This week in Jerusalem 469187

Peggy Cidor’s round-up of city affairs.

Mahane Yehuda Market (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Mahane Yehuda Market
Oops… sorry
Some of us may still remember it: Three years ago, at the end of the election day for city council of 2013, the big surprise was the decision of the Ger Hassidim to break with the decision of the rabbis in the haredi sector and to support candidate Nir Barkat. This, considered then as no less than an earthquake in haredi society, again brought Barkat to the mayor’s office at Safra Square and left the rest of the sector, mostly the Lithuanian haredim, with a sore taste of defeat. It also left a loser – candidate Moshe Lion.
Since then, there has been no official contact between the Gers and the rest of the haredim, including the other hassidic sects. But sometimes, a wedding can heal many wounds, especially when it is clear to the parties involved that reaching a peace agreement is the best thing for all – it’s just that no side is ready to take the first step. That is until last week, when in an impressive move, the most important leader in the Lithuanian camp, Rabbi Leib Shteinman, honored Ger Rabbi Yaakov Aryeh Alter by showing up at the wedding of the Ger’s grandson.
While the guests enjoyed the simha and danced, the two rabbis met in private and announced that the enemies of the past are now brothers again and will work together hand-inhand to promote the interests of the city’s entire haredi sector.
Looming on the horizon, in two years from now, are the next elections for city council and mayor. Most likely, Lion will again be the official candidate of the haredim, and it is still not clear what Barkat’s plans are.
Going, going, gone!
There has been another blow to the Shas Party and city council list, with the resignation of councilman Nachmaniel Saban as of this past week.
Saban was chosen for the position by Shas leader Arye Deri, a decision that caused him to leave Modi’in Illit and move to Jerusalem about two years ago.
Saban represented Shas’s young generation and as a resident of Kiryat Hayovel, he was very active – some say too active – in the neighborhood’s conflicts between haredim and seculars.
Saban fiercely opposed movie screenings put on by the local community center and even organized special meetings on that matter at city council.
Saban is the second member of Shas leaving the council, after Nati Lasri left more than a year ago, apparently because of his closeness to Deri’s rival Eli Yishai. Saban’s official reason for leaving is to place more focus on being manager of the nearby Tel Zion village – a position which, unlike his city council post, is salaried.
Enjoy for free
As of this week, parking close to Mahaneh Yehuda in the evening will be almost free – just NIS 20 for the entire night, between 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., for those who wish to enjoy the shuk’s bars and restaurants. No car will be allowed to park inside the shuk during evening hours. The Kiah parking lot on the side of the Kiah building, which was closed until now, will be open and accessible for shuk visitors during the evening, as will the large parking on Agrippas Street close to the market. As of now, all drivers will be directed to the Shukanyon.