the people that you meet

Yesterday while waiting at the central bus station for the bus home, a Russian woman sat next to me and of course NS began flirting with her.

His sock was falling off, so I fixed it, saying "Your feeselach* are going to get cold!"

Aha, I could see it in her eyes and she asks me in Yiddish if I speak Yiddish.

I tell her just a little... feet, hands, cheeks, teeth, eyes, head... basic body parts I learned either growing up or remember in that one year of Yiddish class we had in high school.

She asked me what his name is and I of course reply "Netanel", to which she responds "That's not a Yiddish name!"

I told her that the more Yiddish version would have been Yonatan (Jonathan) which although is also Hebrew, means the same as Netanel and in the Yiddish-speaking crowd is used.. although for her sake I pronounced it with the Ashkenazis inflection of "Yoi-nosson".

She nodded, as if giving her approval and went back to being flirted with by a 10 1/2 month old.

Last week, was a different experience altogether.

So there we were, three lactating Mommas (me with my 10 1/2 month old, another woman with her 1 1/2 year old and the third with her 6 month old) enjoying a warm day in Jerusalem, sitting at the outdoor tables of a felafel joint.

Us with our bottles of water and our babies discretely at our breasts.

When I noticed a woman (secular Israeli) sitting at a table down from us take out her camera and turn it in our direction...

Do I give her the benefit of the doubt that she snapped a photo of the street traffic behind me? Even though she had this shocked look on her face and I didn't hear the squeal of tires and crunch of metal from some horrific car accident on the street behind me?

(And just for the record, the three of us are Orthodox Jewish women... skirts, my two friends in long sleeves, I was in a tshirt and had the baby in his wrap and we all wore our hair covered - me with a head scarf, another with a snood and the third in a (obvious) wig).

1 comment:

Leora said...

"That's not a Yiddish name!"
And fifty years ago an Israeli woman of her age might have said to a name like, say, Feivel or Hersch, "that's not a Hebrew name!"

Thanks for the link on the right. Need to add you to my blogroll. I was thinking of putting you under photo blogs, but it seems like you've been a talking mood lately...