Saturday, September 25, 2010

A new name for an old city?

Shavua tov and mo’adim l’simchah!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that visiting the Kotel and its environs on Chol Hamo’ed is all about bumping into everyone you know. (In other words, it’s kind of like Facebook for the non-online crowd… :-))

Or, as we say here in TRLEOOB*, it’s all about getting points. (Confused? Go ahead and reread the Points post. I’ll wait…)

But what many people don’t realize is that in recent years, these fleeting encounters with one’s acquaintances have undergone a subtle change.

You see, in the not-so-distant past, the conversation was usually limited to a quick, “Hi! How are you? It’s so nice to see you!” – followed, perhaps, by a brief recap of what the two parties had been doing since their last meeting (which probably took place during the previous Chol Hamo’ed…).

However, keen observer of Israeli cultural norms that I am that I pretend to be, I’ve noticed that nowadays, after the initial pleasantries are exchanged, an additional question is inevitably asked: 

“Where’d ya park?”

Which brings me to the following announcement which appeared in Friday’s newspaper: (Click on the picture for a closer view. Toby, this one’s for you…)

scanJer2Yes, that DOES say the “Old Town” [sic]. And yes, it WAS the municipality which produced this notice…

BTW, if you happen to see us (and our Heblish-speaking kids…) on Chol Hamo’ed– near the Kotel, at a national park, or elsewhere – please be sure to come over and say hello.

We really could use the points



*TRLEOOB=the real life equivalent of our blog


  1. Wow, that's bizarre! Maybe it's a new trend that we're not yet aware of? In 20 years, maybe everyone will call it the Old Town... and all thanks to this ad. Weird.
    Moadim Lesimcha!

  2. I noticed that last night in the JP!! So strange. Moadim Lesimcha!

  3. Moadim lesimcha! Are your kids getting a whole week of vacation?

  4. Toby and Yaffa - If you look carefully, the ad contains other amusing elements as well.
    For instance, it says, "Russian Compound (Migrash HaRussim)" - i.e. it has the English name followed by a transliteration of the Hebrew.
    However, "Giv'at HaTachmoshet" has only the transliteration.
    And check out the tagline at the bottom of the ad. Apparently someone in city hall has a sense of humor... :-)

    Ilana-Davita - The younger kids get the whole week of Succot off, but the older kids have been off since Yom Kippur!

  5. Park and ride? Where have I heard that before? Airports in northeast U.S., no doubt.

    I've been in Jerusalem traffic - makes sense!

    Moadim LeSimcha!

  6. Leora - Yes, it's a relatively good solution to the chol hamo'ed traffic.

    Apparently, they recently started testing Yerushalayim's light rail system, and hopefully, that means that the situation will soon improve...

  7. We went to the "old town" today using the park and ride from Malcha and it was very convenient. Didn't see a single person we knew, though, even though the kotel was mobbed. One thing I really loved: just outside the kotel plaza a guy was giving out tehillim mechulak (26 booklets dividing up the whole sefer tehillim) and asking people to spend five miniutes saying tehillim for the release of Gilad Shalit. There was a brisk "business" so that the whole sefer tehillim was said every ten minutes or so. The nicest thing was who was responding to his request-charedim, dati-leumi and non-religious. It was a great and rare feeling of achdut.

  8. Malke - What a beautiful story!
    !מי כעמך ישראל


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