One People

Achdus is Hebrish for “unity”.

The Maintainance Engineer

I think I told you that I moved into a new medical building.  So Sunday morning, bright and early, I got to work and met the guy who maintains it.  He startled me at the drinking fountain. (The place has a real drinking fountain, can you imagine?)

Whoah!  I shout.  Who are you?

He tells me his name is Al and he’s the janitor.  He’s about 86, a big guy, looks Jewish, glasses as thick as my car.

Well, hi Al.  How are you?  Nice to meet you.  I’m new here.

(He’s holding a few things, a box, a hammer.)  I’d kiss you, he says, but my hands are full.

Now these days that would be considered sexual harassment, for sure.  But I happen to know that for his generation, I’d kiss you, but was just a nice way of saying hello.   And although it did make me a little uncomfortable, I knew he didn’t mean anything by it.  (Or am I way naive).

So we could take this to mean, It’s a shame he wasn’t frum, a frum guy wouldn’t say such a thing (or would he) OR we could say, What a cute, charming old guy and isn’t it a shame people can’t talk like that anymore.

You want to know what I said back, don’t you?  Don’t you?

Same thing I tell patients who want to hug, etc.  “Let’s keep it professional, okay?”  Big smile, of course.

lovingly yours,


September 4, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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