Pizza (Image Credit: Wix)
A couple of days ago my daughter called down the stairs: "Clothes of winter or summer?" To which my wife replied m’atzben. This is a word in Hebrew that means a thing or a person who is both annoying and difficult at the same time. I wasn't sure if she was referring to me or the weather. In any case, we can say goodbye to the relative cold and welcome to summer. An area of low pressure built westward from the desert of Saudi Arabia over the last week and with it came intense heat. In fact, before the heat breaks, temperatures will probably reach close to 37 C or 100 F. Will folks be able to finally put away their winter clothes? If we look beyond the high heat, we see warm temperatures continuing until the end of the week. After that, June is around the corner and winter will be even further behind. I took a trip to Vienna a few weeks ago. It's a nice city, but it was my good fortune that my relatives left for the United States in the very late 1800s. If not, I would not have had the privilege of seeing my son and his class perform in his school's Shavuot presentation.
It was easy to locate the kids in the dark prior to the show — each was lit up by the light of a cell phone. If you watch people on the train no matter where you are, one has the impression that cell phones while bringing people far away close also make people who are close quite far away. Just watch a modern couple at a restaurant, showing more interest in their phones than in each other. One person who always seemed to be interested in everyone was Marvin Goodman. Mr. Goodman was the founder and owner of Pizzeria Efrat. He came on aliya with his wife and two of his children in the mid-1980s and opened up his pizzeria soon after. The pizzeria, besides serving good pizza, served as a meeting place for new residents of Gush Etzion. Since then, the number of stores and restaurants — as well as residents — has grown quite dramatically. But, this only served as a means for Mr. Goodman to expand the number of people he knew and took an interest in. In fact, besides the accomplishment of raising a family in Israel, Mr. Goodman seems to have raised an extended family. These are not only the people who came to his restaurant but those whom he simply stopped to chat with.
You see, he wasn't looking at his cell-phone, but looking for people he could say hello to and inquire about their well-being. To him, "How are you?" wasn't a saying in passing, but a means to stop and chat, and to serve not just food, but good cheer.
Image credit: The Jerusalem Herald
Dr. Lynn is a lecturer at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Earth Sciences Department. He is also CEO of Weather It Is, LTD, a company that specializes in reducing weather risk.