Monday, August 13, 2007

Modiin Illit / Kiryat Sefer

Last week I headed out to Modiin to do some learning with Moish. But then we got hungry. We needed to go out to get some kosher cold cuts.

On our way out the door, we noticed that the Modiin Municipality had been trimming the date palms lining the road. Sukkot is only a month and a half a way, and this stuff makes perfect schach (the stuff that covers the sukkah.)

Schach, and it's free!

Moish shoves schach into his warehouse. This stuff typicaly costs 7 shekels per frond, and we got like 40 of them.

Of course, this was a golden mitzvah opportunity! After all, every four amot (paces) one walks in the Land of Israel is a mitzvah, so as long as we were getting cold cuts, why not go somewhere new. With 150 horsepower under the hood, the magic carpet can get about 10,000 amot per hour, so why not leave town completely? We ended up in Modiin Illit (upper Modiin.) Whereas Modiin located right on the green line (the line dividing Israel from the Jordanian occupation prior to 1967,) Modiin Illit, also known as Kiryat Sefer, is a few kilometers over the green line. Unlike heavily secular Modiin, Modiin Illit is a hareidi (ultra-orthodox) settlement, and just this year, due to its astronomical birthrate, and now with a population well over 30,000, overtook Maaleh Adumim as the largest community over the green line.

The road in to Modiin Illit

The welcome bush

People at bus stop

The mean streets of Modiin Illit

Hareidi cities have the reputation as being not-so-clean. After all, with ten kids in an average family, who has time to pick up after all of them? But Modiin Illit, while not at the asthetic level of the main city of Modiin, is relatively clean and well-tended, with parks, gardens, and trees. It looks like a nice place to live, if you can deal with wearing all black in hundred degree weather and 100% humidity.

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