Thursday, August 16, 2007

Prophesy in Jerusalem

The Edison Theatre at the edge
of the Geula neighborhood in Jerusalem

Built in 1932, the Edison Theater was Yerushalayim's 3rd theatre. While agreements had been signed between the Orthodox community at the time with the 2 other theaters against movies and activities on Shabbat, the Edison showed little interest in being closed on Shabbat. In the 1950's, there were many demonstrations on Friday nights against the theater (and those who attended movies there on Shabbat), and a leading rabbi told demonstrators at the time, “You have nothing to be worried about – Edison will be ours.”

Who would have believed in 1950 that the prophesy of his statement would come true; the Edison eventually stopped showing movies, closed down as a theater, and was eventually knocked down.

Even more than that -- the Satmar Rebbe just arrived in Israel this week...for the cornerstone laying of a new building and community on the site of the Edison.

Announcement of the celebration for the cornerstone laying
of the "Kiryas Yoel" neighborhood in Jerusalem.

Gathering of Satmar Chassidim this past Pesach

The current Satmar Rebbe

Some say that the Ultra Orthodox are taking over Jerusalem.
Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, the founder and chairman of the religious ZAKA organization, says “haredim are not taking control of the city because a few rabbis planned it. They are taking control because ultra-Orthodox couples have many children – that’s just how it is.

“Those who want to stop us should have killed us when we were young.”

(via YNET from 1.5 years ago)

Maybe if the theater didn't show movies on Shabbat back then, there would be more harmony in the city today? The demographical dynamics of Jerusalem are definitely moving in the direction of more Ultra-Orthodox. However, if the secular population is pushed out it does not bode well for the city, as Jerusalem will eventually become the poorest city in Israel. Something to think about.

My prophesy is simple; Jews will return to Gush Katif and rebuild it. And that's going to happen much quicker than people think.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


Ye'he Sh'mey Raba Mevorach said...

Amen! Ken yehi ratzon!

Ben Bayit said...

The economics of film distribution had as much to do with this as some rabbis' prediction. multi-plexes killed off city-center and neighborhood movie theatres, and whatever few remained were killed off by Blockbuster. the only city-center movie theaters are artsy-fartsy types like in the German Colony. You know the ones that show French films and old black and whites on occassion. I don't think there was much chance for a Yiddish film cinemateque at the Edison.

some yid said...

Oh, Jameel, I'm happy you're becoming a satmar chusid!!! May we soon see shtreimel clad dancing kids in the muqata, amen :-)

On a serious note, when that happens, I'll start believing that we can return to Gush Katif...

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Ben Bayit; Well then, you should give a lot of credit to the economics-savvy rabbi who had it all figured out 50 years ago!


Some Yid; Since when do kids need to wear shtreimels? I thought you only get one after you get married...

If it will make you happy, I could speak to the Muqata graphic artist to see if we can add a character like that to the Muqata banner.

daat y said...

The Satmar Rebbe refused to travel on El-Al because it is Zionist.
I hope you do not support such behavior.

tafka PP said...


There's still a small(er than Tel Aviv) but thriving secular scene here: Long may it flourish. And however many non-Charedim leave, Jerusalem will have to go a long way before it become poorer than, say, Rahat.


Jerusalem, Israel - The Satmar rebbe was supposed to attend the inauguration of his community' new compound in Jerusalem last evening and address his followers at 7:30 P.M. However, he arrived only at 9:30 P.M., and by the time this was written had not begun his speech.

Had this been a secular politician, the delay would have been explained by a desire to coincide with television's prime time news broadcasts. In Satmar's case, the explanation was completely different - it's the women's fault.

Organizers kept asking the women not to stand on Yeshayahu Street, which was intended for men, but only on Pri Hadash Road, which was designated for them. The "sacred event" could not continue unless they followed instructions, they said.

Rabbi Aharon Teitelbaum, who arrived on a flight from the U.S. via Germany to avoid flying on the Zionist El Al, came to lay the cornerstone for the new community.

Posted By Shlomah Shamos to VOS IZ NEIAS:> at 8/16/2007 12:03:00 AM

mevaseretzion said...

The Satmar rebbe was saved from Nazi murder by the zionists, Kastner in fact.

I guess there must be some cognitive dissonance there...

Holy Hyrax said...

oy, that satmar pic made me dizzy.

tnspr569 said...

I hope and pray that you're right, Jameel.

We must have faith...

Regards and Shabbat Shalom to the entire family!

Mo'ah Kemo Efro'ah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mo'ah Kemo Efro'ah said...

"Maybe if the theater didn't show movies on Shabbat back then, there would be more harmony in the city today?"

there is another way of looking at it. maybe the haredim should have just ignored the movie theater and other expressions of secularism and instead invested their energies in education and outreach. then some of those hilonim who ultimately fled the city might have become dati.

also, ultimately they want to shut down movie theaters altogether. it matters little in the end if they close for shabbat.

Anonymous said...

if the satmar rebbe opposes zionists then he is not fit to lead jewish people. it is infuriating that he was saved by zionists and now he opposes them?

someone needs to sit him down and make him understand rav kook, please.

may we return to gush katif, today!!!!!!

Jack's Shack said...

That Satmar picture is begging to be turned into a "Where's Waldo" Shot.

KACH 613 said...

Good thing he went via GERMANY instead of EL-AL,hope your right about GUSH KATIF!

Anonymous said...

No movie theater means that there won't be any religious movies being shown. Where will religious couples be able to take their wives or dates?

The Satmars are to only anti-Zionist, they also prohibit their women from driving cars. Maybe we can mekarev their children to think for themselves and to support Israel instead of a king-like Rebbe.

wannabe frum said...

anonymous - please learn the facts before you start lambasting gedolei Torah. judging by your comment, i do not believe you are familiar with the rationale [i]behind[/i] satmar ideology, but rather only with the ideology itself - and even then only with the very very basics of it... whether or not you agree with it, the satmar rebbe holds a legitimate position, and there are many gedolei yisrael (past and present) who agree with him, not to mention the thousands and thousands of chassidim and litvaks who ascribe to this view as well. furthermore, i wonder how well you yourself understand rav koook, because rav kook was not a zionist, at least not in the way modern zionism is defined today. you have a lot to learn about the history of this subject, and even then, you will still not be fit to pass judgement on anyone, let alone a gadol like the satmar rebbe.

Evan said...

I believe that Jerusalem is ALREADY the poorest city in Israel, at least on the books. of course Be'er Sheva and the development towns of the south are probably poorer in actual terms. Since the Haredim don't go into the army, they can't get permits to work, and they have to take their income under the table, hence the lower official income. At least, that's what I hear through the grape vine, not traveling in those circles myself.


will the new town be known as KY (hehehe sophmoric laugh)for short?

FC said...

Everyone knows that Germans don't fly on Shabbat or pass judgment (at Nuremberg) on anyone!

Nikol said...

While I mostly agree with your post, this article by Obadiah Shoher presents the haredim in somewhat different light Shoher argues against haredim isolating themselves from other Jews instead of bringing the religion to masses.

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