כ"ז לחודש העשירי תשע"ד
The following is a work of fiction,...unfortunately...
JERUSALEM, December 26, 2013 -- Christmas Day in Israel is usually filled with the hustle and bustle of a regular work day in the predominantly Jewish nation of Israel. In the pockets. With the increase in openly Christian, Russians and Ukrainians, claiming the right of free, religious expression, the appearance of Christmas Day in Israel has changed. This Christmas, though, there was a sharp change.
Yesterday morning great rumbles were heard throughout the Old City of Jerusalem. Various reports still coming in suggest that the Center Region of Israel experience a series of earthquakes. Yet, many Jewish residents and tourists, were dumbfounded to hear this, as they reported feeling nothing of the sort. A tour of Jerusalem's Old City revealed a random pattern of destruction of ancient, as well as recently renovated, structures. However, upon closer examination, the layout of damage was not at all random.
Churches throughout Jerusalem's Old City incurred the brunt of the destruction. Only scattered reports have been coming into through Israeli news media regarding injuries. So far, it appears that there has been more abandonment of places, considered holy to Christians, than anything else.
Catholic, Russian, Greek, Armenian, and Ethiopian Orthodox structures were all equally affected throughout Jerusalem, and not limited to within the walls of its Old City. The German Colony, the Russian Compound, eastern portions of the city were just a few of the vast areas affected.
The once imposing Russian Orthodox church on the Mount of Olives has been almost completely buried under an apparent mudslide.
The Jerusalem Post was surprising silent about yesterday's remarkable events.
Korean Christians singing, once heard emanating from Downtown hostels apartments has been silences. The Japanese Christians usually present and singing Saturday nights Ben-Yehudah Street have been conspicuously absent. In fact, Christian missionaries have not been sighted in the popular Ben-Yehudah shopping district in quite some time.
The transformation of Downtown Jerusalem's Klal Building (97 Yaffo Street/Davidka Light Rail Station) into a Christian Headquarters has been halted. Spaces once housing the King Of Kings rooftop offices, the Pavilion
The Baptist Church on Narkiss Street also appears to have been abandoned.
The heavy influx of devout Christian guest workers from the Philippines, the appearance of Christmas Day in Israel has not only changed, but has changed quite profoundly.
However, this year seems to have marked a drastic change in the opposite direction, and have included many unusual incidents, incidents which do not appear to have any tangible explanation associated with them.
As has been reported weeks ago already, Israel's historical snowstorm has damaged this year's Christmas tree crop.
The demand for flights to the Philippines is unprecedented. According to confidential sources, many of those Philippine nationals attempting to leave Israel for home, have expired work or tourist visas. Yet, why there has been a sudden rush to leave Israel, praised as their "Holy Land, too," no one has been able to guess.
|Christmas Fair, Tel-Aviv Central Bus Station, 2006|
The once flourishing Christmas fair on the ground floor of the Tel-Aviv Central Bus Station Mall, was deserted this year. One of Tel-Aviv's infamous "messianic" Christian coffeehouses has closed, and has a "For Rent" sign pasted to the window.
North in the Shomron (Samaria), Christian volunteers have also disappeared suddenly. Their residences in the City of Ariel are reportedly empty. The Churches there have stopped advertising, and may have gone back underground, if they continue to exist at all. Arab intervention has not been ruled out. However, Arabs have reported being as dumbfounded as the Jews, who will now have to pick this year's second (mid-rainy season) olive harvest by themselves.
Farther north, the planned location for the giant statue of the Christian false deity/messiah (or whatever they happen to be calling him these days), expected to rival Corcovado in Brazil, has been rejected due to the instability of the area. A new location has yet to be announced. However, it does not appear that one will be found anytime soon due to the apparently very disappointing geological survey reports.
In the south, "messianic" Christian centers in Arad and Be'er Sheva have closed up shop. No forward numbers nor addresses have been left.
Various rabbis have already started meeting to discuss the halakhic (Jewish legal) implications, of the destroyed and abandoned properties.
Which materials used in Christian worship, and in the buildings which housed them, are permissible for re-use? Which materials must be destroyed according to halakhah?
The Israeli Chief Rabbinate has yet to make any official statements regarding these matters, or on yesterdays unusual events on the whole.
Israel really did have a Merry Christmas this year!
Surely, the Merriest ever!