Chanukah Sameach - NOT a Chag
I had two awesome Israeli moments today. Both were lessons taught to me by Israeli men, one wearing a kippah, the other not.
The first was given to me by the non-kippah wearing money changer behind the glass window in Modiin. I came to him with the $40 my good brother left us in the glove compartment (a take-yourselves-out-to-dinner present).
This handsome, seemingly secular Israeli took the money and said, "This is all? 40 dollars?"
In hebrew, I responded, "That's all I have."
"Do you have children?" he asked.
"Yes, I do." I wondered where he was going...
"Then what else do you need? This here," he lifted up the dollar bills, "is only paper. You have children. That is your treasure."
"You are right," I was humbled.
"People put too much emphasis on this paper. They forget what is important."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. This guy was reminding me of what is important. Amazing lessons. And all in hebrew!
The second lesson was given to me by the guy at Marzipan, the yummiest kosher bakery in Jerusalem! Located near Machene Yehuda (the outdoor market), MB and I always stop there after her physical therapy appointments which are right next door...We got our gooey cinnamon rugelach and wished the guy a Chag Sameach. Very quickly he corrected us. He told us that in Israel we say, "Chanukah Sameach" (Sameach means HAPPY), because Chanukah is not a Chag. In Israel, a Chag is a Yom Yov like Sukkot or Pesach. So we just say Chanukah Sameach. With a humble smile, we wished him a Chanukah Sameach and understood the correction.
You never know who will teach you what in this country...