Updated: May 5, 2021
Everyone has an "only in Israel" story, here is Kayla's story.
During my first year living in Israel, with very little Hebrew or Israeli tact, a friend and I spontaneously decided to spend a Shabbat with a host family we didn’t know in a small community in Gush Etzion. The organization Anywhere in Israel sets up many students and young adults living in Israel with families throughout the country, for an Israeli Shabbat experience.
That Friday, we had been running late and caught a bus from Jerusalem, praying to make it in time before Shabbat began. After sitting anxiously through most of the bus route lost in a new city, we asked the bus driver in our broken Hebrew if he knew where we were meant to get off of the bus. He asked us the name of the family hosting us, and we told him our whole story of not ever having actually met them.
With a huge smile, and in his broken English he exclaimed ‘They are my next-door neighbors! I will drive you to their door, don’t worry!’ With only minutes left to sundown, our bus driver drove us to the driveway of our Shabbat hosts, with door-to-door service.
He waved and said ‘Shabbat Shalom’ to our host family as they came out to greet us. We then watched as he parked his large Egged bus on the grass right next to us, got out, and walked home right next door. ‘Don’t let me drive back to Jerusalem without you girls tomorrow night. See you after Shabbat!’ he called out to us.
I definitely got the Israel experience I was looking for, and I have been here ever since!