There’s a Christian Palestinian owner of an auto shop in San Diego with a penchant for Jews. Or is it that Jews have a penchant for him?
Toni’s Five-Star auto shop sits on a busy street in East County of San Diego. This is part of suburban San Diego with love for cowboys, large track-homes and a lot of American flags. It is also home for one of the best wrestling teams in America (the only sport mentioned in the Torah) and to several Jewish Orthodox Synagogues. Toni is a nice guy with a Middle Eastern accent, a bushy black mustache and friendly eyes. Toni hails from Jaffa, Israel and runs the shop with the help of Jimmy, a funny guy from Boston who greets customers with a dry sense of humor from behind the front counter.
We rarely see people exert so much worry and concern for a country they came from as Jews do about Israel. Even more is the surprising length of time that Jews spent out of Israel (2000 years) and still care very much about what happens there. In America it is normal to see people have pride in their Mexican, Irish or Italian heritage while knowing very little of what goes on in the country of their ancestors and caring very little about American policy towards a place where their parents or grandparents came from, let alone the family that is two Millenia ago. But there are profound differences between Jews and Irish and Israel and Italy that I want to speak about that might make this more understood.