These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

[Jerusalem Medley] Three Unlikely Falafel Men

Posted on November 2, 2013 by Candace Mittel

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

About Jerusalem Medley


Three Unlikely Falafel Men

I encountered these three men eating falafel together at a little place on Yafo. The story below mainly centers Barak (on left) who spoke to me in Hebrew, and although I understand Hebrew fairly well, his friend and “PR person” Adam (on right) insisted on translating every few sentences into English for me, so the Barak monologue you will read is Adam’s translation, not mine. The man in the middle is Daniel, who spoke very little Hebrew. Adam originally told me that Daniel is from Jerusalem, then later admitted that Daniel actually came to Israel from Ethiopia only two years ago. Adam relayed to me that Daniel did not want to share any more information. Daniel sat, listening, smiling, eating his falafel, just as they were all doing before I approached them. I call this “Three Unlikely Falafel Men.”


I am from Jerusalem. Everything is more difficult here. It could be much easier. Building, working, you have so many taxes and stuff, and everything is just raising and raising and so difficult! And even if you finish the army and stuff, it’s very difficult to find yourself a means of economics. I did the army, yes. They didn’t. We are all from Jerusalem originally. I know him [Barak] because long time we used to work together in security, and now we opened an advertising and marketing office. He is in the Likud, and I am promoting him. I am like the PR for him. It’s more than that. I am giving him a full package – the website and everything.

He [Barak] have a special point of view about what should be changed in Israel referring to sick people and disabled people. Everything he is aiming for is from that point. He’s doing that because he have a problem with the kidneys. So he knows the whole area since he was a boy. He will tell you about it.

Barak (through the lens of Adam’s translation):

My vision is that all the sick and disabled people will have rehabilitation. If they rehabilitate their life, then they have option to work and to live in dignity with normal salary. And feeling better about themselves. There is people that live in the streets, and we should put them in proper places. Because there is disabled people everywhere, you can see that – look I’ll find you one, I can find now! Disabled and ills – I want to give them work. And they will go with an escort of government to find a proper and suitable work and training, and then they can go back to the work market. To find them proper training where they actually want to do it and they can do that.

I’m working on a paper, a document actually, that is uniting the general society and the leaders of the different communities, including Rabbis… the goal is to promote my vision – to help the sick and disabled people in Israel. Also, the disabled and sick people who cannot work, they should have all their rights, and at least they are going to get a salary of 5,000 shekels to find a proper apartment, clothes, food, and that they will not be in the streets as we see today. The plus is that a disabled person who has kids is gonna get 5,000 plus the income for the kids, so it doesn’t take away from him.

I come up with a plan. It is very unique. As far as I know, it doesn’t exist anywhere in the world. It’s very, very special. It’s a mall. A mall that’s suitable for disabled people. And the mall and office building, together in one, will be reachable for disabled people. The thing is here – it’s not just to buy, it’s to work in also. For example, a disabled guy who wanted to work in a clothing store, don’t have the option because in the wheelchair he cannot get there. But the disabled people here in my mall can be the customers and giving the service. In my mall.

If you want, you can join me on the facebook.

Be’ezrat Hashem, I will succeed in this project.