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September 27, 2016 / 24 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘street’

Contemplating the Divine Together

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

We live on the first floor of a Netanya apartment building, which means that our living room panorama window overlooking the street below is about 15 feet high.

Our girl cat, Lightening, sits in the window much of the day, basking in our Mediterranean sun. She wasn’t for the move to Israel initially, but by now she’s very happy, grooms regularly and even put on some weight.

When I come home from shul Shabbat morning, around 10:30-11:00, I walk up the paved path from the street and whistle at Lightening and she recognizes me. She stiffens up, shocked at the notion that someone who is usually inside the house is now, by some unexplained miracle of science, on the other side of things.

Then she calls back, arches her back and rushes to the door to greet me. When I open the door, she’s there, demanding a thorough back scratch (and tummy).

She’s a lot like a dog that way.

But while dogs worship their masters, I believe Lightening sees me as an equal, who is sometimes frustrating when he doesn’t get what she’s asking for.

And I believe that this picture, of a cat davening alongside his co-equal, proves my point.

Yori Yanover

Jerusalem Mayor Kicks Off Arab Street Namings

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat will inaugurate a street in the Arab neighborhood of Beit Hanina on Wednesday in the name of a famous Egyptian singer.

The ceremony at 3:30pm will name the street Umm Kultum, after a beloved Egyptian singer, the daughter of an Imam, who died in 1975.

The naming is part of a project to name all streets in Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem.  According to a press release by the Government Press Office, many streets in those neighborhoods have never been officially named.  Now, 145 new street names have been approved and will be affixed to roads in Zur Baher, Beit Hanina, Shuafat, Issawiya, Abu-Tor, Silwan, and Ras Al-Amud.

Malkah Fleisher

Wall to Wall Hadassah

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Some 2000 women are in Jerusalem this week to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization. See them marching in the street of Jerusalem like a lovely, mobile poppy field.

Henrietta Szold founded the organization in 1912, to empower Jewish women, and, indeed, over the century of its existence, Hadassah has empowered thousands of Jewish women, showing the world what they can get accomplished if you just let them.

“Hadassah Zionism is broad-based, pragmatic, welcoming, and activist. It is about building bridges and uniting Jews around the idea of a Jewish State, not testing each other for ideological or religious purity on a dozen dimensions. And it is about a purifying, transforming, altruistic activism,” writes Gil Troy in the Jerusalem Post.

And looking really good!

Yori Yanover

Huge Upsurge in Anti-Semitic Attacks in France This Year

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Several attacks on Jews over the Sukkot holiday across France have exemplified a whopping 45 percent reported increase in anti-Semitic attacks in the country in the first eight months of 2012.

Among the attacks was one against a Jewish family in their sukkah by unidentified assailants.  The ten-member family, including small children and an eight month-old baby – were eating in their sukkah when a group of men began shouting obscenities at them from the street in Arabic and then hurling rocks at them.  Among the slurs was “Dirty Jews, go home” and “we’ll get you!”

One woman was injured in her back, but no other injuries were reported.  The attackers fled the scene before police arrived.

Among the incidents were 101 considered “violent”, including the heinous murder of four people – a father, his two children, and the daughter of the nearby Jewish school principal – in Toulouse on March 19.

Malkah Fleisher

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.’

Visit CifWatch.com.

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/this-ongoing-war/new-israeli-tv-series-challenges-thinking-on-europes-muslims/2012/09/23/

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