Mea Shearim

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Aug 11th, 2004, 11:36 PM
  #1
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Mea Shearim

I am interested in visiting Mea Shearim. I've read several travel books that layout walking maps/tours of the area. These same books also point out that you should dress modestly and not gawk at the residents, or photograph them, without their permission. These same travel books show pictures of signs at the entrance of Mea Shearim that state in several languages "NO TOURISTS WELCOME". There is a big contradiction. It seems like a missed opportunity not to see this area. Recommendations? Insights?
klyff is offline  
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Aug 12th, 2004, 03:35 AM
  #2
sandi
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It does seem like a contradition, but those who live here would prefer that "outsiders" not visit and gawk, therefore, the sign. However, if you happen to be in the area, you should leisurely stroll thru the community quietly and try to be as unobtrusive as possible. You will still be noticed as outsiders, so you too will be "looked at" in this community where they know who belongs and who doesn't.

Best that you not be a group, rather two or three people are fine. And don't forget modest dress for women (no shorts or abbreviated tops, no pants) - long skirt and long sleeve shirt are best; likewise a man should dress appropriately.

Don't forget to stop at the Olive Wood shop on the way into or out of the area. Don't recall the street name, but the shop in down a flight of steps. They have some great items for gifts.
 
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Aug 13th, 2004, 10:05 AM
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I was curious too, and went there with my then 16-year-old son. I was dressed modestly, long skirt, long sleeves, hat. My son had one of those obnoxious t-shirts with some pop band on it, jeans and sneakers, head uncovered.

Being a female, walking the narrow streets, I was afraid to accidentally touch somebody... There was a huge sign over the street: only modestly dressed can pass in our neighbourhood. My son said he's starting to feel creepy.

I did not see any females in the streets there, not even girls! Being born in a Jewish neighborhood in Eastern Europe I did not anticipate that feeling of being out of place there. I would not go there again.

Aside from this, we really enjoyed our visit.
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Aug 14th, 2004, 02:22 PM
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I'm way, way past 16 and I think it's creepy too. Not as creepy as some Beverly Hills beauty salons, maybe, but creepy.
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Aug 15th, 2004, 05:28 PM
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Mea Shearim is worth a visit. It's interesting to see a culture which is so different from what we see daily.

Just be respectful, don't offend them. Just as you wouldn't offend the Amish when you go visit their towns ad neighborhoods.

Live and let live.
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Aug 16th, 2004, 01:36 PM
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I visited by myself while on a business trip to Israel, and I didn't encounter any overt hostility or discomfort. I just wandered around and didn't take any photos, but frankly, I didn't find the neighborhood that different from some areas in New York city.

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