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September 02, 1994 - Image 112

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-09-02

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The Board of Directors,
Officers and Staff of
Huntington Banks
Extend Their Best Wishes to
the Community for a
Happy New Year.

Member FDIC

Troy Main Office
801 West Big Beaver Road
(810) 244-3536
40 Locations to Serve You




Best wishes for a
Happy & Healthy New Year

Fine Designer Furniture,
Gifts & Accessories


6644 Orchard Lake at Maple
Mon., Thurs., Fri. 10-9; Tues., Wed., Sat. 10-6; Sun. 12-5





Our best wishes
for a happy, healthy & prosperous
New Year

The Courtyard


32500 Northwestern Highway • Farmington Hills • 851-7540

Meah Shearim:
A Vignette


Observations, opinions, com-
ments on a leisurely walk

through Meah Shearim, exotic
center of haredi life in Jerusalem.
Most people are under the im-
pression that the name of the
quarter means hundred gates.
Not so! The name comes from the
book of Genesis, Chapter 26, verse
12: When there was a famine in
the land, God told Abraham not
to go down to Egypt, but to so-
journ to Gerar, an area believed
to lie between Beersheba and
Gaza, where the Philistine King,
Abimelech, mad him welcome.
"And Isaac sowed in that land
and found (reaped) in the same
year a hundred fold (meah
shearim)... "
The most conspicuous aspect
of this walled enclave is the pro-
fusion of wall posters—hundreds,
no, thousands of them, plaster
over all available wall space.
Since few newspapers enter the
area, they make announcements,
express opinions, preach, cover
the whole gamut of local inter-
ests. Sample: A big black head-
ing: CHUTZPAH! What follows
is a condemnation of the movie,
A Stranger Among Us, which pre-
sumes to tell an inside story in
the life of a haredi family. On the
results of the Jerusalem may-
oralty election: "Blessed be He
who rid us (of him)", referring to
Teddy Kollek.
A sign, repeated in many
places: 'This is a residential area,
not a tourist site," but the tourists
came, nevertheless.
The inhabitants deliberately
seek to seclude themselves from
the outside world. Though most
of them pay municipal taxes and
draw on such city services as mad
maintenance, refuse collection,
etc., they offer, to a degree, an ex-
ample of what autonomy means.
In the interior of the area, in
the alleys and lanes behind the
store-lined Meah Shearim Street,
there is a blessed quiet, free from
usual urban noises—except that
more automobiles penetrate,
seeking parking space. For the
most part, the car owners are em-
ployees of the adjacent Ministry
of Education of the Histadrut and
Hadassah buildings.
No television antennas are to
be seen, and most homes are
without radios as well, to spare
them the harmful contact with
the outside. yet on one balcony
we spied a girl engaged in con-
versation via a cellular phone.
The haredim are not against
modern technology, except when
it is a medium to introduce alien
Many of the residents do not
subscribe to any health insurance
fund like Kupat Cholim. the rea-

son: If you make a monthly pay-
ment to assure good health, this
shows that you have no faith in
the Almighty.
Two large elementary schools,
separate for boys and girls. The
language of instruction is Yid-
dish. At recess time, girls in the
playground skipping rope, like
girls everywhere: the boys; kick-
ing a ball around, their earlocks
flying in the wind.
Another poster, apparently re-
ferring to the political discussions
about Jerusalem, read laconical-
ly: "We are Jerusalem!"
The basic philosophy of Meah
Shearim: All change is evil. The
destruction of the Temple,
haskalah, the Shoah, were evils
caused by change. Since Zionism
seeks to create change, it too is
To the casual visitor, all the
black-garbed haredim look alike,
but the more knowledgeable can
detect at a glance, from slight but
significant elements of their cos-
tume, who are members of the
Ger, Belz, Vishnitz, Bratslav,
Slonim, Satmar or other sects.
Despite their attempts at sep-
aration, there are cracks in the
walls of isolation. Economic ne-
cessity compels may of the
women to emerge from their co-
coons and take jobs outside. They
work in stores, in offices and else-
where outside of Meah Shearim.
What will their influence be on
the next generation? One group
of Haredi women is enrolled for
aerobic exercises at the YMCA.
Two women in our visiting
group sat on a doorstep to rest. A
bearded gentleman sought to en-
ter the enclosure, but refused to
pass between the two women
when they pushed aside. Super-
stition? How many of us in the
outside world refuse to walk un-
der a ladder?
Another world entirely. Our
guide: Avraham Zvi, himself a
former bochur behind these
walls, who has now passed over
to the world outside.

Teach Reading


Teaching reading has come a long
way since the days when over-
sized cardboard books about
"Dick and Jane" were propped up
against the blackboard. Com-
puter-aided curricula based on
ATL, or adaptive teaching and
learning—what was once called
"individualized instruction"—are
common everywhere. However,
the first computerized language
program to turn reading into a
multi-sensory experience was de-
veloped in Israel at a curriculum
development center called the
Center for Educational Technol-
ogy. This is an independent, non-
profit organization dedicated to

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