Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Look who's moving into the neighborhood

On the eve of Rosh Hashana I walked around the neighborhood, doing last minute things like hand-picking flowers from the florist for my daughter's fiancee's family. On the way I met someone who was sympathetic to all the negative emails I had received about my interfaith encounters.

"I got some real nasty emails" she told me. This was because she told the list that the person who started the whole tirade against my meetings was inciteful. I told her that it's not like I'm inviting car thieves to the meeting.

She then told me her personal story:

"I used to live in Silwan (City of David) years ago. I rented a place from an Arab landlord and everyone was real friendly and warm towards me. I just gave birth prematurely and I walked into my apartment to see bloody handprints all over my door. Of course I freaked out totally thinking 'they're GOING TO KILL ME!'. My landlord explained that it's tradition that when a baby might be in danger, they slaughter a sheep and put the blood of the sheep around the doorpost of the house to save/heal the baby. But I didn't know at first until they spoke to me about it."

I agreed with her that I would have freaked out too at the sight of bloody handprints all over my door. WTF? But I tried to look it up on the internet and the closest thing I can find about this custom was
this:

Meanwhile, hubby wanted to irritate our community a bit more.

"Let's announce that we're having a nudist party" he told me this morning joyfully. Now THIS is a person that should be going to shul today, no? But I'm stuck with him in the house. This is my atonement. I found it quite funny actually and added

"OK - next time I announce an interfaith meeting, I'll tell them it'll be a nudist interfaith encounter, and then we can have fun with all the responses."

But I was thinking, there are scarier things than me inviting 5 Palestinians to my home to talk about religion.

For example, on Sunday I walked around Givat Shaul after I had my yearly boob smooshing examination at Machon Halla. There are a lot of wonderful stores in that neighborhood that borders on the ultra-orthodox Har Nof neighborhood. The customers are mostly ultra-orthodox, meaning lots of toy stores, electronics, clothing, food with reasonable prices. I wandered into one toy store to see this:



Shocking. Especially since I saw that the store owners weren't especially religious. They had kowtowed to the ultra-orthodox customers and had colored over the photo of the immodest mother and even her young female child in every swimming pool box. Except for one.

I called the owner over.

"You forgot to cover up this woman with black marker!" I showed him, pointing to the bare arms and worse of the photo of a woman in the swimming pool with her child.

He just looked at me.

And in the Maale Adumim local paper, the headline screamed how tens (or is it hundreds)of ultra-orthodox Jews are all registering locally at this one particular address so they can have a Maaleh Adumim address to be able to vote in an ultra-orthodox municipality or mayor or something in the forthcoming November 11th local elections. It's being looked into now because it's impossible for hundreds of people to be living in one apartment in the older section of the city. In fact, one of my friends said that "they" knocked on her door asking if she would like to sell her apartment. If they knock on mine, should I tell them apartments are half price in Abu Dis? Or should I just warn the local toy store that they'd better start coloring with black marker the immodest mothers that adorn the boxes of toys in their store?

1 comment:

nutman lars said...

a palestinian woman called me she is very god souls, i told her to get in touch with oyu...

be happy, happy rosh