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)
We all know that the midterm elections are different this time around. They are usually like “all politics,” namely local. But this time around they’re different. They are all presidential, all about Trump, as most everything is. And for the anti-Trump crowd — I’m talking about the political commentators and “analysts” — any and all things bad are held to be Trump’s fault. This is presumably because they believe that their condemnations of Trump will result in a Democrat takeover of the House of Representatives.
A new book explores how graffiti artists in Beirut skirt limitations on expression to share political criticism in the streets.
A photograph of the book “Drawing Lines” by Tamara Zantout, taken at the launch of the book at Beit Beirut cultural center, Beirut, Lebanon, Oct. 25, 2018.
BEIRUT — Beirut’s alleyways and streets are peppered in bright, detailed and provocative graffiti. Street artists use the medium, which exists in a legal grey area, to express their identity and give voice to political frustrations.
On Tuesday, San Francisco will become the largest city in the nation to allow noncitizens to vote, and the city has spent $310,000 on a “new registration system” specifically aimed at illegals. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, the plan is the first in the state and follows Proposition N, a 2016 ballot measure allowing votes by noncitizens over the age of 18, reside in the city, and have children under age 19.
By the count of the Chronicle, only 49 noncitizens have signed up to vote on Tuesday, which works out to $6,326 for every illegal voter, but there’s more to the story. City officials are worried that voting could expose illegals to ICE, who might come looking and possibly deport somebody. So supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, a backer of Proposition N, urged the city to spend $500,000 to warn the illegals.
At first Sabbath service after massacre, shooting survivors are blessed; rabbi says to those who condemned Trump’s visit: ‘No one tells me how to welcome a guest in my own home’
On November 3, 2018, a joint communal Shabbat prayer service at Pittsburgh’s Beth Shalom Conservative synagogue following the massacre a week prior which saw 11 Jewish community members killed. (Amanda Borschel-Dan/Times of Israel)
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania — A week after an anti-Semitic shooter massacred 11 worshipers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, the community embraced each other in prayer on Saturday.
IS EUROPE RETURNING to the horrors of the 1930s? In an assessment typical of the moment, Max Holleran writes in the New Republic that “in the past ten years, new right-wing political movements have brought together coalitions of Neo-Nazis with mainstream free-market conservatives, normalizing political ideologies that in the past rightly caused alarm.” He sees this trend creating a surge in “xenophobic populism.” Writing in Politico, Katy O’Donnell agrees: “Nationalist parties now have a toehold everywhere from Italy to Finland, raising fears the continent is backpedaling toward the kinds of policies that led to catastrophe in the first half of the 20th century.” Jewish leaders like Menachem Margolin, head of the European Jewish Association, sense “a very real threat from populist movements across Europe.”
IS EUROPE RETURNING to the horrors of the 1930s? In an assessment typical of the moment, Max Holleran writes in the New Republic that “in the past ten years, new right-wing political movements have brought together coalitions of Neo-Nazis with mainstream free-market conservatives, normalizing political ideologies that in the past rightly caused alarm.”
We’ve been told for a long time that the ceasefire is on the way. It had many names in the past, such as tahdiah, hudna, and most recently—”an arrangement.” On Friday, once again, reports started emerging that an agreement has been reached. Several hours later, southern Israel was hit with a barrage of rockets. What happened?
And He said, “You will not be able to see My face, for No Human Being shall see Me and live.” — Shemot 33:20
Faith is deeper than knowledge. While scientific data is absorbed only in the brain, faith permeates all parts of the human personality. Nothing is untouched, all spiritual limbs quiver, and everything is transformed. It is thus more difficult to acquire faith than knowledge, and faith has a more radical effect on the human being.
A Catholic archbishop recently touched on an unspoken but highly subversive phenomenon: How anti-Christian forces exploit Christian teachings to empower those who seek to dismantle Christian civilization, Muslims being chief among them.
In an interview published last summer by the Italian outlet IlGionarle.it, Catholic Archbishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan said:
The King of Jordan, not some lowly clerk, announced that Jordan will not extend the currently existing leases renting two parcels of land to Israel. One is the so-called Island of Peace in the northern Naharayim area and the other located in the southern Arava, near Tzofar, an agricultural cooperative village (moshav). Jordan was entirely within its rights to decide not to renew the leases