After shabbat (December 30th), the Leading Up North group spent an evening in Tiberias. The last time I was in Tiberias in the summer, they were hit with Katyushas the next day, so it was good to return to this lively city under safer circumstances.
On the bus ride to Tiberias, our LUN group leader and ROI120 participant, Elias Parker, played a CD compilation of inspirational songs that we submitted before the trip. We were asked to come to the front of the bus when our song was played so we could introduce the music and explain why we found it inspirational. When it came to my song, "Hero" by Chad Kroeger, Elias announced a disclaimer stating that he hated the song and he wished it was not on the CD, and that he was embarrassed that Kroeger was a fellow Canadian. I couldn't bring myself to claim the song as my inspirational choice after an introduction like that, so I just sat quietly. When we got off the bus, Elias grinned sheepishly and apologized for having trashed my song. I told him not to worry, and that the reason I had chosen Hero was because it was the favorite song of my younger firefighter brother who perished in the September 11 attack on New York City. I could see Elias starting to sweat, so I didn't let him suffer too long before I confessed I was just bullshitting him.
This story does have a happy ending: To make it up to me, Elias treated us to an exclusive airing of Hero on our bus ride to the airport the following week. And everyone on board sang along.