"From Moshe till Moshe, there arose none like Moshe." (famous Jewish folk saying)

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The Power of the Cloth

As I had mentioned in an earlier post, I travel quite a bit. Over the course of the last 10 months, I have traveled to almost 60 cities across the US and Canada. I was even sent to Paris for 3 days (Paris is way overrated). The travel is hard on me and the family, but the way we look at it, is that we are better off than about 10% of the Israeli society who are unemployed. When traveling you meet interesting people, on the plane, in the terminals, rest stops and at the mall. You see the contrast of how people live, their different attitudes, their friendliness, the way people drive, from the West Coast, the Mid West, New England, etc. It is quite fascinating. And there is always a travel story, yes, always a story.

On my last trip, in a week I had meetings in 16 cities, 4 states and 2 Canadian Provinces. I began my trip on a Sunday morning in NY and my plan was to be in Halifax, NS for shabbos. During the week I traveled by car to communities in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, I was in Portland (stopping in Freeport on the way) and Bangor Maine on Thursday. I drove over 1,000 miles that week. Friday morning I had a reservation on the Cat Ferry which was scheduled to leave at 8:00am for the 3 hour journey to Falmouth, NS. From Falmouth, I would drive 180 miles to Halifax. I arrived at the Cat Ferry terminal gate at 7:45am and the gate was closed. I went into the office, proceeded to the desk and exclaimed, “I have a reservation on the 8am ferry.” The clerk looked at me and said, “I’m sorry sir, the boarding ramp has been raised, I’m afraid you’ll have to take the next ferry.” The next ferry I said, When is that? “Tomorrow morning sir.” Tomorrow morning wont work for me, I said. “Well,” continued the clerk, “you can drive to Halifax.” Drive, how long is the drive? “Well if you leave now, and you drive straight, you can make it to Halifax in 10 hours.” 10 hours! I though for a moment…Shabbos was at about 5:45pm. I would never make it. I needed to be in Halifax for shabbos. That was the plan.
So, I took off my Red Sox hat, which is my travel hat, and said with respect and conviction, “Miss, I am a Rabbi. I need to be in Halifax for the Sabbath. The Sabbath begins at sundown today. Taking the ferry tomorrow morning wont work for me, and driving 10 hours wont work either. I need to be on THAT Ferry. She looked at me for a moment, a moment that seemed like forever. She picked up her two-way radio, pressed the button and said, “Stan, this is the front desk. Stan do you copy?" Stan replied, "Copy." The clerk continued, "Stan, we have a Rabbi here. Can you bring the down the loading ramp?

Shabbos in Halifax was beautiful.

Yasher koach! I LOVE your posts! Keep them coming!
Yasher koach.

You seem to be assimilating one of the big rules of Israeli society: "No" never means "no." It means "convince me I should say yes, and if you are perseverent enough, my no will become a yes."
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