NEVER hit a woman!
I awoke this morning stiff and achy without any desire to get out of bed or leave my house.
After walking out of my building, I remembered that I left my cellphone in the charger and went back to get it. I walked back into the house to take it and had to take a later bus than I usually take to get to work. This other bus goes through section aleph in my neighborhood in Jerusalem. I usually try to avoid buses with routes through this neighborhood because for me it’s a total waste of time and a lot more people board, mostly of a lower socio-economic level.
This morning the bus was relatively empty and except for the heat, the atmosphere was very calm. At one stop, some people got on; one was a very white and wrinkled but nevertheless robust man of at least seventy years of age in my opinion, who came to sit next to me. Instead of standing for just another brief moment, which would have enabled to me put the bag that rested on the seat next to me on my lap, he began to sit on my bag. I carry a purse for essentials and another bag for incidentals…the life of a carless person who cannot store things in the trunk. I called out to him to wait and hold on there for a second. The man turned to me in aggression with a closed fist; he pushed his forearm into me and was about to deliver a punch. I grabbed his right wrist and sunk my nails and fingers deep into his pulse points. I told the man that I would call for the police and called out to the driver to restore order, as this man was violent! He cried out that I was hurting him. He constantly shouted in Russian, of which I understood absolutely nothing. He came to me again and showed me that his skin was broken and bright red blood appeared on his arm. What they didn’t do when he was eight days old, I did this morning. My fingers, too, had blood on them. I felt like Zippora, the wife of Moses, who picked up the sharp stone and circumcized her sons. I shouted at him “That will teach you to NEVER, EVER, EVER HIT A WOMAN!!!!” A man on the bus began to tell me to be quiet but when he saw the blood and after I called out to never attack women, ALL the men on the bus became VERY QUIET! I said to the old Russian and to anyone within earshot that this should teach all of them a lesson! The old man, who sat next to a young religious, married woman, was affixed with a bandaid – just a small souvenir from the lesson.
A mature woman sat next to me and I turned to her and asked “What makes these men think that hitting a woman is a safe bet?” She chuckled and smiled at me and said “No, it really isn’t!”
This morning unfolded in a way I would never have imagined but I feel as though I actually did something for women in this country! I’m not deluding myself that I changed the world or am some kind of heroine but those people, ALL OF THEM – men and women included, will regard abuse towards women differently — including the driver of the bus!
The lessons that can be learned from this are as follows:
- Never raise a hand to anyone.
- Just because a person is polite, cultured and carries no weapon does not mean that person cannot harm you.
- Real nails are much better and more useful than acrylic tips!