V-Day at ABC Wednesday.
A vending machine for fresh flowers?!
Ben-Gurion International Airport has one in the arrivals hall. Honest!
Written above in Hebrew letters is "La bouquet."
Enlarge the photo to see prices in shekels.
Select the number of the bouquet you want, swipe your credit card, and the appropriate door will open.
A vending machine for holy books?!
I saw it with my own eyes at Jerusalem's big Central Bus Station.
Before you board your inter-city bus you can quickly equip yourself with a prayerbook or a part of the Talmud to study or pray from on the way.
And each book costs only 10 or 15 shekels, a fraction of the price of a bunch of flowers.
I learned about the organization dispensing the books in a Jerusalem Post article. Here is part of what it says:
"The vending machine is there because of Meoros HaDaf HaYomi, an organization dedicated to spreading the study of Judaism in general and Gemara in particular. HaDaf HaYomi has more than 500 classes around the country and publishes books, videos and audio clips on the Internet. . . .
Daf yomi means 'a page a day,' and refers to the practice of studying the entire 2,711-page Babylonian Talmud, one folio (double-sided page) at a time, in a cycle of seven and a half years, followed by many Jews around the world. Part of Meoros HaDaf HaYomi's mission is to involve more people in this enterprise."
Judaic studies and siddurim from a vending machine. . . . It makes me remember, with a smile, something from a college literature class: deus ex machina, literally, "God from the machine."