If you’re just tuning in, we’re finishing up an Advent series of meditations on “holy space” with the help of travel photojournalist Katie Archibald-Woodward on assignment in The Holy Land. The series, which has been running Tuesdays and Thursdays, concludes this Thursday. Here is Katie:
Some Surprising Facts about Jerusalem:
Jerusalem is actually the second poorest city in Israel. This is due to the fact that almost 1/3 of the city is Orthodox Jewish, 75% of which one might call “ultra Orthodox” (known as “Haredim”) meaning they adhere to a traditional form of Jewish law and reject modern secular culture, and many do not work for pay. Rather, they attend Yeshiva, a school where they study ancient texts, primarily the Talmud and Torah, as a full time occupation. They also are exempt from the army, which is a bit of a scandal because they are reaping the benefits of the socialist country’s resources without putting back into it in a quantitatively measurable way, including the payment of taxes. This is one of the major current conflicts between the Orthodox Jews and secular Jews.