Saturday, March 24, 2012

Jerusalem has a difficult atmosphere


If I was a millionaire, I would rent two apartments at the same time: One in Jerusalem and a second one in Tel Aviv. Those two cities are my favourite places in Israel. Unfortunately, I am not a millionaire and have to make a decision where to live.

A few days ago I announced that I am planning to move back to Jerusalem within the next upcoming months. My friends in Jerusalem were happy to here it but my friends in Tel Aviv are now trying to convince me to stay. If not in Tel Aviv so, at least, in Ramat Gan, Bnei Brak or Petach Tikvah. 

"Jerusalem ? What do you want there ? It is a dead city and full of Haredim".

These are the main arguments against Jerusalem. At least according to the Tel Aviv way of thinking.

Jerusalem is the holy city and Haredim don't bother me at all. Years ago I have been one of them and thus know society. 

After living in Jerusalem for a bit more than ten years I noticed that the main difference between the holy city and Tel Aviv is a mentality question. Jerusalem is a very difficult place to live. Full of tension. Not only political tension but also on a society basis. Jerusalemites are, compared to Tel Avivim, suspicious. People always look what you are doing and everything has to be in accordance with certain expectations. In other words, Jerusalem doesn't give you much space to be different. It is definitely not a creative place and makes it difficult for artists to express themselves. 

Tel Aviv, on the other hand, gives you any freedom you want. Sometimes too much of it and there are many things bothering me. For instance, when gays walk around holding hands in public. This you wouldn't see in Jerusalem. The only thing you can do while living here is ignoring such behaviour and concentrating on the positive aspects. For artists and writers, Tel Aviv is the best place to be, as you won't find that many different people and interesting stories anywhere else in the country. 

I have thought about the whole dilemma today and it is anything but easy to make a decision. At least I have still got some time to go.

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