Skip to comments.Eruvs and electric fences: Inside the walls of Johannesburg’s Jews
Posted on 05/03/2014 6:34:51 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
The Zulus call it eGoli Place of Gold for in 1886, the coveted metal was found in abundance on the Witwatersrand, the inland ridge on which Johannesburg lies. The promise of instant fortunes catalysed the largest, most rapid urban migration in southern African history. Earths bounty crowned rand lords, and also birthed a vast apparatus of economic exploitation.
Yet for most Jews, the story of their predecessors began not in gold speculation, but pogroms in Eastern Europe. Thousands fled in ships bound for Africas tip, and many came to call the City of Gold home.
Welcome to Jewburg
Joburg is a brash city: loud and furiously alive, a frenetic omelette of cultures, languages and lifestyles. Taxi vans honk incessantly, traffic intersections-cum-markets brim with vendors selling everything from cherries and feather dusters to plastic toys and brightly beaded Alice bands.
Amid the sprawling city of over four million people live approximately 55,000 Jews, just under three-quarters of South African Jewry, situated primarily in Johannesburgs leafy northern suburbs.
With more than 50 synagogues and Jewish schools, yeshivas, mikvahs, kosher eateries and six eruvs (that together create the greater Johannesburg super-eruv), Joburg Jews live full, if fortified, lives. Add to that the Jewish old age and disabled persons homes and a private ambulance service: the community looks after its own. At one stage Jo'burg was even referred to as Jewburg on account of its burgeoning Jewish population, and had a Jewish mayor, Harry Graumann.
However, from its zenith of 120,000 in the mid-1970s, the countrys Jewish community has shrunk considerably, in three large waves of emigration: the first following the Soweto Riots in 1976; the second in the mid-1980s; and the final mass exodus during the period of transition to majority rule in 1994.
(Excerpt) Read more at haaretz.com ...
The Jews like South African whites in general, will vote this year again for the opposition Democratic Alliance.
I lived and worked on Kibbutz Tsora by Bet Shemesh. It was established by South African Jews. Loved my time there. I miss a few of them I got to know. I hope they are all well.
One of the things that I do in my spare time is “drive around” some part of the world using Google Maps. When I did a wealthy area in Sudafrica I immediately notices that every house was walled off from the street (and I mean every house) at its front property line. There would be an electric gate to drive in and out.
Try it - look up Glenhazel on Google Maps and drive around.
Bobl, I LOVE doing that!
Yesterday I “drove” through Pyongyang, North Korea. What a NASTY place that is from the Bird’s Eye!
I will now go to Glenhazel at your suggestion.
BTW, I’ve been to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Beijing, Katmandu, Agra, Mumbai, Diego Garcia, Tahiti, Iwo Jima, Seoul, Rangoon, Mandalay, Paris, Rome, Cairo, Jerusalem, and Many American Cities. I went to Saigon the other day too.
Neat, and it saves a fortune.
I haven’t done too many other cities, but Australia was fun. What’s also fun for me is to stop at a point and ask my wife what country I’m in. Not easy.
I asked the cabbie about it once, and he said, "Oh, yes - just like in America".
He wasn't kidding.
“I asked the cabbie about it once, and he said, “Oh, yes - just like in America”...He wasn’t kidding. “
Maybe that’s what he thinks of America, but it is not yet the reality...although it will be in one generation once Amnesty is passed.
What I wonder about is what did those neighborhoods look like 30 years ago, when the whites ran the country.
Another cool journey was visiting all the Islands my dad fought on(or visited) in WW2. Vanautu, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Etc. Quite an eye-opener. Especial the Solomons.
By the way, I looked at that part of Durban - absolutely GORGEOUS. I really want to go there now (and I did before).
But yes, when I picked my first ‘drive’ they were steel fenced, but with layers of barbed wire on top (just as you said). It is such a BEAUTIFUL country. They can do GREAT, just with tourism, if they would simply put bad guys in jail.
I wish them the best, and I will try to get there, if they don’t get any worse.
I went to Iceland, Greenland, Baffin island, and Nunavut the other day.
That is my ancestral homeland, as I am part Inuit.
However, the only way I EVER want to visit those places would be from my computer in S. FLA! LOL!