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Feb 20, 2008

Profiles in Judaism: Egged bus driver

The Egged bus line 948 runs from Jerusalem to Bet She'an in the north. According to the Egged website describing the line, it has 55 stops along the route This line runs twice a day and travels through the Shomron and some dangerous areas. It uses an armored (a.k.a. bullet-proof) bus due to the danger of some of the areas it travels through.

Todays newspaper had a story about the bus driver of this line.. (my translation)

The commuters on the bus are mostly soldiers serving on army bases in the Northern Shomron and residents of the area.

Yesterday, Avi Ivgi, the driver of the bus, relatedthat right before he left the bus station in Jerusalemthe father of a soldier came and "pleaded with tears" if I could give over a package to his son on an army base in the area (of the route).

The son's serves in the Duchifat unit whose army base is not on the route of the bus, but Avi was not deterred. "When I got near the base, I detoured from the main road, a traveling distance of 2 minutes, and I gave the package to the guard at the gate (of the base)".

The driver has developed a very warm relationship with his passengers. "I feel as if I am a father driving his children. Everyone knows everyone. There are soldiers who I drive from the day the are drafted until the day they are released from the army. The relationship obligates me."

"This is the only bus line in the area, and if I do not show flexibility, soldiers can get stuck for long periods of time." Avi Ivgi relates, "A little while ago I waited 10 minutes for a soldier who called me and asked me to wait for her to arrive, so she could go on her vacation 9from the army). I got the approval (from Egged and the other passengers I guess) and we all waited for her for 10 minutes. I have no problem detouring from my route and going up to the gate of an army base to pick up a soldier who did not have enough time to make it to the bus-stop."

Despite the dangers, Avi refuses to give up the bus line and switch to a different line. "the dangers, like shootings and stone throwing, are minor compared to the service I can provide to all these soldiers."

7 comments:

  1. It's the everyday heroes like this man who make living in Israel so special.

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  2. Mordechai Y. ScherFebruary 21, 2008 6:12 AM

    mi k'amcha yisrael, goy ehad ba'aretz!

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  3. It's someone like that that will bring Moshiach!

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  4. Neil - he will probably bring Mashiach on his bus!! (though I guess he would have to paint it white)

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  5. wow thanks for sharin that with us. i miss my countryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

    (whew it's been a while since i've been here!)

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  6. While he certainly deserves credit for the chessed that he does, it isn't a dangerous route at all. It's probably one of the safest in Judea and Samaria- ifnot THE safest. It doesn't go near any Arab towns.

    Also, as far as I know, all busses in Judea and Samaria are bulletproof.

    ReplyDelete

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