Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Sikarikim in Mea Shearim



Yoelish Kroisz from the Neturei Karta and Sikariki himself is anything but a popular person in Mea Shearim.The message of the video is that different Mea Shearim inhabitants have becmme more violent in their actions.

I think it has something to do with the recent attitude that many Haredim just want to be better and stricter in their Halachot and Tikun Olam than others. Halachot, Halachot but the question is if G - d accepts such a behaviour and whether these people who want to be so holy don't rather cause a "Chilul Hasham - Desecration of G - d's name".

Mea Shearim: The Sikarikim in Action

B"H

Less than a month ago, the haredi site KIKAR.NET published a video recorded by the security camera of the bookstore "Or HaChaim". You can see a guy first trying to break in and, later on, he is destroying the glass door.

To me, the guy somehow looks Chabad with his Kneitsch in the hat but I may be wrong. I heard that the store is owned by Gerrer Chassidim and Mea Shearim is not too excited about Chassidut Gur. 


Link:

Photos from Beit Warsha

The Haredi World this Week (Parashat Shoftim)

1 Woman, 1 Mission, 7 Noachide Laws

B"H

 Raziela Harpaz from Chabad (Lubavitch) explains the importance of the "Seven Noachide Laws" to Gentiles. It is important doing that, as most Gentiles don't know about these laws. 

Realistically speaking, I don't think that Raziela Harpaz is having too much success at the Kotel (Western Wall), as believing Christians don't want to hear about Noachide Laws. 

The cozy NEVE ZEDEK in the middle of Tel Aviv

B"H

Plenty of photos and information regarding the oldest part of Tel Aviv, Neve Zedek and surroundings, will follow ! 

The Neve Zedek neighbourhood is located inbetween office towers and the sea; right off Allenby Street and behind the Shalom Tower (Ahad Ha'Am Street). Tourists have discovered the village - like peaceful neighbourhood and keep on streaming in. Restaurants and cafes have opened up and, due to iits enormous popularity, prices went up. Neve Zedek is worth a visit and very beautiful with its old renovated houses. However, if you are a tourist, watch your purse, at it is not cheap having a snack there.



Hard to believe: On one side of the street you find huge office towers and on the other side is the entrance into Neve Zedek. Two completely different worlds.







Copyright / Photos: Miriam Woelke

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Israel's wealthy but brainless Barbie Doll Teenagers



B”H

Every year after the summer vacation, school starts on September 1, and Israelis make a big fuss about this date. Schools start their summer vacation around the end on June, and I am referring to secular schools and not the religious ones. The religious school systems works in a different way and the summer vacation period is much shorter. Additionally, there exists a further vacation difference between haredi and national religious schools.

On the days before September 1, the secular press and parents are freaking out. The papers compare prices of the student’s equipment such as pencils, bags, notebooks, pens and even computers. The press usually loves to take some rich kids from northern Tel Aviv and compare them to poor kids from other parts of the city, from Bat Yam or Ramle. Something like “Where did you spend you holidays and what kind of new fancy clothes are you going to wear on the first school day after the summer vacation ?” You can surely imagine the answers. The rich kids spent parts of their vacations abroad. In New York, London or Paris. The poor kids were at home. The rich kids have fancy clothes with brand names, the poor wear 10 Shekel (2,5 Dollar) shirts.

Unfortunately, we are all so terribly used to this in Israel. However, what I saw on TV a few days ago, was extremely frightening. Girls about 12 – 16 years old were changing their looks such as a new hairstyle, skin treatment by professionals and I don’t know what kind of further beauty stuff. Expensive and totally unnecessary. Even the TV journalists couldn’t believe their eyes how wealthy Israeli teenagers just strive for beauty. Beauty means everything in their lives and it seems to be the only thing how they can make a career or gain something in life. Now it is not only a new school bag or expensive clothes to show off with on September 1, but the wealthy need a new look.

To me, those kids made a sick impression. An empty life run by artificial ideologies. You don’t need a brain but the most expensive pair of jeans. This alone counts.

What a sad and sick life they have. I was shocked that this is happening in Israel. How will the future of our country be with such stupid Barbie dolls ?

Chabad: Pros & Cons

B"H

I have been in touch with Chabad for many years and going to the group's Shiurim was my first contact with Chassidut. Chabad Rabbis were always praising their Chassidus as the most intellectual of all groups. I heard this opinion many times when I was still looking into other groups. Especially into Satmar. However, I have never become a Chabad member, as I like to be "free" and go a little here and there. I am not such a firm person following only one Rebbe.

Chabad for me was always like a home or a shelter because the Shluchim are just everywhere. When I was in Germany or in Brussels for Pessach, one e - mail to Chabad and I was invited. There didn't exist a "We are booked" or "You cannot come". Chabad has space for every Jew and one doesn't even have to dress up too much. As far as I am concerned: Chabad is the only group where a woman can walk in wearing pants.

(There is one Chabad place in Jerusalem where you may be told by the Shaliach that you are not welcomed and may be even told to leave. I was told by other Chabadnikim that this particular person does have a problem but I don't know how Chabad is dealing with it)

Once I went to the Chabad Synagogue in Rashi Street in Bnei Brak. Still outside a asked a little boy for the women's entrance and he showed me a door men and women use. However, inside the behaviour was very different from all the open - minded Chabadnikim I have had experienced so far. Or in other words: I found it very strict. It was Kabbalat Shabbat and there were only two more women. The men prayed downstairs and we were sitting at the Ezrat Nashim upstairs. Then the service was interrupted and the men took an hour for studying. Not in Hebrew but in Yiddish. This was very unusual for me hearing a Chabadnik talking in Yiddish. Most Shluchim (many English speakers among them) I have met so far sometimes even struggle with Hebrew let alone knowing Yiddish.

There are things I like about Chabad and there are things I don't like.
Too many Shluchim only know about their own Chassidut but have no idea about Bobov, Belz, not even about the Peshis'cha movement. Chabad only !

Once I was at an English speaking Chabad event and an elderly Israeli woman wanted to tell a story of one of the Vishnitzer Rebbes. A younger Chabad Ba'alat Teshuva basically told her that the Vishnitzer story is not really appropriate and shut this woman up.

What drives me mad, and I think I started hating this during my time in Zfat a couple of months ago, that every Chabad Ba'al Teshuva feels the need to teach TANYA. No matter how much he knows. Even if he hardly knows anything. Sometimes it even sounds as if they were making up their own opinions if they have nothing else to say.

Me and some other visitors were forced to participate in evening classes which only consisted of TANYA. We were told that those are the rules and this is it. If we are there, we have to participate. In order not to, I sometimes walked around downtown in order to escape the same teachers. Every weekday the same teachers and after a while we knew exactly what they have to say. The question is how much can you take. The result was that we regulars stopped going and looked for all kinds of excuses. Until today, on Facebook or in e - mails, we keep on making jokes about that time. How we escaped a guy called Tuvia or a Rabbi with a Ba'al Teshuva Yeshiva. When I left Zfat I could hear any word but not the word TANYA anymore. 

When I visit Zfat, I will go back to that place but not for a Shabbat. One or two weekdays is enough but I just can't suffer from those young Ba'alei Teshuva in their early twenties who think that they know everything and everyone coming to this particular place is such a secular Jew knowing nothing and they can push him around. 

Maybe I should get to know more of the old original Chabadnikim ...:-) 

What Bracha do we say over cookie ice - cream ?

B”H

Photo: Kwarnke


I like it very much; the cream ice – cream with the cookies inside. The question is “What kind of Bracha do you make over it ?”

“She HaKol” for the cream + “Mezonot” for the cookies or anything else ?

In fact, the answer is to take a cookie piece first and say “Mezonot”. Afterwards take some cream and say “She HaKol”. Please note that the Mezonot – Bracha has to be said first !

The Bracha Achronah depends on how fast you eat a Kzayit of cookies. It says that if you eat a Kzayit of the cookie portion within four minutes, you have to say “Al HaMichiya”. If you eat cream and cookies totally mixed together and there is less than a Kzayit within the four minutes, “Boreh Nefashot” is being said.

I don’t know if this is halachically accepted but, personally, I would say “Al HaMichiya” and afterwards “Boreh Nefashot”.

Link:

A Bracha Guide from the OU

Monday, August 29, 2011

HONEST REPORTING goes The Life of Brian


TV - Report: Breslover Chassidim at Aharon's Grave

B"H

As an addition to my article about the Breslover Chassidim dressing up as secular Jews in order to travel to Aharon's grave in Jordan: HERE is the TV - Report broadcasted on the Israeli TV news.The report is in Hebrew only !

The King is in the Fields - המלך בשדה


B"H


Tonight, tomorrow and on Wednesday, we are going go celebrate the beginning of the month (Rosh Chodesh) of ELUL. Elul together with Tishrei (following Elul) are my personal favourite months of the year. Others love Purim or Pessach, I am tremendously in love with Rosh HaShana and Sukkot. It doesn't mean, I am leaving out Yom Kippur but, as you know, food is missing although we have to be like angels on that day and lift ourselves up without earthly needs. Especially in Chassidut, the month of Elul is extremely important because on the 18th day, we celebrate the birth of the great chassidic master, the Baal Shem Tov (born in 1698 or 1700)


Generally, Elul is the month of Teshuva (repentance) and this concerns all of us. On Rosh HaShana, G - d is going to judge the whole world, including Jews and non - Jews, and all of us should make some kind of an effort by getting closer to the Creator and especially by looking into ourselves. Use Elul and look at all your actions throughout the year. In Hebrew this is called "Cheshbon Nefesh" and means that you should ask yourself, where you are standing in this world. How is each Jew connected to his fellow Jew and is he having a relationship with G - d ? Could he do better and how ?


The Baal Shem Tov said that in Elul, "The King is in the Field - HaMelech Ba'Sade". Meaning that every person is able of having an easier approach to G - d Himself. Throughout the rest of the year, G - d is usually judging or listening to our prayers through intermediaries such as His Sefirot (symbolic for His character traits). During Elul, Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur, we can reach such a high level where we make G - d Himself refer to us.


Going out in a field is not to be taken literally although many people (such as Breslover Chassidim) do go out in order to talk to G - d. And, as I said before, Elul is the time of looking and analyzing our own actions. Are we as approachable to others as G - d is ? Maybe we should learn from Him how to show some more Chesed and judge people more favourably. What would we say if G - d judged us as harsh as we sometimes judge other people ?


Chesed (kindness), prayer and giving charity (Zedakah) are the attributes of the month of Elul. Show mercy upon others and look at the other side of a person.


How else can we do Teshuva in Elul ?
By studying more Torah and thus getting closer to G - d. The Torah is not to be seen as a little story and book full of laws. We have to realize that the Torah is talking to us today and is giving us a special message we need to understand. If we do get the message, we will have a great and successful month of Elul and be successfully inscribed into the Book of Live (by G - d).

Rosh Chodesh ELUL

B"H

Tonight as well as Tuesday and Wednesday, we are celebrating the beginning of the new Jewish month ELUL.

With ELUL we are entering the Teshuva period before the upcoming high holidays. This doesn't mean that we are unable to do Teshuva (Return to G - d) throughout the year; however, who doesn't want to do a least a bit of Teshuva before Rosh HaShana is coming in ? G - d is going to judge the entire universe for the next upcoming year 5771: Who is going to live, who is going to die, will we be healthy, who is getting married, will there be war, peace or natural catastrophes … Everything concerning the new year, G - d is going to decide on Rosh HaShana (Erev Rosh HaShana is on Wednesday 28 September).

A few days later, Rosh HaShana is followed by the highest Jewish holiday YOM KIPPUR. Whereas G - d judges his whole creation on Rosh HaShana, the Jews are going to be specially judged on Yom Kippur. Then He is, so to speak, signing His final decision.

This is one of the differences between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur: Rosh HaShana is a day of judgement for the entire planet. No matter if someone is Jewish or not - Jewish. Yom Kippur, however, is an entirely Jewish holiday because it only concerns the Jews and their final judgement.

Who then doesn't want to make a good impression before G - d ?
The month of Elul is a great opportunity for us of doing so. Sephardi Jews already start their Selichot prayers with the beginning of Elul. Ashkenazi Jews only start their Selichot on the Mozzaei Shabbat (Saturday night after Shabbat ends) before Rosh HaShana.

The month of ELUL is a time of looking back and return. Have we reached our goals during the year ? What mistakes did we make and how can we make everything better in the future ? Where have we failed and what did we accomplish ?

G - d is not interested in us being the most perfect people in the world. What He is interested in is that we realize our mistakes, regret and follow the intention to make everything better in the future.
Elul is the big month of Teshuva where we have to realize that there is more to this world than eat, drink, work and sleep. In Elul, Moshe went up to Mount Sinai in order to ask G - d for forgiveness for the Golden Calf. Elul is the month of awareness in connection with the sincere intention of correcting and perfecting oneself.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe and Rabbi Israel Odesser have arrived at the Tent Demonstration


The tent demonstration at Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard is still around but abandoned. No people except for some Junkies and Hippies. The heads of the demonstrations as well as their leftist organizers follow other goals and were just using the slogan "Social Justice" for their own purposes to overthrow the government. However, Communist ideas are not very popular in Israel. It goes without saying that rents are too high and it is extremely hard to make a living; but getting the extreme left involved is not a solution. 

The demonstration has killed itself right from the beginning. The organizers are planning a last huge demonstration for this Mozzaei Shabbat (Saturday night) and want about one million people participating. Last Shabbat, however, the nationwide demonstrations only had a few thousand demonstrators. In Eilat only 100 hundred people or less. 

Today I went to Rothschild Boulevard and what I found was the Lubavitcher Rebbe and Rabbi Israel Odesser. No doubt, the Chabad Meshichistim as well as the Breslover Na Nach Movement have been around spreading their messages.:-)


Rosh Hashana 5772 poster from the Na Nach Movement.




And here comes the Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson.



Copyright / Photos: Miriam Woelke

Tel Aviv from the Azrieli Tower



Sunday, August 28, 2011

Breslover Chassidim dress up as seculars and travel to Aharon's grave in Jordan


A dressed up Breslover at Aharon's grave

 B"H

Tonight, the Israeli TV channel two news had an interesting report:
Several younger Breslover Chassidim in their 20ies were planning a trip to Aharon's grave in Jordan. The only problem was that Jordan is not too excited about letting religious Jews into the country who intend to pray at a certain site. Even if it is the grave of Moshe's brother Aharon.

The Chassidim had the idea to dress up as secular Israelis. A baseball hat covering the Peyes (sidecurls) and Kipot, for instance. The guys wore colourful shirts and if I had met them in the street I would have thought they were secular. Although the TV channel mentioned Mea Shearim as the place where they come from, I couldn't believe that. The Chassidim looked like unmarried Ba'alei Teshuva who truly knew the secular lifestyle. Ashkenazim and Sepharadim together.

Strange but when I look at the photos from my report last year, everything looks exactly the same as in the TV report tonight. Even the young Jordanian guide. 

However, the Breslovers got to Aharon's grave near Petra in Jordan. The Kever is located up on a mountain and you can basically only get to the top when you "rent a donkey". All of them were riding up and the to Jordanian travel guides couldn't believe their eyes when the Breslovers suddenly took off their baseball hats, shook out their Peyes and started dancing, singing and praying around the grave. Several times they asked whether those wild guys are really Jews.

Personally I don't always believe that a Kever of a Zaddik is the true grave but rather a legend. The same with Kever Aharon: Honestly, I don't believe that it is Aharon's grave but, as a blog reader once commentated - "It all depends on the Jewish tradition. Even if there is no proof for the original grave, Jews still pray at a grave when they have done so for hundreds of years".
Example: Kever Rachel outside Bethlehem.

G - d doesn't have a Blackberry

B"H

Someone sent me this as an e - mail and I find the cartoon idea very cute and true.


Hashem doesn't have a Blackberry or an iPhone, but He is my favorite contact.

He doesn't have Facebook, but He is my best friend.

He doesn't have Twitter, but I follow Him nonetheless.

He doesn't have internet, but I am connected to Him.

And even though He has a massive communication system, His customer service never puts me on hold !

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Self – knowledge

B”H

We are being taught the Mitzvot but still have to get to know ourselves in order to be aware of what to expect of ourselves. There are times when Jews are in such a great Mitzvah mood that they don’t take their own personality into consideration. Never forget of what you are being capable of and don’t compare yourself with others who seem to be so perfect !

28th August 2011: Gilad Shalit is "celebrating" his 25th Birthday


Photos from Florentin / Tel Aviv

B"H

FLORENTIN, Tel Aviv's multicultural, artist and student neighbourhood. Living in Florentin is quite popular and thus the rents are high. Tourists like going there due to the pub and cafe culture.


 






Copyright / Photos: Miriam Woelke

The Egyptian Press and its anti - Semitism

B”H

The latest hate news from Egypt: Egyptian government press and its anti - Semitic publications. The hate content just reminds me of the German Nazi Julius Streicher, who once was the editor of "Der Stürmer".

"Jews are the descendants of apes and pigs !" 

Yesterday (Fritag), a demonstration took place in front of the Israeli embassy in Cairo. The message was clear. Just look at the photo on the right. 
Are there any reactions from the UN, the European Union or Angela Merkel ? Is Germany speaking out against Arab anti - Semitism ? We all know the answer but I am still asking ...

MEMRI on the anti - Semitic articles of Egypt's press.

Photo & and further details : The Vicious Babushka

"BDS" or "Who is behind the boycott against Israel ?"

B"H

The "Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions" (BDS) campaign was founded by Palestinians in 2005. BDS fights Israeli "occupation" and is asking the world to boycott the Jewish State. Everything in accordance with human rights and democracy. This is was BDS stresses but what are the true goals of the campaign ?

According to the Israeli daily HAARETZ from March 2011, several international artists have joined the BDS campaign and started boycotting Israel. Among others, Roger Waters from Pink Floyd who is actively supporting the Palestinian BDS. Furthermore, Elvis Costello cancelled his Israel tour. Other celebrities openly speak out in favour of Israel. So is the Italian writer Umberto Eco and Gene Simmons from the rockband KISS. Musicians like Elton John, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Madonna, Metallica, Paul McCartney or Leonard Cohen are willing to perform in Israel and many have already done so.



The video uncovers the true goals of "Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS): 



Link:

Friday, August 26, 2011

Security Thoughts on Parashat Re'eh




B"H

Parashat Re'eh talks about a blessing and a curse. If we Jews do what G - d is commanding us to do, He will take care of us and we, on the other hand, will have a good life.

I am not saying that we have such a bad life at the moment; although many Jews may not yet follow all commandments.:-)

However, it is Parashat Re'eh reminding me of the lecture we had at work yesterday. A young female soldier came to my workplace and explained how we should behave in case of danger. The soldier was from the "Pikud Ha'Oref - Homefront Command" and she started her lecture with the earthquake issue. In Israel, minor earthquakes are quite common but scientist predict a devastating quake within the next twenty years or so. Maybe earlier, maybe tomorrow, maybe next months or in twenty - five years. 
Who knows ?

The earth has been shaking a lot in Zfat and Tiberias lately. About two weeks ago, there was a minor quake in the Tel Aviv area. I didn't feel it but read it in the paper on the next day.

What did the Pikud Ha'Oref teach us yesterday ?
First of all to run out of a building as soon as an earthquake is coming up. Anyone being on an upper floor should at least go to the staircase where he may have an easier escape.

Once a quake is taking place, rush outside and remain there until the Pikud Ha'Oref informs you that the danger is over. There are always minor earthquakes following a big one and this is why people should stay outside of buildings.

Another case and it probably sounds impossible regarding Israel: A heavy earthquake may be followed by a Tzunami. Believe it or not, Tzunamis have occured in Israel. Already a few hundred years ago but they did take place.

The second part of the lecture was, of course, how to behave when a missile attack occurs. Not Kassamim or Grad rockets from Gaza but missiles in a big war. Lets say when Arab countries such as Lebanon or Syria attack.

If you are inside a building and the sirens go off, the best place to be is on one of the middle floors in the building. Hide under a table but don't stand next to a outside wall of the room. Furthermore, the soldier showed us how to use a gas mask. The filter lasts for six hours and you can even drink, as there is a short pipe installed in the mask. In case of a biological attack, use bottled water only and when you open a bottle and drink through the pipe of your gas mask, always leave about three centimeters of water left in the bottle. Biological substances will get into the water and this is the reason why you shouldn't drink all of it.

One of my colleagues said that Tel Aviv doesn't have the Iron Dome (Kipat Barzel), as Beersheva or Ashkelon do. It was funny when the soldier said that once Tel Aviv is getting attacked, the Iron Dome will move over to Tel Aviv and be taken away from the south. No, the soldier didn't say that Tel Aviv is more important to protect but the excuse was: "Once the Hamas is shooting missiles on Tel Aviv, they (the Hamasniks) won't stop anymore and forget about all the other places !"

After going a bit through Parashat Re'eh and having the lecture yesterday, I just hope that we are on the blessing side when something serious is happening ! Especially because I don't believe in staircases and tables. :-)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Warning Sign on Israeli Egged Bus



A few days ago, I noticed a similar announcement on the glass wall behind the bus driver's seat. The bus I took was no. 405 from Tel Aviv's Central Bus Station to Jerusalem.

In accordance with a decision of Israel's Supreme Court, every passenger on this bus is free to choose his seat wherever he wants. There is no separation and every action against a passenger sitting on a certain seat is referred to as a crime.

In general, those people demanding a gender separation on Israel's public bus transportation don't even use Egged buses, as they are too Zionist. Sikarikim and others make a big fuss for nothing because it doesn't evenn concern them.

Jerusalem Jaffa Road / Corner HaChavazelet


A wide part of Jerusalem's main road Jaffa Road turned into a shopping mall without traffic. Only the tram is passing through.

Only a short while ago, Jaffa Road / corner HaChavazelet Street used to be one of the busiest locations in town. I know that because I used to live in HaChavazelet Street. The town has changed a lot since then.

Photo: Miriam Woelke

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Ambash (Na Nach) Family dancing in Ge'ulah / Mea Shearim

B"H

There hasn't been any further news in the press for weeks. Thus, I cannot tell you what is going on with the arrested Daniel Ambash and whether his six wives left him and have found shelter provided by the Jerusalem Municipality.

Nevertheless, here is a video from last Purim when the Ambash clan danced through Jerusalem's haredi Ge'ulah neighbourhood. You can see the Ambash kids Natan, Naftali and some more. 

The guy wearing the white shirt and the sunglasses is nuts. He is not part of the family but I know him from the Ben Yehudah Mall and the Na Nach Nachmans standing there. He is so deranged that he is even going on the Nana's nerves. 





Link:

The DUSHINSKY Synagogue in Jerusalem

B"H

The Synagogue of chassidut DUSHINSKY group in Jerusalem.





The two photos don't show the new building in the back. 

Photos: Miriam Woelke

There are people who do NOT see Dushinsky as a chassidic group. The Sidur would be only half chassidic and the Dushinsky family may not have the strongest chassidic background. However, I know some Dushinsky members and their children born into the group and they definitely consider themselves as chassidic.

Further details about Dushinsky HERE !



Inside the Synagogue at Shmuel HaNavi Street in Jerusalem.

Haredim and the new Tram in Jerusalem


The tram has a stop at Shivtei Israel Street (on the main road up to Ma'alot Dafna and Ramat Eshkol). For those of you who are not familiar with the Jerusalem map: Shivtei Israel Street leads right into Mea Shearim and you can find almost the whole Toldot Aharon community there. Furthermore, many families of the Toldot Avraham Yitzchak populate the area.

So far, many Haredim have been tyring out the tram. Entire families and the kids were excited. I saw Karliner Chassidim as well as a Toldot Aharon or Toldot Avraham Yitzchak woman. 

Photo: Miriam Woelke

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My first ride on the new Jerusalem Tram

B”H

Jerusalem has its new tram and for the next upcoming ten days, anyone may get on for free. I went on my first two rides yesterday and have to admit that I was impressed. After years of contruction work and wasting millions of Shekels, the tram is turning Jerusalem into a modern era. I saw happy and proud people getting onto the tram. No matter if Jews, Palestinians, tourists or Haredim, each one of them was excited. I have never seen Jerusalem so advanced and peaceful despite yesterday's terror alert. 

It is the time of summer vacations and entire families got on the tram in order to enjoy the new attraction. Even Jaffa Road has changed its face and looked more international. Street cafes and people are able to sit outside everywhere. Without traffic, noise and pollution smell.

I really enjoyed my tram rides although it was packed. As soon as something is free of charge, people are there. :-) The Municipality employed security guards for the tram. Furthermore, lots of youth are helping the customers with information. What the Jerusalemites still have to learn is not to run around on the tracks. The constant "Mind the Gap !" warning from London's underground is missing in Jerusalem. :-)

I asked one of the information people for the ticket price after the free of charge period but she didn't know the answer. A former working colleague of mine seemed to know the answer: 6,90 Shekels for a ride.

And how is the new tram ? I loved it. The trains are sliding around quietly. No noise but it does waste a long time at stops and traffic lights. Or in other words: It is not that fast yet.



And here comes the tram rolling.



At Jerusalem's Central Bus Station



Chic and new: Inside the tram. An electronic board shows the stops in Hebrew, Arabic and English.






Have a look how Jaffa Road is finally changing.

Copyright / Photos: Miriam Woelke

Modesty: An Adornment for Life



B"H

One of the blog readers mentioned the book "Modesty: An Adornment for Life" written by Rabbi Pesach Eliyahu Falk. The book deals with the modesty of women such as dressing code and morality. Fortunately, I found it available to read on Google Books; although not all pages. 

I have to make a confession: I have always felt uncomfortable among these really frum dressed women and girls. First of all, I am not like them even if I dressed like them. My upbringing was different and thus is my behaviour. Somehow I identify the frum dress with kitchen, not too much education, many children and a lack of freedom. Of course this is a stereotype point of view but it automatically comes into my mind when I see such girls. Especially young women who are newly married.
When I was in the haredi neighbourhood of Ge'ulah (next to Mea Shearim in Jerusalem) yesterday, I entered my favourite cold drink store. Slush in many varieties and you even have the choice between Parve and Chalavi (Milchig). 
The store is small, run by English speaking modern Haredim and located in Malchei Israel Street. Why I like going there ? Because the slush is tasty and not too expensive. A big cup costs 13 Shekels (approx. 4 Dollar). 

Yesterday I ordered the slush and placed myself into a corner next to the door. In fact, there is not much room to stand anyway. 

A few minutes later, an ambulance team from the Israeli "Magen David Adom" entered the store and also ordered slush. Three guys and one younger woman wearing their white ambulance shirts. The woman and me were the only females in the store wearing pants. No one was bothered by that but then a young chassidic couple walked in and even before they ordered their drink, the young woman looked at us like ... well, she may have thought that she is on a higher level. Regarding modesty or religiously. In fact, she looked at me and the Magen David Adom woman and started whispering to her husband. He, by the way, wasn't interested at all. 

I am used to that kind of behaviour by many haredi women but the ambulance woman didn't feel very comfortable. Why would this young haredi woman (I couldn't identify her group but it could have been Chernobyl) judge us according to our clothes ? Malchei Israel Street is not such a closed neighbourhood and plenty of secular and traditional Jews walk around during the day. 

The young chassidic woman has her task in this world and so do we. She neither knows me nor the ambulance woman and in case she needs an ambulance, she will be glad seeing that particular woman in her pants helping her. 

I had to mention this particular situation here because I felt sorry for the young ambulance woman being stared at. Not only being stared but the haredi woman had to whisper to her husband. The couple left after a short while and I don't even know whether they bought something or decided not to.

Asher Dahan hid knife in Tefillin

B"H

Asher Dahan, the murderer of Rabbi Elazar Abuchatzeira, took a knife from the room of the Rabbi's son and hid it in his Tefillin bag before entering the Rabbi's study. Shortly after Dahan put the knife into his pants pocket and finally stabbed Baba Elazar.

In the news, Asher Dahan rather looks like a confused nutcase. Psychiatrists had stated that the murderer shouldn't stand trial but should be taken to the next funny farm for the next years. However, the prosecutors want him to stand trial.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The SADIGURA Synagogue in Yechezkel Street / Jerusalem

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The great Synagogue and Beit Midrash of Chassidut SADIGURA in Jerusalem. 
Location: Yechezkel Street / Corner Shmuel HaNavi.




Copyright / Photos taken 22 August 2011: Miriam Woelke

The SHOMREI EMUNIM neighbourhood in Mea Shearim

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A few photos from the SHOMREI EMUNIM neighbourhood in Mea Shearim. 
Learn more about the history of the Shomrei Emunim HERE !





The houses in the back belong to the Shomrei Emunim neighbourhood. The renovated building to the very left is the Beit Midrash of the Breslover Baal Teshuva Rabbi Shalom Arush.

Copyright / Photos: Miriam Woelke


Further Links:


Muslim calls in a Christian Show

Showing how ridiculous Christianity is !


Rothschild Boulevard is Dead

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Already a week ago I noticed what was going on when I looked at all the empty tents. The protestors for social justice were leaving and it doesn't matter how much money left - wing organizations are willing to invest. In general, Israeli demonstrators start loosing their interest fast. There are various reasons: The head demonstrators start playing the big boss and discover the media only for themselves. People start fighting among each other and others are just sick of being together with loonies all the time. 

This morning I went to the Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv and the masses are gone. Plenty of empty tents filled with drunk homeless and drug addicts. This is what is remaining. Not to forget all the tons of garbage.  The demonstrators claim that their protest will continue but, at the moment, the weather in Tel Aviv is too hot and Israel's security situation is not the best.







No one there except Hippies and Junkies. 



Photos 22 August 2011: Miriam Woelke

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunset at the beach in Tel Aviv




I took the two photos this evening (21 August 2011)

Photos: Miriam Woelke