Tel Aviv’s Street of Sins

Dana • Tel Aviv

I was walking down Shenkin street in Tel Aviv at around 5 pm on Saturday when a black-hatted ultra-Orthodox man stopped to ask if there were any restaurants open in the area. At first I didn’t find it odd that he was ultra-Orthodox and asking about open restaurants before Shabbat ended, so I told him that Orna and Ella was open. Then he asked me if they served pork.

“Oh, yes, they probably aren’t kosher,” I said.

“No, I want them to serve pork,” he said. “I want to eat pork, and I heard that here, on Shenkin street, you can eat pork.”

“Why do you want to eat pork?” I asked, confused, because even I, a secular Israeli, have never eaten pork, and here was this ultra religious man asking me about where to eat pork.

“I live in a ultra religious society, in Rishon LeZion, but I don’t believe in God,” he explained. “I’m unhappily married, I have children, but I don’t feel connected to any of it. I grew up in that society, but I did not choose it. So now I want to try pork for the first time in my life. I thought Shenkin was the street of sins.”


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