Thursday, December 17, 2009

Jerusalem / Israel Stuff


In the end, Chanukkah in mostly secular Tel Aviv is more present and spiritual as I had first thought. People light their candles, even in shops and restaurants.
Usually many shops are full of Xmas stuff. Officially for Gentile tourists but the sad fact is that countless Jewish Israelis do celebrate Xmas. "For fun and a cozy atmosphere and for strange religious purposes", they claim. Nevertheless, Talmud Avodah Zarah forbids us to participate in any strange religious idol - worship traditions / celebrations. Literally, we are not even allowed to speak out a name of a non - Jewish holiday.

Hopefully Tel Aviv will remain in a more Jewish style and not get carried away by Xtian tourists and their holiday. Are too many Jews just after the money those tourists spend in Israel and don't look at their own traditions ? A Muslim would hardly do so and sometimes I wish that Jews would be at least more traditional.

The kids don't go to school this week and many people seem to be on holiday. Israelis love to tarvel and places like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are full of visitors from all over the country. Cafes and shops in downtown Tel Aviv are packed and forget about cafes: Too crowded and the line ups in front of the restrooms are unbelievable.

The same in Jerusalem: In the evenings, the Nachlaot neighbourhood as well as the entire area around the Machane Yehudah Market is attrackting many Israeli visitors. Old little cozy Synagogues, the atmosphere and the famous Israeli musician family "Bannai" comes from Nachlaot. Various groups push themselves through Nachlaot in the evening and afterwards onto the Machane Yehudah Market.

Watch out ! The municipalities are sending out the Arnona (real estate) tax bills for the upcoming year 2010. Many cities such as Givatayim (9,63 %), Beersheva (3,63 %), Kfar Saba (4,63 %), Raanana (7,13 %) or Ramat Gan (6,13 %) raise their Arnona drastically. The only place where it is going down is Rishon LeZion.
Other places like Jerusalem, Netanya, Eilat, Petach Tikvah, Ariel or Herzliya raise the city tax by 1,63 %. In Haifa, Modi'in, Ashdod or Ashkelon, the Arnona still remains the same amount as in 2009.

Believe it or not: Even anti - Zionist organisations (Neturei Karta) and other groups (Mishkenot HaRoim or Toldot Aharon) are forced by the local municipality to pay the city tax Arnona. The question is how can you, as a strict anti - Zionist, keep away from the laws and daily life of and in the State of Israel ? You cannot because you have to face real life as soon as you life in Israel.
You can refuse your Israeli ID card (Teudat Zehut), as Rabbi Yoelish Kroisz from the Neturei Karta does. However, as soon as you want to leave the country (go on a trip abroad), you have to leave Israel with your Israeli passport (when you are a citizen). And this means that you have to have a Zionist passport from the Zionist Ministry of the Interior run by the Zionist Israeli government. Yoelish Kroisz is not leaving anywhere and thus, he doesn't need a passport. Sometimes he is getting arrested as just recently when a woman accused him of attacking her during Sukkot but I assume that he is well - known to the police and therefore there is no need for an ID. :-)

Enjoy the last days of Chanukkah and be proud to be a Jew ! No matter if you are a Zionist, a Benoni or an anti - Zionist.

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