First Station

Challa and Arabs and jazz, oh my!

Challa and Arabs and jazz, oh my!

Jerusalem is that moment when you attend a coexistence event in Jerusalem’s First Station, an open space full of restaurants and bars. A band is playing, hundreds of Jews and (significantly less) Arabs are swaying to the music, a few protesters are holding hand-made signs on the side.

And then a flood of religious and ultra-Orthodox Jewish women and (significantly less) men washes into the crowd, carrying containers full of dough, after attending a ‘Hafrashat Challa‘ event further up the open plaza. The dough-carrying masses don’t linger for long, but for a few minutes you stand surrounded by jazzy notes and girls in mini skirts and the domestic smell of bread.

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Posted by Rachel Sharansky Danziger in Snippets
To Truly Belong?

To Truly Belong?

I don’t really like crowds. I hate the sense of conformity they inspire, that everyone there is alike and will respond to a spectacle in the same way, undifferentiated.

At the end of Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day last April, I wanted to get to Jerusalem’s First Train station where there was a public ritual to mark the time in between day devoted to the memorial day both for soldiers and for those killed by acts of terrorism, and Israel’s Independence Day. The transition from sorrow to joy can be a difficult and awkward one, to spend a day remembering lives lost and not lived fully and comforting the families of those in mourning, and then at the end of that day to rejoice publicly with dances and parades that there is a Jewish state.

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Posted by Beth Kissileff in Essays