Saturday, December 3, 2011

Frum Escape to Tel Aviv


Tel Aviv = Sin City

This is how many Israelis refer to Tel Aviv. Secular, full of sins (whatever that means) and somehow weird. The real Tel Avivi doesn't care about the rest of the country but only about himself.

Then why is it that hundreds of frum Jews love to come to Sin City every Thursday night ? Usually they arrive in the late afternoon and stay until Friday noon. Afterwards they return to their frum homes / Yeshivot and don't tell their Rabbis, Rosh Yeshivas or very frum environment about where they have been. On the contrary - On Shabbat they hold Drashot (religious speeches) about how bad Tel Aviv is.

We have all kinds of frum Jews coming on Thursdays: Yeshiva guys from Jerusalem. The majority of people coming are Haredim and less national religious. The vast majority of those escapees is Litvish. Even older Litvishe Haredim. One Litvak in his sixties checks into a certain place once a month and stays for one hour alone in a room. Its his little secret and he always arrives on a local bus. Maybe from Bnei Brak. A very distinguished person and my guess is that he is a Rabbi. 

Many Haredim coming to Tel Aviv have their little secrets in life. Not everyone is up for sinning but many of them are just looking for an escape. Be free for a couple of hours without the whole society watching how you behave. Just do whatever you want and some only sit in a cafe, have a coffee and watch TV. Who can be so holy all the time ? Humans need an escape, enjoy life and not only look into holy books. We all need a balance in life and just because someone wears a black hat or a Schaitel (also haredi women show up from time to time) has to be constantly holy. 

It is not always the Yetzer HaRah getting religious Jews to Tel Aviv but the drive for freedom and living one's personality for a few hours. Just be human, enjoy a cup of coffee, take a walk, go to the beach, just do what everybody else does without being judged by one's own society. 

Without this kind of temporary escape, many Haredim would just go crazy inside their own world.


  1. ... about that, I was just reminded of a funny episode I observed in June which I believe is rather unusual: I was at Metzitzim beach and it was men's day at Nordau. There was a group of 3 haredi women just to the southern edge of Metzitzim (before the separation) going into the sea all dressed up. They seemed to be having a good laugh. After a while they went off to the pavement to wash their feet and dry off, when I couldn't believe what I saw: one of them rather young but married (wore a tichel)just took off her t-shirt! The other 2 covered her front side as she faced the beach, but for a few many seconds she was bare from the waist up while changing into a larger blouse. She was giggling like a teen-ager who does something bad. It was just a matter of the angle where I was that I didnt see her breasts by chance (I didnt see bra straps). Then off they went ... maybe they werent from TLV and the newness of the adventure was worth it ?

  2. B"H


    What I noticed a long time ago is that especially male Yeshiva students love going to the regular beach in Friday mornings. At around noon they start packing up and return to the Yeshiva. Well dressed but many times I saw them coming, taking off their black Kipot, their white shirts and pants in order to go swimming in boxer shorts.

    Israeli Haredim as well as American Yeshiva guys !!!