Me and my Uzi

Posted on May 13, 2014 in Church, Footnotes
Me and my Uzi

In Israel less than 12 hours, and already had to deal with an Uzi…

My first two nights here are in a hostel in Jaffa (Joppa in the Bible). Apparently one difference between a hotel and a hostel is soap. I needed to have my own bar. Huh. So I went up the street to the “Super Market” (see photo!). Lots of processed food and a little alcove in the back with dry goods.

I’m in the alcove looking for soap, when a young fellow comes in, starts taking off his shirt, and says something that sounds like, “My name’s Mark.” So of course I respond with, “I’m Steve.” But then, as he’s putting on another shirt (turns out he works there and he’s dressing for work) he says, “You don’t speak Hebrew, do you?” So I figure his name probably isn’t Mark…

He explains the work thing. I find the soap, and take it to “Mark” at the counter. He asks me, as a lot of strangers have, where I’m from. California impresses him, but then he goes deeper. “What do you think of Israel?” I give the line about it being the location of my life-long faith stories, but he’s moved on: “Do you think Christians and Jews can get together on religion?” Well, of course I do…

Turns out his father is “a big rabbi” but he’s been going to churches, and reading the “New Bible” (Testament) –twice through so far, but he’s going for fifty.  Fifty! He got a Hebrew New Testament from the Messianic Jews who run the very hostel where I’m staying. The one without soap.

“The truth,” he says, “The truth, she is the truth if she come from Jewish religion, or Christian, no?”

Yes.

I encourage him on the 50 readings of the New Testament (while pondering when he’ll pass me – my guess is soon). He gives me a quick tutorial on Israeli coins, of which I now have some. In parting, he asks my name.  “I’m Steve,” I say. Again. “And your name?”

“Uzi.”

And before I think, like a dolt, I say, “Oh, Uzi like the gun?”

“Like the gun, yes. But shoot the gun, no.” (He has apparently been reading the New Testament.)

Ah, but this Uzi is a straight-shooter nonetheless. Thank God for that…