I listened anxiously to all the lessons and waited for lunch break at one. Then finally the bell rang. It was time to talk and have fun.
In the lunchtime I met a new friend who wore a hijab on her head, and though I am Jewish, we got along fine, and I was so relieved when she said, “Sit with us, at our table.” She pointed to the one next to the door.
So I agreed, and took my tray and was about to walk with her across the floor, when suddenly I felt a nudge. “Hey, I saw you on the bus,” said a tall girl in a long skirt. “I see your Jewish star necklace. You should sit with us.”
At that moment I looked around, and that’s when I noticed, to my surprise, The nations of the world, isolating themselves. That’s what I saw through my own eyes.
The Spanish only sat with Spanish, the Hindus only with Hindus, The Russians always with the Russians, and never the Arabs with the Jews.
I saw the reason why war gets started. Everyone sticks to their own kind. The lunchroom was a map of the world. Why was everyone so blind?
And so I turned down this girl, and went with the first, and there was no enmity. I built a bridge between two worlds when I sat with those different from me. Hope you will do the same.
By Sharon Fleischer