Monday, November 28, 2016

Where in the World is Yehuda?

Yehuda went through a period when he was about 6 or 7 when he kept on getting lost.

One of the more notable occasions was at a Mordechai ben David concert in Nof Ayalon. At the time, Nof Ayalon was a community on paper only. The concert was in the middle of a huge field, where a large white plastic circular structure had been erected to enclose the performance area. There were a few doors in the structure labeled either "Men" or "Women," but no one paid any attention to the signage, entering and seating themselves with no separation between the sexes.

The concert began in the early evening. The warmup entertainment continued beyond the listed time for the MBD performance and the audience started getting rowdy, throwing food and even chairs onto the stage.

Then, MBD came on stage and announced that he wouldn't begin his performance until the men and women in the audience sat separately. Well, that really heated things up. Some of the children in our group were frightened by the increasingly chaotic atmosphere and started crying, so we decided to leave.

By then, night had fallen. There was adequate lighting within the enclosure, but outside in the parking lot, it was quite dark. We exited towards the minibus that we had rented for the day, and before we alighted the bus, we took a head count and found that Yehuda was missing.

Several of the adults tried looking for him in the semi-dark and Aryeh aka Lennie was the one who found him. When we asked Aryeh how he found Yehuda, he said that he closed his eyes and said a prayer invoking Rabbi Meir Baal Haness, the Jewish equivalent of the patron saint of lost things, and when he opened his eyes, Yehuda was standing there.

Another notable disappearance occurred at the Klezmer Festival in Tzfat. During that festival, from 6:00 to 10:00 pm, there are numerous performances at various venues throughout Tzfat, every hour on the hour, with a few hundred people in attendance at each performance. At 10:00, all attendees convene in one large venue for the final concert of the night, so that the final concert includes an audience of thousands of people.

The night that we were there, we went from venue to venue enjoying the music and the lovely atmosphere. When we arrived at the venue of the final concert, we discovered that once again, Yehuda was missing. We searched the area that contained thousands of seats unsuccessfully. I then decided to return to the venue of the previous concert that we had attended.

When I got there, I saw 2 paths. The one on the right was full of throngs of people proceeding towards the mass concert, and the one on the left was mostly empty. I followed the path on the left and soon encountered a phalanx of police officers advancing towards me along with little Yehuda.

It turned out that when he realized that he had gotten separated from us, he sat down on a doorstep of a house and started crying and someone saw him and called the police.

I was so flustered and so relieved to find him, that I think I scooped him up and took him back to our group without even thinking of thanking the police.

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