Photo Credit: Micah Drushal via Flickr

Kikar Hashabbat reported excitedly this week that a Haredi man belonging to the Neturei Karta sect, who sat down next to a Haredi soldier on a bus, not only refrained from attacking him, but praised his contribution to national security and even gave him a Bamba snack as a token of his appreciation.

Bamba is a peanut butter-flavored snack manufactured by the Osem corporation in Holon, Israel. It is one of the leading snack foods produced and sold in Israel since 1964, with no decline in sales. Bamba makes up 25% of the Israeli snack market.

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The Haredi soldier, who asked to remain anonymous, rides to his army base every day on the bus from a Haredi neighborhood in the city of Beit Shemesh. He said he is used to being stared at by his Haredi neighbors, who sometimes organize a noisy protest rally when he gets off the bus at home by the end of the day.

On Monday morning, a few stops after the unknown soldier had sat down on the bus, a man belonging to the Neturei Karta sect came onboard and sat next to him.

“I got on the bus dressed in my uniform,” the soldier told Kikar Hashabbat, noting that instead of being nasty to him, the Neturei Karta sat next to him, “and nodded sympathetically.”

“I was surprised that he sat down next to me at all,” the soldier said. “That he would smile at me – that was strange already…”

When the Haredi soldier got off the bus at his regular stop, he noticed that his seat neighbor had also gotten off at the same stop and was following him.

“He approached me,” the soldier described, “and he said to me: ‘Kudos to you to your service in the army for Klal Yisrael (the whole nation of Israel – DI).’ He asked me where I was serving and even gave me a Turbo Bamba snack.”

“I had never tasted this snack before, but you’d be surprised, it was delicious,” the soldier said.

“It’s clear to me that he deliberately tried to change the image of the extremists,” the Haredi soldier concluded, “Kudos to him!”

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