Dec 4, 2007

Where the heck am I??

I was walking to where I needed to be today, and I turned onto Meron Street. I then took the next turn on Rabbi Akiva street, which led me to Bnei Brak street, which then led me the the Gra street.


By now I was in a bit of amazement and wonderment. After all, I was not walking through the streets of Bnei Brak, Kiryat Sefer, Beitar, RBS or even Jerusalem. I was walking through the streets of secular Tel Aviv!


I never spent much time in Tel Aviv, even though I have worked there (really Ramat Gan, but no need to be specific) for over 8 years. By "not spending time there" I mean I go to work and go home, I do not actually walk around much and become familiar with Tel Aviv itself. So it was a bit of a surprise to see streets named after Rabbis and religious figures in the heart of Tel Aviv.

Even if people do not get educated enough in Judaism and Jewish History, they are still witnessing it and living it. Even if they might not know who Rabbi Akiva was, when they walk down a street named after him, at least they are aware there was a Rabbi Akiva who was obviously (because a street was named after him, after all!) an important figure.

That does not absolve the person from his obligation and need to study Jewish History and Judaism, but at least he is getting that minimal connection to Judaism without doing anything.

And you might argue that Tel Aviv was founded nearly 100 years ago, when even secular Jews were more Jewish History oriented. If Tel Aviv was being founded today, you might argue, they would in no way include streets with religious names. You might be right, I do not know. But in the meantime streets of Tel Aviv are still named after important Jewish figures, and the people of Tel Aviv are thereby exposed to that...

4 comments:

  1. Rafi, what's you email address?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great post and pretty Holy thoughts, IMHO. Freilechen Chanukah!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You'd be surprised at how many dati Televivians there are. Last year we spent Shabbat in Tel Aviv and went to a neighborhood shul, which is enormous, though crumbling.
    http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/2007/01/you-dont-have-to-go-to-eastern-europe.html
    http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/2007/01/it-was-beautiful-it-was-thrilling-but.html

    ReplyDelete

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