A secular woman with young children approached him and started to ask him questions.
"What did you dress up as?" — even though it's obvious. But kids always like to explain the obvious, and I think she knew that. Also, I think she wanted to know if he understood what his costume represented.
She asked him how his school (charedi) responded to his choice of costume, what activities they organized for the children, and so on.
Then she turned to my husband and said, "You know, I'm in favor of all these demonstrations."
She meant the pro-Left, anti-Torah demonstrations roiling around the country now.
We need to make peace with the Arabs, she continued. (The demonstrations aren't just about that. But like a Rorschach blotch, people are projecting their own interpretations onto events.)
Not all Arabs are bad, she said.
My husband agreed with her, but said you still can't trust them with agreements and treaties and the like. Some will never do anything to harm another. But some will act like your bosom buddy, then turn on you.
How can you know who will respond how?
Furthermore, their leadership is always corrupt and greedy, so it's certainly impossible to trust the leadership, even when individual Muslim-Arabs are trustworthy & willing.
At that point, the woman told him about her personal experience with a Muslim-Arab employee. She delivered hot meals to schools and employed this Muslim-Arab, who always acted like a total sweetie pie.
As she got to know him, she said to herself and others, "This Arab breaks the stereotype! He would NEVER do anything to harm anyone else — of this, I'm absolutely certain!"
Then she discovered he carried out a terror attack.
Can you imagine?
Your beloved, trustworthy sweetie-pie employee doesn't show up to work one day, and then you see his name and photo publicized as the terrorist who carried out a terror attack against your fellow Jews.
"You see?" said my husband.
She just looked at him pensively, then said, "Because of this, I voted for Ben Gvir in the last election."
Reading between the Lines
First of all, the woman felt intrigued seeing a little charedi kid dressed up as a soldier when charedim are supposed to be against serving in the army and so on.
Yet despite everything, little charedi boys love to dress up as soldiers and policemen — anything with a gun, as little boys are wont to do.
Also, she felt curious about how the other side lived. That's why she wanted to hear about Purim parties at a charedi school.
Finally, she holds a secular Leftist position because of the brainwashing of her environment.
However, her personal experiences tell her something completely different than her environment.
That's why she lives a contradiction of voicing support of the pro-Left secular demonstrations while voting for their exact opposite: Itamar Ben Gvir's right-wing religious-Zionist party.
In her heart, she knows the truth. But she's still mid-journey and can't quite make the leap yet.
Furthermore, she may have come across nice frum people, whether at work or in the neighborhood or baalei teshuvah within her family.
Maybe she saw something appealing or inspiring on Hidabroot.
But she has no one with whom to share her conflicting feelings. Her secular Leftist environment won't allow open & honest discussion.
So she approaches obviously frum people, presents her position according to how her society tells her to feel, experiences how the frum person both listens AND stands his or her ground in a very nice way...and then she indicates her true feelings and experiences by telling a personal story.
And clearly, she cannot tell her peers for whom she voted, so she tells a frum stranger because she's sure he'll understand.
This isn't uncommon in Eretz Yisrael.
Israelis tend to approach frum people, quasi-challenge them, and upon seeing the frum person willing to engage with them in a friendly manner, the secular Israeli starts to open up.
This happens to me more regarding their religious feelings, but as shown above, they also do it regarding their political feelings.
Simply put, secular Israeli Leftists live a confused, conflicted, repressed society.
And as odd as it sounds, the approachable frum person is the only one with whom they feel they can discuss their true feelings.
And they do.
I think it's a good sign.