Saturday, February 14, 2009


I haven't been around that ultra-orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem in years. But it's the only neighborhood my ultra-orthodox sister knows when she comes to visit that I agreed to meet her there on Friday. I pity her because she never had non-Jewish friends and doesn't know where Jaffa Street is, even though she comes here every single year to visit. She stays at her grandchildren's place. They're here for a year or two while their husbands learn Torah at some ultra-orthodox institution. And sis was astounded because I didn't know where Arzei Habira was.

I met sis on the main street of the Geula neighborhood and since it was Friday, the crowds were fierce. I told her I was looking to buy newspapers, but walking up and down the streets, I realized that not a one store was going to sell me or anyone else for that matter, non-kosher, secular newspapers.

I passed by a music shop, but you can bet Britney Spears or 50 Cent was nowhere to be found, and that the salespeople probably never even heard of them. Jewish bands, Hasidic singers, boys' choirs - yes. And there were enough of those performers/bands to fill up that store. One day, I'll just peruse to see what exactly they all sound like. Perhaps different Hassidic sects have different music and maybe it even sounds different? Who knows.

I wondered if the American bakery - Brooklyn Bakery was still in business. It was, and it was packed with people that we went over to the long-running Gerlitz bakery, which had wonderful challah bread and cakes.

I passed by a store that sold evening wear, and was surprised to see that some of the dresses were sleeveless. Probably the religious police had never come into the store. I kept taking them off the rack to make sure I wasn't seeing things. Even I felt self-conscious in the neighborhood with my dress which was cut a couple of inches below my neckline. Everyone else was much more modestly dressed than I was.

The store owner knew I wasn't from the neighborhood and complained, "People don't think there are any nice dress stores in Geulah." I told her she was right. I actually loved the stuff in her store and told myself I'd buy something here for the next wedding of one of my kids - as the prices were the same prices as an outlet.

My sister dragged me off to some dull clothing stores and marvelled at how cheap this ugly brown sweater and checked brown skirt were. She loved them. I hated them.

I told her I was looking for a beautiful challah cover and maybe I'd find one cheaper than I would at the tourist shops downtown, but wherever I went, the covers were more gaudier than the next. My sister was surprised at my disappointment and couldn't understand why I didn't like the silver fringes surrounding the covers. I told her I like the more modern designs, not the old-fashioned stuff. I couldn't find anything modern here. Nothing. Nothing in light blue or purple or orange or red. Not clothing, shoes or challah covers.

Now I know people wore beautiful clothing in biblical times because the bible always mentions crimson, scarlett, purple, blue and other lovely shades. So where did brown, black, grey and navy blue become the de rigeur colors of the ultra-orthodox?


Anonymous said...

you are sick is because you fucking each other in the ass

jerusalemgypsy said...

See asswipe??? Because of you I am gonna moderate all comments. Crazies welcome, but not vulgar crazies.

lars shalom said...


Avi Kolko said...

Different worlds. Each works for those in it. But only one works for the next one.

Anonymous said...

miss, i love you, dont think we're sheol...Al will Love, let him moan
he's just a little low
cry unto god, and he will cry unto you

Rabbi Lars Shalom said...


Anonymous said...

Hope all is well. I thouroughly enjoy your posts.

NYCtoTLV said...

So where in Geula is the store with the nice dresses? Did you land up buying there?

NYCtoTLV said...

Where in Geula is the store with the nice dresses? Did you end up buying there?