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It seems that ‘getting caught in the jaws of the law’ can work both ways – at least in Israel…

            Criminal lawyer Sh’adi Kabha was sitting in court waiting for his client’s case to come up. Spying a familiar face before the bench, he jumped to his feet. “Listen, I know the defendant from Jaffa and I can’t understand why a charge sheet is called for here!” changed the Israeli-Arab attorney charging into the breach, since Kabha had no standing in the case whatsoever…  The barrister was more or less ‘in contempt of court,’ but the judge decided to chuck the rules out the window and indulge the impulsive intruder, telling Kabha to proceed.

            The lawyer told the bench how the defendant had gone to a restaurant in a Palestinian-controlled area with a friend. In the meantime, someone backed into his car; a bystander offered to get the damage fixed on the spot, at a local Palestinian garage, but when returning to Israel, the defendant had been stopped at a checkpoint and promptly accused of breaking the law. He was merely the victim of circumstance, pleaded Kabha, and had no intention of buying spare parts from a Palestinian garage.*

            Hearing the circumstantial evidence, the bench chose pursuit of justice over judicial procedure, and adjourned the case for two weeks. The judge made it clear to the hapless defendant (and the state’s attorney) that in the interim he hoped the Attorney General’s Office would be wise enough to drop the case.


* Prohibited as part of a last-ditch measure to combat wholesale thief of Israeli cars (at a rate of 30,000 a year in 2001, now down to 21,000 in 2011) that are taken to the Palestinian Authority areas and stripped down to parts that are then resold to Israelis at cut-rate prices.



Kobi Sela, a public relations manager for the Gal Oren ad firm that caters to the religiously observant is marketing neckties for religiously-observant men on the side, under the “Tie di di dy” label, advertised as suitable for any special occasion – provided the wearer has a healthy sense of humor.

The designs include motifs from well-worn matzoh ‘stripes’ motif for Passover, to a burnt match  or a fire extinguisher or bonfire for Lag B’Omer* and a Ben-Gurion tie on Israel’s Independence Day.   

            They’re yours for 99 NIS ($26) a shot.


* Lag B’Omer is explained here.



Forty-four year old taxi driver Michal Shor from Ramat Gan doesn’t chew the ears off her passengers, and thanks to a wire mesh divider, her clients don’t chew her ear either. 

            Four years ago, the enterprising ex-veterinarian’s assistant opened Israel’s one and only pet ‘limo service.’ Because she doesn’t own a taxi medallion, Shor is only permitted to pick up passengers on all-fours without their owners.

            Like pet chauffeurs elsewhere, she ferries dogs and cats to the vet, to the pet salon, to their owner’s favorite kennel…or to their own funeral when requested. But Shor’s willing to fulfill even the weirdest of requests…including a moonstruck couple in the middle of taking wedding pictures hours before the chupah, who suddenly couldn’t bear the thought of not having the family Rottweiler in some of the shots… They called Shor.

            The plucky and no doubt incredibly lucky sabra agreed to fetch the Rottweiler (who didn’t know her at all) from the couple’s flat, and returned the dog at the end of the shoot. 



A practical nurse decided to augment her modest salary as a hospital staff member by moonlighting on the side.  Was she making house visits to elderly patient in the evenings?  Administering insulin shots to the home-bound?

            Nope. The truly versatile fifty-year-old grandmother was apprehended behind the wheel of a getaway car for a thirty-something accomplice caught red handed breaking into cars in a Tiberias parking lot.

            The off-duty nurse said lamely that she was just passing by and hadn’t a clue how stolen property and cash got into her vehicle. 



Everyone knows about the geniuses behind Iron Dome’s technology – oft compared to science fiction-come-true.  What few know is that the people behind this Israeli technological feat aren’t just Rafael engineers; they come in all shapes and sizes  - including ten mentally-challenged adults in a sheltered workshop run by the Ministry of Welfare that subcontracts piecework from the prestigious advanced defense systems firm.


            The participants, individuals in their 40s are engaged in tasks such as carefully counting, sealing and labeling exactly 100 special screws and other small parts in little plastic bags, screwing tiny screws into metal plates, and separating into bundles strands of thin black wire that the participants have dubbed “doll hair.” Yet, no one here feels like a nameless cogwheel in a big system.  Quite to the contrary, being part of the Iron Dome team, doing their small part on such an important national defense project, in work that demand absolute precision with no room to screw-ups on quality assurance due to their disabilities, has become a tremendous ego booster for the sheltered workshop