Tag: Tel Aviv

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What do three Israeli Palestinian women – a chic lawyer, a grungy lesbian disk jockey and a religious computer science student who are sharing an apartment in Tel Aviv – have in common?  Maysaloun Hamoud’s film “Bar Behar” (which is “In Between” in English) is an exposition of precisely what that commonality comprises. I saw […]

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When two Palestinian gunmen from Hebron massacred four Israelis on Wednesday, they chose a market in Tel Aviv as their target. Hebron is located in the West Bank and is on the way to Jerusalem, but the target was farther from home. It must be seen as no accident that this attack was not planned […]

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Jerusalem Diary: Shabbat

 

I arrived in Jerusalem a week ago on Friday afternoon — just as the Jewish Sabbath was about to begin. Mindful that, on the Sabbath it is hard to find anywhere to get a bite to eat in Bakah (where I was staying), the Provost of Shalem College invited me to join his family for dinner that night. Thinking that I would be exhausted and not a suitable guest, I declined and ordered takeout from a burger joint that delivers to hotels and homes. The next day, however, I took a taxi to Ramot Bet — some distance away in northwestern Jerusalem — to join my host and his family for the mid-day meal and for the dinner held at the end of the Sabbath.

This was for me a treat. I have a great many Jewish friends in the United States, and some of them are what they call “observant.” What that word means in Jerusalem, however, is something else again. Within Israel, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem have become opposites. The pious have gravitated to Jerusalem. The hedonists tend to live in or near Tel Aviv, which has the feel of Miami Beach. The Israelis of Jerusalem and many of the Jews from abroad who come to the Holy City for a visit are strictly observant. On the Sabbath, they not only do not work. They do not answer the phone, make phone calls, check their email, turn on or off the lights, drive, cook. The list is long. Instead, they pray, they read, they converse with the members of their family, they relax.