Where the street has their name by Stuart Winer
A group of women called Dina get together to celebrate a new road in Jerusalem dedicated to their biblical namesake
From left to right: Dina, Dina, Dina, Dina, Dina, Dina, Deena, Dina, and Dina, stand at the entrance to Dina Street, Jerusalem, November 3, 2017. (Stuart Winer/Times of Israel)
A curious street party took place Friday in the southern Baka neighborhood of Jerusalem when a group of women gathered to celebrate the naming of a new road in the capital, Dina Street, in honor of the biblical figure who was the daughter of the patriarch Jacob and matriarch Leah.
What made the event unusual was that all nine of those taking part carried the same name — Dina — albeit with some spelling variations.
The gathering was organized by Deena Levenstein and Dina Pinner via Facebook and invited all those named after the original Dinah to mark the new street.
Dina Street is a small pedestrian mall that leads through a new housing complex off the city’s Bethlehem Road, in the south of the capital. Many of the streets in the area are named after biblical characters –including 11 of Jacob’s 12 brothers, but not Joseph.
The organizers said they were not sure when the street was first opened and named. Pinner (an acquaintance of this reporter) said that although she lives nearby she only heard about the street when a friend posted a picture of the street sign on Facebook, which gave her the idea of having a celebration.
Joined by a common name and all living in Jerusalem, the Dinas included immigrants from a variety of countries and professions. There was a speech therapist, a statistician, a teacher and a doula Dina.
Dina Herz, originally from Switzerland and who works as a chaplain at the Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem, brought a photograph given to her by another Dina, a patient at the medical center who was unable to attend the event. The photo was her way of participating, even if she wasn’t physically there.
“She asked me to represent her,” Herz explained.
The gathering also produced an unexpected reunion — Dina Michal Zetner recalled that she was Levenstein’s teacher when she first arrived in Israel from Toronto at the age of 11.
Some of the Dinas were sabras. Dina Rachel Segev, who works in geographic information systems at the Central Bureau of Statistics, is an eighth-generation Jerusalemite. She came across town from her home in Pisgat Zeev to participate in the street party that, she explained, held special significance for her: As part of her job at the CBS, she has been tasked with mapping Dina Street and its new apartments.
“I always feel a connection with other Dinas,” Levenstein said. “The idea of a group of Dinas meeting on a long-time coming street in our name was an opportunity not to be missed. Any chance to take people from different backgrounds and connect them, I love.”
“I’m amazed so many Dinas came,” she added. “It is so touching.”
As for the spelling of her name, Deena, rather than the more common “Dina,” she said it was her parents who decided on it but noted that it is a more accurate translation into English of the original Hebrew.
Her family evidently has a certain penchant for the biblical family. Her father’s name is Yaakov, her grandfather was named Yitzchak — the original Hebrew forms of Jacob and Isaac — and she has a brother called Joseph.
Pinner, an English teacher who immigrated from the United Kingdom, said that her Arab students often point out that Dina is a popular name for Arab women too.
Genesis 34 tells Dinah’s dramatic story, known to Christians as “The rape of Dinah,” and recalls how Jacob and his family camped at Shechem, identified as being near to the modern West Bank city of Nablus. Dinah went visit the local women but the son of the local prince took Dinah and raped her, but also fell in love, and asked his father to negotiate with Jacob to obtain her hand in marriage. However, two of Dinah’s brothers, Shimon and Levi, instead avenged their sister and killed all of the men of the city, plundered it and brought Dinah back to her family.
Although public attention recently has been focused on sexual harassment following accusations of abuse at the hands of a growing list of Hollywood figures, for Pinner it isn’t Dinah’s rape that comes to mind when she thinks of her namesake, but rather the biblical figure’s efforts to build bridges with her neighbors.
“I don’t associate with her story of sexual assault, rather her as one of the tribes [of Israel]… I associate with her being part of a great family who wanted to connect with people.”
Following the success of their first happening, the Dinas are now considering forming a social media group — to help other Dinas connect.
A group of women, all called Dina, sitting at the entrance to Dina Steet in Jerusalem, November 3, 2017. (Stuart Winer/Times of Israel)
Trump hails ‘big week’ for historic move; ‘Congratulations to all,’ he tweets ahead of May 14 opening
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman gives a first glimpse of the new US embassy in Jerusalem on May 11, 2018, ahead of its opening on May 14 (Screenshot)
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman on Friday gave a first glimpse of the new US embassy in Jerusalem, showing off workers erecting the official seal on the building and preparing for the opening ceremony.
“We are so excited,” Friedman said in a video posted on the embassy’s Facebook page. “We have the official seal of the United States embassy. We have the dedication plaque. They are covered right now, but on Monday they are going to be unveiled.”
‘Next time in Jerusalem,’ jubilant Barzilai yells after victory; ‘Toy’ marks Israel’s 4th win; hundreds jump in Rabin Square fountain to celebrate; PM calls her ‘best ambassador’
Netta Barzilai after winning the final of the 63rd edition of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, on May 12, 2018. (AFP/ Francisco LEONG)
Israel won the Eurovision song contest for the first time in two decades Saturday as singer Netta Barzilai clucked and bucked her way to the top of the international song contest with women’s empowerment anthem “Toy.”
Backed up by three dancers, her trademark side buns featuring stripes of pink dyed hair to match her pink-and-black outfit, Barzilai busted her way through “Toy” on stage in Lisbon, Portugal, punctuating her singing with her trademark eye rolls and chicken dance moves
Quoted by US president one day, hosted by Russia’s president the next, PM is on a high, including in the polls. But will this encourage his more divisive tendencies?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier after the Victory Parade marking the 73th anniversary of the defeat of the Nazis in World War II, in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
JTA — On Sunday, Benjamin Netanyahu began his week by meeting his Cypriot and Greek counterparts to finalize the commercial export to Europe of Israeli gas that he has pushed to exploit for about a decade.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from nuclear deal with Iran was widely seen as a coup for Israel’s prime minister, a fierce opponent of the deal.
The same day Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed that Israel seized Iran’s archive of its military nuclear program in Tehran and spirited it to Israel, a video was posted of IDF soldiers singing Soltane Ghalbha, a traditional Persian love song – in Persian.
Taken together, the two events demonstrate the purpose of Netanyahu’s presentation.
Netanyahu’s detractors in the US and Israel called his presentation as a dog and pony show. “He didn’t tell us anything we haven’t known for years,” they sniffed.
Moreover, they insisted, Netanyahu’s presentation was actually counterproductive because he couldn’t show evidence that Iran is in breach of the nuclear deal it concluded in 2015 and so did nothing to persuade the Europeans to abandon the deal.
While US policy-makers are trying desperately to stabilize Afghanistan, a shift is being orchestrated by China.
The Chinese evidently see their role in Afghanistan as the “good cop” versus the U.S. role as “bad cop.” Like Pakistan, China seems to view the Taliban as the political opposition, not as a terrorist organization, and has offered itself as an intermediary to negotiate the departure of the U.S. and, thereby, be in a position to reap the economic and geopolitical benefits of Afghanistan as a client state of the China-Pakistan alliance.
Reuters/Ipsos set a new standard this week when it condemned its own polling as unreliably favorable to the president.
“This week’s Reuters/Ipsos Core Political release presents something of an outlier of our trend,” stated a paragraph that appeared before the press release on its latest polling even began.
“Every series of polls has the occasional outlier, and in our opinion, this is one. So, while we are reporting the findings in the interest of transparency, we will not be announcing the start of a new trend until we have more data to validate this pattern.”
For the sixth Friday in a row, protestors from Gaza came to Israel’s border with intentions to penetrate it. They come with scissors to cut through the fence, with burning tires, Molotov cocktails, slingshots with rocks, and kites with firebombs attached to them to destroy Israeli farmlands and villages.
This is not some peaceful demonstration akin to Selma in the 1960s when blacks were simply trying to sit together with whites at a lunch counter. The usage of the word “demonstrators” is a misnomer; these are “rioters.”
What would happen if the world took Pope Francis’ advice (via a tweet)? “Do we really want peace? Then let’s ban all weapons so we don’t have to live in fear of war,” said the pontiff.
While on the surface, the disappearance of all weapons might suggest the inability to do violence, in reality, it would mean the certain annihilation of the West as a civilization.
When a Philadelphia Starbucks manager called the police after two black men refused to leave, the chain of events ended with the burnt taste of the overpriced coffee chain colluding with anti-Semitism.
Starbucks reacted to the brief arrest by blaming the police, but Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who is African-American, initially said that his officers, “did absolutely nothing wrong”. But then he was forced to offer a bewildering apology to the arrested men, the officers and the entire city.
“It is me who in large part made most of the situation worse than it was,” he announced.
“Your threshing season will last until your grape harvest, and your grape harvest will last until the time you plant. You will have your fill of food, and you will dwell securely in your land” (Vayikra 26:5).
This blessing is promised to the People of Israel on condition that, as a unified nation, they observe the laws of the Torah and live by its spirit. Its promise is quite surprising. Not only will the Israelites have plenty to eat but, as the verse clearly indicates, the Jews will experience an overflow of food. The first season, when produce is brought to the threshing floor, will last until the days of the grape harvest, which in turn will continue into the planting season.