or The Popesse
From an insider's viewpoint Israel reveals itself to be not as compact and unified, as it might appears from an external perspective.
There is certainly a core of homogeneous non religious or moderately religious, well educated cosmopolitan middle class that the foreigner tend to identify, wrongly, with the majority, mainly because is the only one he got to know, but in general , people in Israel are deeply divided and diversified in many ethnic religious groups. There are many synagogues, the orthodox, the ultra orthodox, the reformed, there are observant jews, of the shabbat as of other everyday rules, the non observant, car driving on shabbat, and even pork eaters, there are those who throw stone on the formers, people who on shabbat just read and do nothing , ("Which one of you will have a son or an ox fall into a well, and will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?”)
there are of course shabbat lifts at the Hilton, and in the all major Hotels, going up and down, stopping at each floor so that people do not have to press the button, there are women veiled, without veil, the ones with hat, the hatless, those with the wig, so that they show other women hairs and keep hidden hers own, sweating in a subtropical country like Israel, those who cook on shabbat, those who keep their food warm on special heated tray, those with one kitchen sink and the others with two sinks and two sets of cutlery, for meat and cheese, those who accept your dinner invitation and share your own non kosher, Goim food, and others who do not.
Such is the variety of organized identities and behaviours that it does not come entirely as a surprise the joke that, if the external surrounding hostility of the muslim population did not exist, these groups would immediately start a war between themselves.
One would have thought that it should have been difficult to differentiate themselves within people that are already different but jewish people are very successful in doing just that. probably because the process of differentiation does not stop with the different, you have to keep up your differences from the different..
It is really a shock for a poor italian, coming from a country with a church that is more centralized than a leninist party, one church one pope, and the whole hierarchical structure the comes with it.
But I happened to think that if you look closely even Christianity is a jewish sect, founded by a jew, Saint Paul, in which the process of differentiation having touched its climax, that is , being totally different from the already different , reaches the paradoxically conclusion: the sameness.
For you are all one in Christ Jesus, There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, ( Paul letter to the Galatians 3:28).
Being all one in Jesus, the difference is no more contemplated or tolerated, but persecuted.
Nevertheless having realized that Christianity is a jewish sect made me feel happier and really less different from the jewish older brothers, and I began to think of them as less different than they themselves think they are.
Felice chi è diverso. Essendo egli diverso. Ma guai a chi è diverso. Essendo egli comune. (Sandro Penna)