"The Hurva Synagogue Prayer" by Zayan Sechel, March 2012

Disclaimer: All characters presented here are product of fiction. Any resemblances to real characters are of a pure coincidence. No intention was made to insult anyone for any reason.

AN: This story is an act of fiction. No one should attempt to act in the same manner as described.

AN2: None.

Summary: Jerusalem's Western Wall - known also as the Kotel - is the last remnant of the Temple destroyed by the Romans in the year 70 CE.

The Hurva Synagogue Prayer

In a second-graded restaurant in Jerusalem, Israel, in very close proximity of Shamai Street, Dr. Rafeeq Ogunbaboon and Dr. John J. Oparia were discussing problems of Bialy Moses Party, one of the newest but prosperous political parties.

"Hundreds of thousands of workers have been brought to Israel via this system over the years …", John wanted to burp, his lower lip oily and greasy, sunshine reflecting from it, "… thereby making hundreds of millions of dollars for their foreign and Israeli agents." He noticed a sexy lady and made a sound with his tongue as if taming the camel. "Israeli manpower companies have pocketed thousands of dollars for finding workplaces for foreign workers, in violation of both Israeli and international law."

"Really?" Rafeeq shuddered as more IDF soldiers entered the restaurant, throwing some wild looks in their direction. It gave him the creeps and the whole restaurant looked creepy as well.

"Oh, yes." John checked on his party's reaction, then continued. "Although the authorities were aware of these breaches …", some glass broke outside and some women cried out, complaining, "… they did nothing - in part because some of the manpower company owners have strong political ties."

"What about other parties though? …" Rafeeq swooped his spoon, enjoying vanilla pudding with a mild taste of nutmeg.

"They concentrate on minor problems of this great state." Some IDF soldiers threw inquisitive stares in their direction. "To date …", sound of police sirens disturbed the air outside for a while, "… a combination of heavy pressure on the part of farmers and manpower companies …", some IDF soldiers left, clearing throats as if wishing to draw attention to themselves, "… alongside bureaucratic foot-dragging …", police arrived on the site and started to beat some kid that was just an innocent by-stander, "… has prevented the agreement from being implemented …", kid dug his teeth into policeman's thigh and then ran away, blood dripping from his head, "… and it does not seem that this is about to change." Policemen were still furious so they continued to beat women that were standing beside the broken glass. One of them was a potential threat to the world peace. "Once it seemed near implementation …", John finished his food, enjoying the after-taste, "… two dodgy manpower companies intervened by petitioning the High Court, claiming that the agreement would infringe on their freedom of employment." He checked visually on Rafeeq and Rafeeq for a moment thought something was place in his pudding. Perhaps some kind of a drug. He became suspicious of John, but continued to eat, not wishing to offend IDF soldiers that continued to monitor on their movements. "Representatives of farmers and manpower companies also met with IOM officials in an effort to persuade them that the agreement would fail."

"Who is in charge with all this … business?"

"You mean … the slave farms?"

"That's right." Rafeeq licked his spoon, enjoying the spice.

"Haim Hadidi, the Israel Farmers Federation official who is in charge of dealing with foreign workers. He has villas all over Eilat."

"Prostitution?"

"Nobody can tell." Black woman in short skirt passed by outside, winking at numerous tourists that had fat swinging over their bellies as they moved along over the cobbled stone.

"How about household slaves though?"

"Hassidic approved the idea but Haredi Jews refused to accept it since their relations with SAR would worsen …"

"Weapons trade?" John made an affirmative nod.

They watched some military jets boast over Jerusalem, scaring excrement out of some American-looking tourists that probably had high insurance policies.

"But … large plantations might also have household slaves."

"Part of a package?" Rafeeq finished his pudding, his eyes sparkling. Pigeons outside looked as if they were made of various shiny colors and … smiling as well! Rafeeq grinned at the thought, realizing they got him, after all.

"Feeble way of Modern Orthodox Jews to imitate the power of Haredi Jews …" John wished he could let the wind out from his back, but restrained. A parrot started to sing behind the bar area. "These domestic servants would prepare the master's meals, … tend the house …", some African-looking tourists shot some glances in their direction, not able to see them due to sun-reflecting glass outside, "… prepare for guests, and …", John grinned at two teenager girls that were speaking Arabic, "… sometimes look after the master's children as well." He made some clicking sounds with his tongue, examining contents of his wallet. "Household slaves are often treated better than plantation slaves." Rafeeq made a slow nod, examining John's wrinkled forehead. "They usually eat better and …", more IDF soldiers left, winking in their direction, pointing to some young girls, "… were in some cases considered part of the extended family."

"The … extended family?"

"Yes. Mishpocha. Israeli 'cream' …" He winked at Rafeeq, paying the bill to the waiter. Waiter bowed and then left, pleased at the extended tip.

They continued to walk outside, watching some obedient, skinny men pick up remnants of the broken glass, bleeding women being treated by the ambulance, tourists throwing inquisitive looks at them.

"Some urban merchants and artisans employ slave labor in their shops." John looked at young girls that were setting up some hanging tourist paraphernalia outside of their shops. "This enabled slaves to acquire marketable skills." Rafeeq placed hands at the back, wishing he had used that restaurant's restroom facilities. "In fact …", John avoided some fast bicycle rider, cursing after him since he was Muslim, "… white craftsmen often displayed strong resentment, believing the price of their labor would suffer." He threw another look since the boy stumbled upon some fat tourists and buried himself into his fat, trying to avoid the police, grinning artificially and bowing his head curtly. "Generally …", John was pleased immediately since there was some justice after all in the Holy City, "… slaves that live in towns have greater freedom than those that live on the farm."

Pigeon pooped on John's shoulder and he looked up. Rafeeq started to laugh silently, his white teeth protruding out like ebony.