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A True Funny Story with a Not So Funny Message | Shmuel Goldin | The Blogs

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A True Funny Story with a Not So Funny Message

A quick story to put a smile on your faces as you pause in your Pesach prep-but with a serious thought at the end…

Given the periodic trips that we will need to take back to the States from our new home in Israel, Barbara and I decided to finally cash in on the miles that we had accumulated on our credit card over the years.

I called the mileage plan in question to determine what we might be able to manage with our miles. A portion of the conversation went as follows-true story:

Me: I would like to arrange a flight to New York using the miles that I have accumulated.

Agent: You have enough miles for a flight with one stopover.

Me: That’s fine, where is the stopover and how long will it be?

Agent: You have enough miles for a flight with a short stopover in San Francisco.

Me: Come again, where’s that stopover?

Agent: San Francisco

Me: You’ve got to be kidding. I’m flying from Israel to New York and you want me to stop in San Francisco?

Agent: That’s right

Me: But New York is on the East Coast of America and San Francisco is on the West Coast.

Agent: That’s right

Me: Do you realize that flying from Israel I would have to fly over the entire continental United States to stop at San Francisco on the West Coast and then fly back again over the entire continental United States in order to get back to the New York on the East Coast?

Agent: That’s right

Me: Do you have a map?

Agent: No

Me: Can I have a supervisor please…

Ultimately, with a supervisor’s help, I determined that we actually had enough miles for one direct flight and we paid for another.

But in the days that followed, I wondered what kind of world we are living in where an agent tasked to assist us on finding flights could actually suggest that I stop in San Francisco on my way from Israel to New York.

Until I heard yesterday’s news. ..

Yesterday, the UN Council on human rights passed a series of resolutions against Israel-once again treating Israel a worse offender of human rights than any other country in the world.

If that isn’t ludicrous enough, one of the resolutions actually called upon Israel to recognize its responsibility to return the Golan Heights to Syria.

Do any of the members of the council know what’s happening in Syria today?

Would any other country in the world consider ceding an inch of land to a neighboring country in Syria’s current condition-even if they would consider it under other circumstances?

If this suggestion wasn’t so tragic, it would actually be funny-but it’s not funny–because Israel has to bear the brunt of this stupidity, often at dear cost!

So, unfortunately, I guess that’s the world we live in. A world in which an agent can drive a caller crazy with the dumb suggestion that San Francisco is a reasonable stopover on the way to Israel and a world where Israel has to pay a price for the deliberate “idiocy” of the world community.
I can live in those first of those worlds if I have to-but I wish we did not have to live in the second.

About the Author Rabbi Shmuel Goldin is Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Ahavath Torah in Englewood NJ where he served as Senior Rabbi for over three decades. He is past president of the Rabbinical Council of America and the author of a 5 volume set on the Torah, “Unlocking the Torah Text” and "Unlocking the Haggada." During his tenure as Senior Rabbi he led numerous missions to Israel, particularly during difficult times such as the two Intifadas, the Iraqi Gulf War, Operation Cast Lead, Operation Pillar of Fire and Operation Protective Edge. Rabbi Goldin made Aliyah to Israel with his wife, Barbara, in 2017 and currently lives in Jerusalem. He continues to lecture, teach and write in a variety of settings throughout the world. Comments