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Suddenly Brothers

Aharon Granevich-Granot

There’s nothing unusual about two young men from different parts of the country becoming close friends. But when Ofer Shushan led his good friend and fellow yeshivah bochur Lior Alhanati to the chuppah, the two never dreamed that this act of friendship was actually a family affair.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

brothersStreams of passengers fillJerusalem’s Central Bus Station in a steady march all hours of the day. As thousands of passengers snake through the doors, the security guards on duty quickly size up each traveler, waving them in and onward. The blurred and hurried conditions aren’t all too conducive for striking up a friendship. But it’s precisely in that unlikely spot that Ofer Shushan and Lior Alhanati first struck up an acquaintanceship that would later change their lives.

Ofer, who until then had been living in Acco with his parents, had recently finished his army service and was looking for a job. One day, he noticed an ad in the newspaper calling for former members of IDF combat units to apply for positions as security guards atJerusalem’s Central Bus Station. He submitted his resume and was hired.

“As a security guard, I met types of people I had never seen in my life.Jerusalemhas hundreds of thousands of visitors, not to mention the locals. I saw them on the buses that I was guarding, I saw them on the street, and I tried to study them. You know,” he says, “security work entails a good deal of examining and understanding people, guessing at their personalities based on their behavior. A good security guard utilizes a tremendous amount of psychology to discern who is on our side and who is an enemy.

“One day I saw this boy, Lior, standing at the bus stop, waiting for the bus to Eilat. His mannerisms were so similar to mine; he even dressed the same way. When he greeted me, I thought to myself that we simply had to be friends. But I didn’t know why.”

Lior also recalls that day, and the security guard whose ponytail peeked out from under the guard’s official cap. “His face seemed familiar, somehow. There was something about the man’s face that called out to me.”

The two talked a bit, but didn’t exchange phone numbers. However, when Lior returned toJerusalemafter his travels he kept meeting up with Ofer. At every encounter, they had deep discussions, the sort of talks that further strengthened their initial bond.

Little did they dream that this bond had its roots in something much deeper than friendship; little did they know that that bus station encounter was just the first stop on a journey of discovery.  


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