Local traditions and culture in Tel Aviv District

  • DJs in the Tel-Aviv Purim street festival
    DJs in the Tel-Aviv Purim street...
    by iblatt
  • "Ballerinas" in the Tel-Aviv Purim...
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  • Tel-Aviv Purim street festival
    Tel-Aviv Purim street festival
    by iblatt

Most Viewed Local Customs in Tel Aviv District

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    Succot Holiday Market in Bnei Brak

    by iblatt Written Oct 14, 2011

    Succot is one of the Jewish festive holidays celebrated in the Hebrew month of Tishrei, which may fall either in September or October. One of the most important religious customs in Succot is saying the blessings on the "Four Species". These are the citron, palm branch, myrtle twigs and willow branches.

    The origin of this custom is the law mentioned in the Old Testament: "On the first day [of Succot] you shall take the product of citrus trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before God for seven days."

    Bnei Brak is a city in the Tel-Aviv District with a vast majority of very orthodox religious Jews. Before the holiday of Succot each year there is a big market for buying the Four Species. Every religious Jew buys a set of these, and tries to obtain the best and "healthiest" looking items.
    Visiting the Bnei Brak Foue Species Marketplace is an interesting experience. You hear the sellers proclaiming their merchandise and praising it, and you see the many buyers scrutinizing every leaf of the myrtle twig, holding the palm branch and eyeing it to see if it is really as straight as it is supposed to be, and examining the citron to make sure it does not have the slightest flaw. The citron itself costs between $12-18.

    Finally, having chosen the Four Species items and before actually making the purchase, many buyers go into a small crowded pavilion where they can consult their rabbis about the items they are about to buy.

    Four-Species market, Bnei Brak Succot Four Species market in Bnei Brak Scrutinizing a citron; 4-Species market, Bnei Brak Examining the myrtle; 4-Species market, Bnei Brak Boy with palm branch, 4-Species market, Bnei Brak
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Festivals

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    Soldiers everywhere

    by Bianca7 Written Aug 16, 2005

    Israel has mandatory military service for men and women. They enter after grade 12 from Highschool and get put into different units. Usualy only males carry guns but some females also carry large guns.
    The first time I visited Israel when I was 16, I came from Canada and had only seen a gun on tv or the kind the police carry. For first-time visitors to Israel, the experience is a little scary but to Israelies it is very common. If you are uncomfortable, simply tell the solider to move his gun so it is not pointed at you.

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    "Do you have a gun"?

    by Bianca7 Written Aug 16, 2005

    This is a common question when you enter a mall as well as a search with a metallic wand (the kind the airport security use) as well as a baggage check. This occurs in every large shop or public place one wishes to enter. Israel has a strong visible security presence all over the country for obvious reasons.
    Sometimes they also frisk men and try to do so for some woman but if they get too close make sure to tell them off. They aren't really supposed to frisk women so make sure they dont try to cop a feel. (the wand is ok though).

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    Israelies are very friendly

    by Bianca7 Written Aug 16, 2005

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    Travelers can instantly make friends as Israelis enjoy making friends from around the world and helping people. Do not be suprised if after you meet someone, they invite you to their family dinner the next day. Once I met a medical student on the beach asking for directions to a specific beach and he told me it wasnt a great beach and to come with him to a more posh beach since he was meeting his friends. I went swimming all day long on their private yacht and on jet skis.
    You can get invited to many exclusive events, private dinners and even Israelis invite you on vacations to the North or to Eilat with their friends. This would never happen in Canada so embrace it and your new friends!

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    Why are you wearing that?!

    by Bianca7 Written Aug 16, 2005

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    Israelies tend to be very blunt. I have seen strangers ask another stranger "why are you wearing those pants, they are really ugly". This statment does not get a positive reaction to which ugly-pant guy will respond its non of the mans business. The strangers will continue to quarell and yell at one another. I do not understand why some Israelies to this and trust, me.... I have seen this numerous times. Israelies like to offer a lot of unsolicited advice.
    One day, I was wearing a floor length white skirt. This little old lady stopped me and told me that I couldn't wear this skirt and I was sweaping 1/2 the city with my skirt and insisted I go home and change --- and no, she was not being sweet or nice about it. She was serious!
    People will tell one another if they do not like someone's haircut, jeans, car, t-shirt, dress, etc. Most of the time this is unsolicited advice but if you happen to ask someone what they think of your outfit, be prepared to get a blunt and honest reply.

    While they say "honesty is the best policy", I prefer that people keep their own rude comments to themselves and if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.

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    Watch for people budging in line

    by Bianca7 Written Aug 16, 2005

    Apparently, people do not like to wait their turn or respect someone else who is the middle of being served. This is extremely rude and I do not tollerate it. (I am from Vancouver but live in Tel Aviv right now).

    Watch out for people budging in lines in the banks, supermarkets, government offices or just about anywhere. Another popular thing they like to do is get 1/2 their shopping and then abandon their buggy in the check-out line. They proceed to run around and get a milk here, 2 carrots there, a bottle of wine etc and then come back to their buggy and yell at you and tell you they were in front of the line.

    Sometimes they dont even have a buggy or a basket "saving" their space but they save one anothers space. They ask "mi aharon" ("who is last in line?") and then they claim "alright, I am after you". Then by the time the person comes back, the person "saving" their space has already checked through and left but they yell at you for taking their space because it was saved for them.

    I can't stand this! Don't let them push you around just because you are a tourist!

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    BBQ on the national park in Ramat Gan

    by ophiro Written May 30, 2005

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    In Ramat Gan you will find a big park , near the zoo.

    You can find here places to sit and enjoy the sun or walking/running trails.

    A lot of people come here to a nice BBQ.


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Tel Aviv District Local Customs

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