Where the unexpected happens

I took my gals into town to buy a cell-phone. On the way back to the car, an elderly man said to my youngest daughter, “What will happen in the summer?” This comment was perhaps inspired by her spaghetti strap top. “Excuse me??” responded her big sister. No big surprises here; neither the comment nor my kids’ ability to respond is out of the ordinary. But, wait for it; here comes the surprise. Someone else joined in the conversation — a young man in a black suit and a black, velvet kippah (that was code for “I assume he’s Orthodox). “Do you want to press charges?” he asked my youngest. He’s a member of a cadre of people employed to keep the city welcome for all. “No one has the right to comment on your dress,” he declared and checked with her again if she wanted to press charges. You could have knocked me over with a velvet kippah.

(This piece is an excerpt from a longer essay, “Are we there yet?“, which was published by the Times of Israel in 2017.)

Helen Gottstein

Posted by Helen Gottstein

Helen Gottstein is the proud owner of Loud and Clear, יעוץ תקשורת , a communication training business that works with top executives and others on their communication and presentation skills. She blogs on the Times of Israel on business, women and liberal Jewish values.

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