Monday, December 7, 2015

Israel and the Turtle Problem







There's an old joke, picking up on the amazing attention Jews seem to get in relation to other nations. It goes like this - a teacher asks a French student, an Italian student and a Jewish student to write a report about elephants.

The French student writes about the love life of elephants; the Italian writes of the foods that elephants eat; and the Jewish student entitles his report, "The Elephant and the Jewish Problem."

So, last night, I walked through the center of Jerusalem and stopped to take a picture of the huge menorah in the center of the city. These wonderful menorahs have been placed all over Jerusalem and each night, people come to light yet another candle.

As I was approaching this very popular location, I heard some noise and looked across the street into a store where there were about 7 people, lighting a small menorah and singing. That's what it was like last night in Israel and throughout Jerusalem - every few feet, another menorah lighting the holiday and brightening the day.

So, I took out my phone and began taking pictures of the menorah when all of a sudden, I saw a Ninja turtle. He moved into my view and then removed his head mask, approached and held up a sign. "Pictures - 5 Shekels".


And he asked me for money. I didn't know what he was talking about and so he pointed to the sign, "you took my picture" he said.

"I took a picture of the menorah! You were in my way!" I answered back.

"Ah, okay," he said and walked away.

I smiled...I didn't know what else to do. Why would I want to take a picture of a headless turtle? And why would I want a picture of him anyway...maybe if I had a kid with me and the kid cuddled up but I really was taking a picture of the menorah. And why would I want to pay 5 NIS because someone paraded himself into the shot I was taking?

So, there you have it - I had a problem with a turtle last night - but luckily, he kept his head and realized that it really was all about the huge menorah standing behind him.


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