If you live in the Negev and want to see a lawyer, an accountant, or your daughter-in-law in Tel Aviv, you can get there in a shiny new train. If you don't have money though, you have to take a bus to “The New Central Bus Station”. It's been new a few years and already looks run down; it looks like a war zone, or like Haiti after a tsunami--but never mind. Let’s say you can afford the train, and get off at the shiny new Haganah Station, ride up the escalator, and zip through the turnstile.
Now you have to turn right or left. If right, you can see the towers; if left, you crash into a slum and trip over what looks like a drug addict asleep on the street. You brush yourself off and bump into a Somalian family of nine, and there's hardly an Israeli in sight. You can’t move, so you say “excuse me” and push, gently, since you have to meet your daughter-in-law and her children [who can’t afford the train] at “The New Central Bus Station”.
You are at least partly to blame: you didn't help your daughter-in-law buy a train ticket.
There’s another thing you should have done:
Someone's Girlfriend; one of the respected citizens, a scholar at The Hebrew University, is a great champion of the Tel Aviv Somalians.
This Girlfriend came to your grandson’s brit mila, and you did not call her to task; you thought of doing that some other time.
Anyway, the Girlfriend went ahead and wrote a PhD dissertation on ways to make Somalians more welcome in your country. The dissertation gained so much popularity among Europeans that Oxford University invited this kind young girl to present her ideas, and now she develops her thoughts at a prestigious university.
You don’t see her around anymore.
photo credit: Joe Beitz