In the fullness of time

It was not only proof of miracles but a testimony of faith.

Mahane Yehuda Market 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Mahane Yehuda Market 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
■ YET FURTHER proof that Israel is the land of miracles was evidenced in a heart-warming story published last weekend in Israel Hayom. It was not only proof of miracles but a testimony of faith.
Jerusalem couple Shlomo and Edna Naki, who live in the Bukharan Quarter, are both 54 years old. They married when they were 20 and looked forward to having a large family. But it didn’t happen.
Shlomo’s younger sister produced 11 children, but Shlomo and Edna remained childless. Over the years they went for countless tests that indicated that both were perfectly healthy and that there was no reason for them not to have a baby.
When nature didn’t take its course, Edna sought medical help and underwent painful fertility treatments, even though she didn’t really need them. Some doctors refused to treat her. Others did their best to help her. She did conceive on four occasions, but they resulted in miscarriages.
Then last year, she became pregnant again. This time, the couple hardly dared hope. To conceive in her 50s was almost impossible. To carry a baby to full term was more than unlikely. But it was time for the Nakis to have their miracle, and their daughter Sara Hodaya came into the world less than a month ago, a perfectly healthy, beautiful little girl who was delivered by Caesarean section.
Edna is a very private person, who ordinarily would not speak to the media. But she and Shlomo decided that despite all their disappointments, they had never given way to despair and continued to believe that they would one day be parents, so they wanted to share their faith and their optimism with others who might also be waiting for a miracle. The commandment to increase and multiply is on the man and not on the woman. From time to time, Edna told him that he should leave her and marry someone else who could provide him with the family he wanted. His reply was that he was perfectly content to have Edna as his wife, aside from which there was no guarantee that if he married someone else, his second wife would become pregnant.
Word of the miracle spread quickly, and the Nakis are getting congratulatory phone calls from around the globe and all over Israel.
Some of the callers have told them that they thought their own situations were hopeless until they were made aware of the miracle in Jerusalem.
■ IT’S ONE thing for a few non-kosher restaurants and bars to operate in the Mahaneh Yehuda market, but quite another for the market to be open on Shabbat as a night spot for the city’s secular population, especially those in their late teens and 20s who claim that they have nowhere to go to have fun on a Friday night. There are quite a few bars and dance spots, as well as the Cinematheque, that are open on Friday night and during the day on Saturday, and as long as they don’t do anything disruptive, most people turn a blind eye.
But unlike the Talpiot industrial zone, which is sufficiently far away from residential neighborhoods to allow for Friday night entertainment without trampling on people’s sensibilities, the market area, which contains several small synagogues and is very close to religious neighborhoods, is not exactly the place for electronic music to be turned up full volume on Friday nights. It’s bad enough for the religious neighbors when it happens on Thursday nights, but Friday night is a definite no-no.
That’s the final word of Shimon Darwish, who chairs the Mahaneh Yehuda Merchants Association. Most vendors are afraid that if the market becomes a place of Shabbat desecration, the nearby religious communities, as well as religious people from elsewhere who come to the market to buy in bulk for large families, yeshivot and seminaries, will take their business elsewhere.
As it is, merchants are unhappy that so many of the tour groups that fill up the market buy little or nothing and are just busy taking photos. Merchants often complain that such groups block the path of genuine shoppers who, in their frustration at having to weave through the gawking crowd, sometimes decide to go home and buy less and pay more at their local supermarket.