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A favourite love story

from my current reading – ‘One Palestine, Complete’ by Tom Segev, took place in the second decade of British rule in Palestine. The restrictions of Jews entering Palestine were unchanged from the beginning of the mandate. Jewish creativity often found ways around British law, including fictitious marriages.

A man went up to a Jewish taxi driver at Haifa port and asked if he was available. The driver answered in the affirmative and started his engine. “No,” the man said, “I mean, are you available? Are you single?”

The driver gave a positive answer and also agreed to board the boat that had just docked and marry the young woman trying to enter the country. The young woman was allowed to disembark with the driver. He only knew Russian and Hebrew while his wife spoke only German. But the couple remained together. At first they communicated with gestures, through movements of fingers and kisses on the lips. Little by little she learned Hebrew and he began to understand German. They grew to live in peace and harmony and love.

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