Jerusalem Gets Very Different Kind of Kabbalat Shabbat

Sabbath With Mixed Prayer, Beer and (Gasp!) Dancing

Shabbat in Jerusalem: Hundreds are gathering every week for Kabbalat Shabbat at a new venue in Jerusalem.
kinneret kahana
Shabbat in Jerusalem: Hundreds are gathering every week for Kabbalat Shabbat at a new venue in Jerusalem.

By Nathan Jeffay

Published July 22, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 3)

The Orthodox people in attendance were appreciative for the timing — just before the Sabbath instead of on the Sabbath, especially so that they can attend (otherwise they wouldn’t as Orthodox Jews don’t attend musical performances on the Sabbath).

Educator Millie Eisenberg said that she didn’t mind that the event was a world away from the Orthodox Kabbalat Shabbat she is used to, commenting: “But I wouldn’t like it to be on Shabbat with music, so this is a nice way of letting everyone enjoy it together.”

How does Eisenberg feel about it taking place in a venue that has become a hub for shopping on Shabbat? She is generally against Jerusalem businesses opening on the Sabbath, but makes an exception for this venue. “It’s not only that it’s outside of the city center; it’s also that it’s entertainment not shopping,” she said. This is the position of Ginot Ha’Ir, which wants Jerusalem to become more accommodating of Sabbath recreation that violates Orthodox law — but not to allow it to become a normal business day.

There were no Haredim in attendance, but apart from that the religious spectrum was broad. However, the ethnic mix didn’t reflect Jerusalem’s diversity. There was lots of Hebrew, English and French spoken among the people in attendance, but there were few Russian-speakers. Ethiopian Jews were conspicuously absent. And there was far heavier representation of Ashkenazim than Sephardim.

“There’s no such thing as a secular Sephardi,” insisted Shmuel Aaranov, a Sephardi taxi driver who was there for his mother and children’s sake. He doesn’t wear a yarmulke, but believes that Jewish rites should be observed the Orthodox way.

“For my mother it’s nice and it is for my kids, but it’s not my way, which is the way of the Shulchan Aruch,” he said, referring to the compendium of Jewish law.

He then gave a look of disbelief, as he exclaimed: “Beer with Kaddish!”

Contact Nathan Jeffay at jeffay @forward.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.