My step-father’s family lived in Israel. They were all curious about his blond, Brazilian, Catholic step-daughter so he sent me on a long visit. I was becoming too difficult for my mother to control – a complete terrorist. What better place to go than to Israel - live in a Kibbutz, drive a tractor and become independent?
The moment I arrived I fell in love with Tel-Aviv and with Shmuel, my step-father’s sister’s son. He was studying to become a Rabbi. His father was a very important Orthodox Rabbi. They lived in a plush neighborhood, in an elegant condo full of real Sabras (native-Israeli Jews) and full of more Rabbis, Rabbis’ wives and Rabbis’ children. As for their tradition? Secular. Shmuel knew I was a Goyim (a non-Orthodox Jew, a non-Jew, a nothing) but he followed me everywhere I went. I dreamed of becoming a Rabbi’s wife, follow their tradition and, maybe, even... memorize the Talmud, in the name of love.
The following week they told me that they were going to observe their Sabbath as soon as three stars appeared in the sky. They told me something about melachot; I had to be quiet - make no noise during a 24-hour period. I happily agreed to their request.
At sunset, they started praying. The whole building prayed; all Tel-Aviv prayed. Suddenly, I needed to go to the restroom. Shmuel followed me with his hungry eyes, looking at my mini-skirt. Before leaving the restroom, I flushed their "loaded" toilet – loud and noisily. I flushed their toilet… on a Sabbath! I guess all Israel heard it and I was never ever invited to their house again. From that day on I was always referred to as the Eyver, the one from the other side!