Years ago in university I took a social psychology class in which we studied the concept of “Six Degrees of Separation”. My professor related to the class how back when she was in college, in the early 1970’s, her professor made her prove the theory of Six degrees of Separation.
Her professor gave out random names of people from random locations all over the world. The name of the person she received was a Chinese man from a remote village in China. Within Six degrees of separation she was able to directly connect to this man.
In Israel…I find myself constantly seeing a connection between myself and another person typically through two degrees of separation. Here I am in a country I moved to filled with strangers and yet I am amazed how small our country really is.
Take for example last night. I got invited to a graduation in a random town called Kadima (near Kfar Saba). My friend Noam is the head of the after school center where “the graduation was taking place. I took the 947 to Tzomet Ben Dror and from there waited for a lift from one of Noam’s friends to take me to the graduation.
The graduation ceremony and skits were sweet, simple and too the point. This after school center is free for the community and they have after school activities and events.
After the graduation was over and we all cleaned up…Noam and I hopped backed into the car of his friend who picked me up and headed back to Kfar Saba.
As we were all schmoozing I realized that the driver..Tvi… lived on the same Yishuv (settlement) as a former roommate of mine from my first year of university. He not only knew her and her husband but was friends with them.
We started to discuss Jerusalem and real estate prices here he mentioned that his sister had been looking for a place to buy in Nachlot. As the conversation continued he mentioned the name of the street that she bought and how the apt was not expensive due to the fact that the owner of it just died and had no relatives to inherit the place.
When he mentioned the details of the previous owner of his sister’s apartment it dawned on me that I had just met her around a month ago at a Friday night dinner.
“Does your sister have curly short hair” I asked Tzvi.
“Yep” he answered
“Does she work in some sort of organization here in Jerusalem and is really really smart”? I asked.
“Yes she very smart and knows a lot. And yeah – she works at the (blank)” replied Tzvi.
“Holy cow – I met your sister at a Friday night meal at a common friend’s house.”
And yet again the interwoven web of who knows who was proven to me not just once but twice in the same car ride with a friend of a friend who I had previously never met.
How small this world is… and how even smaller the Jewish world is…. and even smaller the Israeli world is..