Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Season

Tzfat is a tourist town and never more so than these weeks when the city is full, full, full of tourists and other visitors. A large percentage of the visitors these weeks are haredi -- ultra-Orthodox -- meaning that, for me, taking my dogs for a walk is perilous since haredim are generally not dog-friendly.

Other than that, it's also the time of year that I'm super busy with my Safed guestroom -- lots of guests which is a lot of work but also fun. I've been renting out for 7 years now and can count on one hand the number of times the experience has been difficult -- in general the guests are friendly, open and easy-going....maybe it's because my Safed tzimmer is simple and moderately-priced, so those are the kind of people who come. Also, I post photos of my dogs on the website, just so people know that there are dogs in the yard, and maybe that has something to do with the kind of friendly people who are attracted to my spot.

This week I have family with me -- for a few days my niece and her husband and kids have been here, and tomorrow my brother and his wife and kids will be here. It gives me a nice break in-between the other guests and I have a great time getting to know my nephews, which I wouldn't be able to do otherwise.

My daughter doesn't have much to do this summer -- she did try to find work but wasn't successful -- so she's taken to staying up until the wee hours of the morning and sleeping until mid-afternoon. I'm not thrilled but I guess that since that's what all her friends are doing too, there's not much to say about it. I'd be a little more impressed if she did some of the work that she should be doing to prepare for 11th grade but I'm a believer in "natural consequences" so I'm not going to make her school success my problem or turn into a nag because of it. I've reminded a few times already. Enough.

Elections for the chief rabbi occurred this week and the stink of politics was overpowering. The haredi parties wanted to punish Naftali Bennett, a kenesset member and head of a large faction in the kenesset,  because he supported the draft of haredi boys into the army. So the haredim rolled over Bennett's preferred candidates who  would have been a lot more unifying for the country (I think anyway) to ensure that their haredi candidates were elected.

Now10 more years of a situation in which the haredim don't pay any attention to the chief rabbis because the chief rabbis work in a State institution. At the same time the non-religious Israelis don't pay any attention to the chief rabbis because these rabbis don't speak to their needs, concerns or interests.

Maybe someone can remind me what was accomplished here?

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