Within 10 minutes walking distance of your house you can daven in every single type of (religious) bet knesset that exists.
As you walk past the shtiebel, get to the dati leumim next to the Sephardim and anglo dati leumim and temanim and morrocaim and charedim who aren’t charedi, do you daven with chabad or with carlebach. Or pick the charedim who are charedi or the dati leumi sefardim or the other dati leumi shul. Or maybe you choose to daven with the anglo baaley teshuva or the netz minyan of sefaradim.
In your building you have charedim opposite you, downstairs are a French couple and a charedi Russian couple.
Above you are the old American couple, next to them the israeli sefardi charedi family and finally in the top floor a newly married kollel couple living opposite the newly married army couple.
Bumping into various friends in the supermarket they all look different to you. You talk to as many jackets as you do designer shirts. (sheitels as scarves)
Imagine seeing Abutbul posters hanging next to Cohen posters from the same apartment building.
Sending your boys to a chug that has as many peyot as it has kippot srugot…
Sending your girls to a chug that has as many tights as it does sandals.
A place where if you want bney akiva for your children it is there but if you prefer avot and banim the choice is yours.
Does it sound too good to be true?
Imagine a place….
Where the real estate is still going up in value, as is the demand to get close to the area… So much so that the area slowly expands.
Well it already exists… I call it the purple zone.
In my shul we have a shtreimel, 4 sefardim, 4 baaley teshuva, 6 kipot srugot, six kipot shachor, kids going to every school in the city, and our rav is involved in starting up charedi high schools that put kids on to the army track.
Half of my neighbours voted for Eli.
The other half voted for Abutbul.
And no one threw stones.
I live in the purple zone.
In harmony with my charedi and dati leumi neighbors.
Beit Shemesh is one of the fastest growing cities in the country.
Thats not a joke, its a serious undertaking.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could all get together to make it a city that we are all proud of.
I understand that for most of the world it’s red or blue…
I understand that most people feel comfortable living amongst their own kind.
A Mekubal once said to me. “We didn’t come to this world to eat pizza!”
As a family – the Bet Shemesh family, we can make a change.
We have enough voices and people from all sides of the spectrum who want to make a change that we can make serious headway on all the serious issues that have come to light over the past few months.
But we have to do it together as a family.
I invite anyone living in the blue or red zone to help spread the purple zone.