Monday, March 21, 2011

Secular Jews and Gentiles using a religious Jewish Library

"Sifriat HaRAMBAM - Rambam Library" at "Beit Ariella", Tel Aviv.

Photo: Miriam Woelke


For far more than ten years, the "Jewish National Library" in Jerusalem used to be my "second home". If I could, I would have moved right in. First of all, I love books and, secondly, I am addicted to religious books and have a Beit Midrash - like collection. Talmud editions, Torah, commentaries, Rambam, Arizal, Ramchal, anything you want. 

The negative side of using the "National Library" in Jerusalem is seeing many secular Jews (e.g. professors from the HebrewU) using religious books. Not for positive purposes but to proof that Judaism is an ancient invention. What really went on my nerves are all those Gentiles creeping around. Christian theology students from Germany, for instance, who keep on looking for a proof that the Jew J. is the Meshiach and that the Jews are wrong. When I was at the "National Library" last week, I overheard a conversation between two German Christians who were eager writing about anti - Zionism by using books from Israeli professors. Without going into real sources or talking to any anti - Zionist Rabbi. And we all know what the result will be: False reports about a certain branch in Judaism told by German non - Jews !

Since I have moved to Tel Aviv, I am using the local library at the "Beit Ariella" building. In particular, the "Rambam Hall". There you find the opposite: Mainly Jews (plenty of them are religious) using the books. Of course, there are secular Jews entering as well but you don't have any eager professors running around (as in Jerusalem) and showing off with their latest publications. In "Beit Ariella", people sit quietly and actually work instead of running around like a peacock. 

The "Rambam Hall" is run by two national religious librarians and they pay attention who is entering. Now they even put a sign next to the entrance door (see photo on top):

People entering the "Rambam Hall" should wear modest clothes !

This is a wise decision, as too many women enter religious libraries who are hardly dressed. 

Pieced of advice: Those of you who live in Tel Aviv and are interested in Halacha - The "Rambam Hall" has the greatest halachic collection I have ever seen !

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