the 90th minute

Until September 2007, when my oldest daughter was born, this blog covered daily life and politics in Israel, as well as Hebrew-English linguistic issues, from the perspective of an American-raised journalist and translator living in Israel. Now it mostly serves as the SmunchMonk&Bear news agency, a portal into the bizarre universe of the little people. Read more at:

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

You win some, you lose some

On the one hand...

Givatayim and Ramat Gan have a style of Yom Ha'atzmaut decorations I never noticed in Jerusalem. In J'lem, there are flags decorating the windows of apartments, which are put up by individual tenants, there are decorations that companies or government ministries put up on their buildings, and there are the municipal decorations in the streets. Another type that I haven't seen over there but I've seen a lot in Givatayim/Ramat Gan (including outside our building) is blue and white decor put up by the va'ad bayit (building committee) of large apartment buildings - meaning that not only are the individual apartments all flagged up as per tenant discretion, but so is the facade of the whole building. For instance, the walkway leading from the street to our building's front door is festooned with blue and white ribbons, and the new 20+ story buildings across the street have blue and white ribbons running down the outside of the building.

Not sure if the increased va'ad bayit participation in Yom Ha'atzmaut that I am seeing in the TA region has any significance whatsoever, but it's been interesting to observe the differences. It's probably just because there are more tall apartment buildings here. It might also be a function of the va'ad bayit being more involved, kind of like a condo board maybe? (But fortunately without the selection criteria, for the most part.)

On the other hand...

I was rather surprised to see two Jews for Jesus guys handing out pamphlets on a corner in Givatayim yesterday. Didn't say anything to them. I always kind of feel like I'm supposed to say/do something, but what? Tell them Jews don't believe in human deities? Gee, I'm sure they've never heard that before. Once in NY I took their pamphlet and ripped it up in front of them and walked on, but what good did that do?

Final score: Laurel for the building decor, Dart for J4J (to use Targum terminology). Givatayim comes out even.



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