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Shalom This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category.

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   While wandering down BenYehuda Street toward the center of Jerusalem, a group of friends and I decided tograb a quick bite to eat before reuniting with the rest of our group and drivingback to the kibbutz where we were working and living. All the smaller kosherdelis were packed with patrons, and having sampled the kosher McDonald's, we knewthat was not an option; the hamburger and fries just weren't the same. The onlyrestaurant not crowded was the pizzeria.

As I considered the pizzas, Iwas pleased at our decision to eat here. Greeting the workers behind the counterwith a friendly "Shalom" and telling them how many slices I wanted inHebrew made me feel right at home. The more than eleven years of Hebrew schoolwere finally paying off. All I remember about eating with my friends was thesincere joy I felt being in Jerusalem. All around us were laughter and smiles. Iwish that moment could have lasted forever.

Two days later, a suicidebomber went into the same pizzeria and destroyed it. Faces I had seen just daysbefore will never be seen again. I did not know those people, but I did interactwith them, even if it were saying only the casual "Shalom." That wordis Hebrew for hello, good-bye and peace, and it encompasses that summer of mylife. That trip I said hello to many friendly faces, and I also said good-bye tothem because of the act of one man. The meaning of the once commonplacesalutation has an entirely new emphasis, peace. Shalom.






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Copyright 2006 by Teen Ink, The 21st Century and The Young Authors Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.
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This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category. This piece won the May 2003 Teen Ink Travel Contest.





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