ח׳ לחודש השלישי תשע״ה
|Israeli Defense Forces Emblem|
So, there I was on the bus home from work, minding my own business, when a female, Israeli Defense Forces [IDF] soldier, cam and ask me if she could sit down. Normally, I would get up [without making a drama out of it], and let her sit down. But, since I was exhausted, busy typing on my laptop, and she did not fit the profile of a woman for whom I would normally get up and move for, I just sat there, and said, "Sure."
Later as I was fumbling around getting ready to get off the bus, the soldier sitting next to me asked me if I was getting off of the bus. It was a logically question, but she asked it in English.
Apparently, this soldier happened to notice that I was typing in English. So, I switched to English, too, and we had the following, very brief conversation.
Y: Oh, I guess you noticed that I was typing in English.
IDF: Yeah. Plus I'm American.
Y: Where are you from?
Y: Really? (smile) Where?
IDF: Los Angeles.
Y: (bigger smile) Where?
IDF: (smile) The Valley.
Y: (even bigger smile) Where?
IDF: (bigger smile) Tarzana.
Y: (even bigger smile) Where did you go to high school? Taft?
IDF: (smile disappears, Israeli tongue-clicking sound meaning "no") El Camino. (smile returns)
Y: (apologetically) Oh. OK. (smile) ה׳ ישמור אותך! ("May God watch over you!")
IDF: (smiles back)
Now, the point of my sharing this personal experience is not just to demonstrate that Israel, and in particular Jerusalem, is such a small world.
It is not just about how one cannot judge a book by its cover.
This is about an IDF soldier, who is also technically a "Valley Girl," as she is from the northern part of Los Angeles, known as "The Valley," and is female.
The title of this post is somewhat misleading, as the Valley Girl and the IDF soldier here are one and the same.
The stereotype of the Valley Girl, you have probably already heard about. She is concerned about what she looks like, what she is wearing, and what she is driving, who her friends are, who she is dating, and who else she knows, and which parties she gets invited to.
Of course, not all women from the Valley are like this. This is only a stereotype. And the soldier with whom I was speaking certainly does not fit this stereotype, at least not for now anyway.
Whether serving in the IDF, advocating for the People and Land of Israel, or just learning a little more about your heritage than you already knew, you, too, can find meaning the non-material realm.
This Valley Girl and IDF soldier certainly has.