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Wanted: Patient, Heroic Drivers

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
During a holiday on which we light candles, too many candles were extinguished. 4 bus passengers traveling on line 947 to Haifa, and 2 more in Ramat Gan, were killed within the same 24 hour period. Yesterday I read about two of these lights that had gone out: Yosef Kahalani, a pensioner who had worked at Tel HaShomer, left 3 daughters and 14 grandchildren behind. His wife was waiting for him by the window, expectantly anticipating his arrival in order to light Chanukah candles together. Hayley Varenberg had immigrated to Israel from South Africa and worked as an English teacher.
Chanukah is considered a holiday of heroism. Perhaps we need to reconsider the definition of a hero. We tend to think of a hero as a macho superman. But two thousand years ago, our sages determined that heroism has nothing to do with battlefield bravery or physical prowess. “Who is a hero?” Pirkei Avot asks. “The one who conquers his evil inclination”. In Hebrew, the word “heroism” comes from the same root as the word “to overcome.” Today, this is especially true on highways, where it is crucial that we overcome our inclination towards impatience and lack of consideration for others. While driving, we need to concentrate, not to run stoplights, not to impulsively switch lanes, not to look at our cell phones, and to stop and rest when necessary. In overcoming our impatience on the road, we will be engaging in a truly heroic act.


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