#0202_A_View_From_West_Jerusalem

“Six years ago, I had just finished guiding a tour at Ir David [1].
I met Nava Fuehrer, and she offered me a place on the ‘Religion and City’ team at Hit`orerut [2].
I felt my Jewish and Jerusalemite identity burning within me, and it felt like a perfect fit, except for one thing: Hit’orerut.
I was sent to do my homework, talk to friends, and find out more about the movement. I decided to take a risk and joined the movement.
Then, we were three religious members in a secular movement, and we created an inclusive and sharing discourse.
Nowadays, Hit’orerut has a lot of religious members, there is widespread agreement, and mutual respect during discussions is a matter of course.
Now, it is time to expand.
The Religious Zionist [sector] [3] is waking up!”

– Elad Malka, member of Hit’orerut, City Council member
*
“The religious Zionist [sector] is waking up!”

– Hanan Rubin, member of Hit’orerut, City Council member

[Selected Comments:]
– [Arieh King, City Council member [4]:] “Religious Zionism? Do you mean those ‘religious’ people that eat at places that are open on the Sabbath?
Or did you mean the ‘religious’ that want to give the Reform Jews part of the Western Wall?
What did you mean when you wrote: ‘The ‘Religious’ Zionist [sector]’? The same sector that supports the festivals in which the municipality supplies non-Kosher food?
You need to clarify: Which ‘Religious’ Zionism are you referring to?
Because Hit’orerut has supported, and continues to support, a lot of things that are opposed to Judaism as I know it.
For example, Hit’orerut supports:
Opening businesses on the Sabbath
The Pride Parade in the Holy City
Funding the Open House [5]
Funding for Reform Jews.
Legitimizing (sub)-culture events that include nudity, profanity and smut.
And more…A lot of things that are as far as can be from the Religion of Israel, and the Torah of Israel.
So Ofer, you need to adjust your course, unless you are referring to a different religion, that supports the things I mentioned.
And anyway, will continue to be friends.”
– [In response:] “Wait a moment, Arieh, I need you to approve my religiosity? You own the ‘religio-meter’? Why are you only just saying so…
You can sit and tut-tut at one issue or another that doesn’t line up perfectly with the strictest of interpretations [of religion], or you can thank God for what he’s given us, for the realization of the prophecies of salvation, and accordingly act to strengthen the wonder that is the re-building of Jerusalem, together with the different tribes of Israel.
There is still a lot of work to do, and we’ve chosen to unite forces and not fight over trivialities, but it’s ok – there have always been the greater and more righteous that choose to withdraw from the crowd. It’s fine.”
– [In response to Arieh King:] “The righteous – their work is done by others. A Judaism that supports all those things that you mentioned […], is an inclusive, humane and most importantly Jerusalemite Judaism. This is exactly what helps seculars connect to Judaism, and not feel estranged from it, that they have to oppose it. This is exactly what is needed at the municipality.”

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0202 Editor’s Notes:
[1] An archeological site in Jerusalem.
[2] Hitorerut (lit. Awakening) is a party in Jerusalem municipal politics based off of principles of pluralism and ensuring residents stay in the city. The party largely represents young and secular residents.
[3] Religious Zionism broadly refers to different Jewish communities who combine Zionism with Orthodox Judaism. This group makes up 13% of Israeli Jews.
[4] Arieh King is a member of Jerusalem city council and the founder of the Israel Land Fund whose mission is to “acquire land,” in East Jerusalem and around Israel, “of strategic national importance as well as areas of historical and religious value to the Jewish people.”
[5] The Open House is a community organization that serves as a home for the LGBT community in Jerusalem. The organization also offers a number of services provided to members of the heterosexual community as well as anyone interested in the organization’s services. Among the services offered are the Open Clinic for free HIV testing, youth groups, and a variety of activities for the public.

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