As many of my friends know, we’ve had a unique opportunity this year to reconnect with a student of mine from Churchill High School. It just so happens that he’s a professional basketball player for Hapoel Jerusalem. Yeah, it’s been wild.
So, of course, as Purim started to roll around, my two little guys decided that they had to be Jerome Dyson. We went to the Hapoel website with plenty of time before Purim and ordered up two jerseys.
|This is what the jersey looks like. But this one is mine - hands off little people!|
And then the waiting began.
As the date for them to dress up approaches, they are getting more and more nervous that those jerseys just aren’t going to make it in time. We’ve had a few meltdowns about it already, but there isn’t much that I can do except to keep calling the Hapoel office and keep begging the post guy in Neve Daniel to miraculously find those jerseys.
We aren’t known for having the best post office on the planet, and when I go back each day (during the one hour that the post office is open) the guy keeps laughing. Still looking for those jerseys, huh? And I would laugh with him, if it weren’t getting to be a dire situation and if I didn’t have the sneaking suspicion that those jerseys are buried beneath the 12000 boxes of Better World Books and other packages that he has in that disorganized, tiny space.
So, today, with four days left before the grand meltdown, I called the Hapoel office and sent them an email. I got a quick reply to my email, with Uri explaining that they mailed the jerseys six days ago. He gave me the tracking number and he told me that they should definitely be in our post office.
I was impressed with his quick reply, and sure that the blame now sits squarely on the shoulder of our postman.
Then, this afternoon, I received a phone call.
“Romi? It’s Uri from Hapoel. Did you check your post office?”
“Well, Hi Uri!” I said, giggling just a bit in surprise that he had called. “I can’t check until tomorrow, because, well, you see, the post office was open from 7-8 this morning and then they aren’t open again until tomorrow night at 6. So I’ll be there tomorrow to check.”
“Are these jerseys for Purim,” he asked.
“Yes. Yes, they are Uri.”
“Ok,” he said, as he became a man with a plan. “When do they want to wear them?”
“So, the kids want to wear them to school on Friday.”
“Ok Romi. Here is the plan. When you check the post office tomorrow night, if they aren’t there, then you call me Wednesday morning. I’m going to get two more jerseys in the right sizes and I’ll have them waiting for you in Jerusalem on Wednesday. Can you get here for them?”
“Uri,” I said. “I’ll go just about anywhere if you’ve got those jerseys for me.”
We both had a good laugh about that and the lengths that we will go for Purim, and our kids.
“Ok Romi. Call me either way on Wednesday morning. We will make sure those kids have Hapoel jerseys. Ok? Ok!”
I hung up smiling from ear to ear. While this was great customer service, I knew that his call wasn’t about looking good or about customer service. It was about Purim and about the absolute joy, almost zeal, with which Israelis approach this holiday. And how precious they understand that it is to the children in our tiny country.
I’ll let you know how our “Only In Israel” story ends in a few days. But I'm guessing that it's going to end with a few happy little Jerome Dysons.