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Aug 27, 2008

dropping a shekel to drop your pants

Let me ask you a question. If you walked into a public bathroom, and saw a box there with a note saying you should leave a shekel for use of the bathroom - would you drop a shekel in? Let's add to the scenario - there is nobody sitting there making sure you put the shekel in. You don't even know if anybody official put the note and box up - maybe some guy just figured he can make a little money off other people with no effort.

So what would you do? Would you put the shekel in or would you use the john for free?

One day on our tiyul we had to go through Tiberias to pick something up. As we were on our way out of Tiberias, some of the kids needed to use a bathroom. A short while later we passed a sign for a public bathroom, so we stopped. There was a box and a sign in the bathroom saying that use of the bathroom costs 1NIS per person.

Us being the friars we are, we put in 1NIS per person using the bathroom. (a friar is an Israeli slang word that refers to someone who is a "loser" or contantly being taken advantage of). Some guy is probably getting "rich" off us friars who actually put the shekel in.


  1. Wow. You're so erlach you have no money left.

  2. Well first I would use the facilities. Then after I had completed the brocha asher yatzar outside the bathroom i would consider if it was worth actually going back inside to give the money.
    Since the money is probably for clean up and upkeep I would base my decision on how messy i left the place when i used it.

  3. and probably for toilet paper too, but you could always bring your own..

  4. Ya. So considering the toilet paper I would give some very small amount based on the quantity of toilet paper actually used.

    Or if I were feeling generous I would just put in the asked for amount.

  5. public bathroom? what's wrong with just finding a tree on the side of the road?

    (on the subject of public toilets in israel, do you remember the old turkish toilets?)

  6. Rafi,
    We were at the Klezmer festival in Tzfat and I was so happy to find the lovely and really immaculate public WC that I gladly paid the shekel.
    By the way - some of us can't use trees, so we appreciate a well kept facility.
    Also, the investment is more than in toilet paper and cleaning materials. Someone had to fund the building and infrastructure too. But I agree with cib that if it isn't well kept they don't deserve the shekel.

  7. LOZ - that only works for one type of bathroom need. Also it only works for guys, not gals.

  8. hey raf,

    remember our old road trips when we were little? dad never differentiated between different bathroom needs. the trees on the side of the highway worked fine.

  9. I only remember the cheese and mustard sandwiches on the back of the station wagon on the side of the road.
    I dont remember the trees.

    Anyways, sometimes they work and sometimes you just need a bathroom.

  10. we'd have to "go" between rest stops and he'd pull onto the shoulder and send us down the embankment. anyway, i got hooked on those cheese sandwiches and still eat them.

  11. I remember this place in Eilat in which the guy tried to charge me for toilet paper. I won't give you any more details than I got it without paying.

    In some circumstances I'll fork over some cash, but that was taking it too far.

  12. shaya - me too. Still my favorite sandwich (dairy sandwich that is)

    Jack - that is hilarious. Though I am sure he did not think so!!

  13. We got arrested in Poland cuz the attendant collecting the zlotys in the bathroom didn't think we paid (we did!).

  14. they should have to give out receipts!

  15. rafi - i wonder if i can guess whihc bathroom it was? Was it the one at then end of the parking lot that is just off the side of the walking mall in tevaria? We were there last week, and i proudly gave a shekel. Why not? If its legit, arent we stealing?

  16. it sounds like it might be that one. Irt was near the end of the main beachside strip of Teveria.
    I actually did not go in, but my wife and kids were impressed with how clean it was. We paid the 5 shekel total.
    If it is legit, then why not?


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