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April 29, 2016 / 21 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘street’

Postcard from Israel – Mazkeret Batya

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

There are not many places in the Middle East (or in Britain, for that matter) in which one can still find an old fashioned British red telephone box with a working phone. In Mazkeret Batya, south-east of Rehovot, there is exactly that – a remnant from the days of the British Mandate – on the main street of the moshava, next to the museum.

Originally named Ekron after the Biblical city, the agricultural community was established in November 1883 by ten immigrant families from Russia who were joined the next year by eight other families. The moshava changed its name to Mazkeret Batya in 1887 in honour of the mother of Baron Rothschild who, at the request of Rabbi Shmuel Mohilever of ‘Hovevei Tzion,’ had purchased the land upon which the community was built.

Now a fast-growing  town, Mazkeret Batya retains many of its delightful original buildings, some still with the terracotta roof tiles and original timbers imported from Europe, including the ‘new’ synagogue built in 1927, the original well from 1883, the Rothschild farm building (now a community centre), the smithy, the pharmacy and original cow sheds since converted into cafes or houses. A feature exclusive to Mazkeret Batya is the ‘Kazramot,’ or dwellings built with a cow shed on the ground floor and accommodation for the farmers above – in order to get round the Ottoman prohibition of the time on house building for Jewish immigrants.

During the war of Independence, Mazkeret Batya served as the site of a field hospital for the injured from battles at Latrun and a starting point for convoys to besieged Jerusalem. One of the old armoured vehicles takes pride of place at the end of ‘Route of the Convoys Street.’

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Hadar Sela

Toldot Aharon: No Imposed Gender Segregation in Mea Shearim This Year

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

The Toldot Aharon hasidic group says it will not enforce gender segregation in the streets of the Jerusalem religious neighborhood of Mea Shearim over the Sukkot holiday.

Thousands of people will stream through the streets during the holiday, as visitors, on their way to other locales in Jerusalem, or on route to the Old City.

The group came to an agreement with Jerusalem police and the city municipality not to impose gender separation, or to put in place ushers to guide men and women to different parts of the street, according to a report in Ynet.  A fence to maintain order will be erected for the large Simchat Beit HaShoeva celebration and water-throwing ceremony, but will not have any impact on the mixing of men and women on the street or in the area.

Gender segregation in Mea Shearim and other Jerusalem neighborhoods has been imposed by religious leaders in the past, including separate entrances to various zones.

Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that police must act to prevent gender separation on the streets.

Malkah Fleisher

New Israeli TV series Challenges Thinking on Europe’s Muslims

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

An extraordinary four-part television series is unfolding in Israel, called Allah Islam, which deals in a unique and extremely effective way with the mutual interaction of European society and Islamic immigrants.

This is a tense and highly loaded subject, one that can easily be ruined by an overdose of political commentary or pandering to prejudices. Only three of the four parts have so far gone to air, so it’s unfair to judge the whole work yet. But for us, what we have seen so far constitutes a compelling instance of first-rate reality television. Unfortunately, it exists only in a made-for-Israel television version. So there are no English or other sub-titles, and the audience is assumed to have a basic grasp of an Israeli viewpoint.

The series, “Allah Islam”, is a collaboration between Israeli film director and journalist David Deri (he’s interviewed at length in this Haaretz article from September 12, 2012), and Zvi Yehezkeli who is Israeli Channel 10’s senior news reporter on Arab affairs.

Yehezkeli speaks Arabic well, and the series follows him as he meets – from very close up – Muslims on their European home turf. His interview subjects appear to be at ease in his company, believing he is a fellow Moslem, a Palestinian film-maker, and providing him with access to their candid opinions in ways that it is hard to imagine European or American film-makers ever achieving.

What emerges can be startling – even shocking – to those of us accustomed to smooth-talking community representatives explaining the disturbing aspects of what passes for everyday life in today’s Europe.

Even for viewers lacking familiarity with the Hebrew language, the scenes of Yehezkeli doing street interviews in Malmo, Sweden, in Paris, in Brussels, in London and especially in Luton will be understandable enough. He goes into mosques, is invited into private homes, walks around with young Muslims who open up to him and to the viewers. Once the series is repackaged with subtitles in European languages, it’s likely to have a significant impact on the public discourse about the effects on European life of the massive, and growing, immigration of Muslims and the wrenching changes this is causing in Europe’s cities.

Those who want to see Islamophobia in these programs will find it. But for our taste, the film-makers have done a serious job of allowing the street and its people to speak for themselves without imposing their judgments or clear conclusions.To be direct about this – overall it delivers a very deeply disturbing picture: Yehezkeli finds no shortage of immigrant Muslims who heap scorn on the societies that have granted them shelter, unemployment payments, lives immeasurably more safe and comfortable than those they left behind. There are religious leaders here, not suspecting the man with the microphone is an Israeli, who speak directly into the camera in support of terrorism and terrorists. Even some of the migrants for whom Yehezkeli has obvious feelings of sympathy who confess without embarrassment to lying and subterfuge in order to get what they need from their European neighbours.

Two small vignettes to watch for:

*A young Belgian Muslim describes (Episode 3, at 23m 20s) with utter disdain the education he received at a Belgian Catholic school. To the appreciation of his buddies sitting in on the interview, he mentions some of the totally useless pieces of learning (“stupid things”, he calls them) the system forced him to accept: washing hands after going to the toilet, for instance. He was born in Belgium. So were both of his parents. It was the grandparents who made the transition from Morocco to give their children a better shot at a good life. Three generations into the process of European acculturation and the grandson – disenfranchised, alienated in his native land – burns with zeal and indignation. He seeks to bring his parents back to the true religion.

*Another young Belgian Muslim describes (Episode 3, 22m15s) in good English how he and his friends seek to provoke anger among their non-Islamic neighbours by very publicly praying in the street or in front of the famous Belgian Atomium monument. Provocation, he calls it – over and again. They do this because of the effect, he tells the camera.

Below are links to the Hebrew-only versions (we don’t know of any others at this point) of the first three programs in this excellent series. They might not remain online much longer, so we want to recommend to view them while you can. Each runs for about 45 minutes.

Frimet and Arnold Roth

Iranian Woman Strikes a Few Blows (and Kicks) For Freedom

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Reported:

Iran Cleric Pummeled by ‘Badly Covered’ Woman After Warning

An Iranian cleric said he was beaten by a woman in the northern province of Semnan after giving her a warning for being “badly covered,” the state-run Mehr news agency reported.  Hojatoleslam Ali Beheshti said he encountered the woman in the street while on his way to the mosque in the town of Shahmirzad, and asked her to cover herself up, to which she replied “you, cover your eyes,” according to Mehr. The cleric repeated his warning, which he said prompted her to insult and push him.

“I fell on my back on the floor,” Beheshti said in the report. “I don’t know what happened after that, all I could feel was the kicks of this woman who was insulting me and attacking me.”

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Yisrael Medad

Iranian Cleric Pummeled After Telling Woman to Cover Up

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

An Iranian cleric who warned a woman to conform to standards of modesty and cover her eyes was subsequently beaten so badly by the offending (and offended) female that he spent three days in the hospital.

According to a report by Bloomberg News, Hojatoleslam Ali Behesti encountered the woman on the street in the town of Shahmirzad.  When he told her to cover her eyes, she began insulting and kicking him.  Behesti called it “the worst day of my life”, and said he had to be hospitalized as a result of his injuries.

Malkah Fleisher

The Impact of Anxiety On Children In The Classroom

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Tuesday afternoon, 1:30 p.m.

Pinny is a fourth grader in Mrs. Spitzer’s classroom. The class is doing a math lesson – its long division. Pinny loves math, so he’s giving Mrs. Spitzer his full attention.

“Now class,” Mrs. Spitzer intones, “what do we do after we subtract 7 from 9?” “Bring down the 4,” answers the entire class in unison.

O.K. I know subtract and bring down, but haw does it start again? Oy, I’m never gonna be able to do this. We have a social studies test on Thursday on 40 pages in the book. 40 pages!!! How am I gonna study 4O pages?

“On to more examples. 653 divided by 9.”

Pinny glances down at his math workbook, and is surprised to discover that he has written nothing in the spaces for the answers to numbers 1,2,3, and 4. As he glances around the classroom, he sees that everyone’s workbook is filled except his. As he quickly glances at Chaim’s workbook, which is on the desk next to his and fills in the answers, he feels so frustrated.

“What s wrong with me,” he wonders.

Test Taking Anxiety

Thursday Afternoon, 2:30 p.m.

Pinny feels nervous. He studied the material a few times with his mother the night before, but he is not sure he knows it well. He couldn’t eat breakfast or lunch properly so his stomach is rumbling and his mouth feels dry.

“Keep your eyes on your own paper” says Mrs. Spitzer firmly. “Turn your papers over and you may begin.”

Pinny turns his paper over and looks at it again and again. None of it, nothing seems familiar. “Maybe I got the wrong test, “Pinny thinks to himself. “Let me take a look at Chaim’s paper. I hope Mrs. Spitzer doesn’t notice. Nope. It’s the exact same test. I don’t get it I studied hard last night? What happened?”

And as he watches everybody else busily filling in answers on their test paper, he frantically tries to recall something, ANYTHING, from last night’s study session. Pinny sits there feeling truly helpless and wondering “what’s wrong with me?”

Following Instructions/Comprehension

Friday Morning, 11:45 a.m.

Pinny is exhausted. He barely slept the night before worrying about taking the bus to go to his grandmother’s house for Shabbos. This would be the first time he would be going there straight from school.

The Rebbe is speaking to the boys, something about bus changes.

“O.K. boys, listen up. We have new drivers on the buses, and the routes have changed slightly. I’m going to read your name and bus number. After that, I want you to pack up, and wait on line until I dismiss you.

“Berkowitz, Benoliel, Cahan, and Davis, bus number 41. Ettinger, Friedman, Ganzweig, and Gewirtz, bus number 42.”

I hope Bobby prepared my favorite chocolate cake. I hope she remembered that the cover that she usually keeps on the bed is very scratchy and itchy. I hope she changed it to the green and blue one.

Mommy thinks I’m big enough to take the bus all by myself. I hope she’s right and I don’t get…

“Pinny,” a deep voice interrupts “Everyone else is packed up, on line, and ready to go.”

“Right Rebbe, I’ll be really quick .Which bus am I going on again?” Pinny hears the rebbe audibly sigh, as he repeats the instructions for the bus.

Memory

Friday afternoon 12:10 p.m.

Pinny gets on the bus headed to Flatbush. He feels a bit queasy, but he has reviewed the route so many times with his mother that he’s pretty sure he’ll know where to go. After frantically searching through his knapsack, he realizes that he has misplaced the address.

O.K., so I’ve been to Bobby’s house before, I’ll just wing the address from memory. Is it 1427 East 37th street, or 1437 East 27th street. Which one is it? I can’t remember. Which one is it? Let me think…Let me think…. O.K. I know my friend Simcha lives around the corner from Bobby, and he lives on East 28th street, so its gotta be…Whewl Here’s the paper with the address stuck in the pocket of my folder. East 27th street here we come!

Chaya Sara Stark

A Hose By Any Other Name

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Residents of Du-Pia Street in Rehovot, Israel, recently petitioned their City Hall to change the name of their street, which they believe is not respectable.

The unusual name commemorates an old term, indigenous to Rehovot, describing a local… garden hose.

Du-Pia means a two-mouthed hose, which, way back when, was considered a technological achievement significant enough to justify naming a street after it.

Don’t belittle the magnitude of this time saving invention. Using a hose that points in two opposite directions at once saves half the time when watering one’s lawn. In a country where it is crucial to water the lawn while the air is still cool enough, so the water won’t evaporate as soon as it leaves the hose, this is a big deal.

“I think the name is derogatory, we deserve a street named in honor of a great Zionist leader, or a fallen hero,” Du-Pia Street resident Israel Sela told MyNet.

Another resident added: “I think it’s a badge of shame to the municipality. Never mind that we were not included in picking the name, but now, after so many complaints, we’re yet to receive a satisfactory answer.”

The City of Rehovot’s response was: “Indeed, there was a request to change the name of the street, the subject has been discussed several times, but the motion to change the name was voted down every time.”

Some elected officials consider the name to have historic value, which is why they refuse to let it be changed.

You see, there is a local dispute among several towns and villages, including Givat Brenner, Kvutzat Schiller, and Akron, over who deserves the credit for the invention of the name.

“Differences of opinion around the street name have not been resolved to this day,” concludes the note from the Rehovot municipality, which is, incidentally, home of the Weizmann Institute of Science, where many useful inventions are added every day.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/yoris-daily-news-clips/a-hose-by-any-other-name/2012/08/24/

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