We Jews don’t generally believe in a hell, but if it’s out there, it’s an infinite loop of walking down Ben Yehuda street while an endless string of barely-known acquaintances from high school and various shabbatons start benign small talk with you. While we may be forced into it every once in a while, here’s a few handy tips and tricks to help you minimize these agonizing encounters.
1. Dress Smart!
Don’t wear any clothes with any names or logos of any Jewish organizations whatsoever, no matter how proud to be part of them you are. In fact, especially if you’re proud to be a part of them. Don’t let anyone know what communities you’ve been part of. It’s basically inviting a game of Jewish geography on yourself – and sure, you know you would win, but at what cost?
2. Hide In Your Environment!
Keep your face buried in your shawarma. That’s right. Stare at your feet, keep your nose in the meat. Anything to avoid making accidental eye contact with someone you met at a bar mitzvah six years ago.
3. Dress Goyish!
Or, even better, just dress like you’re from anywhere outside the American Northeast. If you’re wearing a Giants, Patriots, or Eagles shirt, swap it for a Titans, Texans, or Cardinals one, and you’ll be invisible to any Yeshiva League guys in your vicinity.
4. Go To The Shuk.
Why are you even on Ben Yehuda in the first place? Ew.
5. Pretend You Don’t Speak English Or Hebrew!
Just imagine you’ve been in a debilitating accident and have lost verbal communication! If you see someone you know, just stare at something past them and keep walking. If they call your name, don’t respond. If they tap you on the shoulder, recite anything in a non-Hebrew-or-English language and turn and walk away – a string of grunts and clicks or a bestial scream should do.
6. Blend In!
Join one of those Asian Christian dance groups performing on one of the side streets – who knows? Maybe you’ll find Jesus and set out on a journey to share these discoveries with the world. Any Jews you knew at camp when you were 8 years old should look right past you without registering who you are.
7. Become The Shadows!
Wear all black and never let anyone see your face or get to know the real you. Leave your life of walking behind – from now on, you only slink. You dance across rooftops and lurk on the edge of a razorblade. Your family doesn’t remember you. You’ve forgotten the sound of your own voice. But it’s for the best. Never again will you have to hear, “Oh my gosh, Ben?? So crazy seeing you here!!”
Yoninah, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons