Israel blog: The 11th Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Jaywalk

Israelis are an unusual bunch.

They will cut you in line, they will honk their horns on the street, and they don’t have a second to wait for anything.

But at a street intersection, when the little red man flashes signifying “no walking,” they will wait at the corner. Even if there are no cars within miles, even if it’s the middle of the night on Shabbat in Jerusalem, they will wait at the intersection until they are told to walk.

As a Chicagoan living with a New Yorker, it’s hard for me to grasp this. Sure, it says not to walk, but there are no cars! We have plenty of time! Why wait? We’re in a hurry! And to make matters worse, in Israel there are often two or three crosswalks with different lights within one intersection; so you have to wait for one light to change, walk, then wait again, and walk again. It’s time consuming.

But, as I’m trying to do as much as I can on this trip, I’ll do as the Israelis do. If you’re looking for me in Jerusalem, I’ll be there, in the middle of the intersection, waiting.

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2 thoughts on “Israel blog: The 11th Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Jaywalk

  1. During my year in Israel, I ignored that Israelis don’t jaywalk and took every safe opportunity to do so. Inevitably, as I crossed the street, the rest of the people who had just been standing there would look a little shocked (“that’s possible?”) and then hurry to follow me across.

    I felt like Moses parting the Red Sea.

  2. Haha, Lia talking about other people not jaywalking. It’s great to see that progress really can be made. Good for you. šŸ™‚ I miss you!

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