We had just gotten back into the car after a brief stop to pray. My American colleague and I were on our way to visit another customer and we’re being driven there by our orthodox Jewish sales representative. Normally, he was more discrete in strictly following his tradition, but there was really no other time and we assured him it was no bother. He stood outside the car for a little while davening and muttering and then returned to the car after a few minutes.
He and I had been enjoying a steady stream of discussion topics. We spoke about the Intifada; we spoke about American foreign aid. Now we were busy comparing and contrasting religious practices thanks to his brief interruption. The third in the car hadn’t contributed very much so far, and suddenly he burst out: “Can’t we talk about something else! Don’t you two know that it’s not polite to talk about religion and politics?!” He was obviously quite exasperated by all this.
The Israeli looked away from the road at both of us to say flatly “This is Israel. What else do we have to talk about?”