Love of the Land

For the week ending 6 January 2007 / 16 Tevet 5767

Tale of 43rd Street

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
At the entrance to Jerusalem there is a street called Rechov Ha-mem-gimmel, literally translated as 43rd Street. But this name is not a mere number such as in Brooklyn's BoroPark, Manhattan's midtown, or any of the other big cities of the world that have abandoned names for numbers.

The number 43 given to this street is a memorial to the 43 Moroccan Jews who drowned while trying to reach Israel many years ago.

While the number recalls tragic death, the street itself expresses life. At the very beginning of the street is the Magen David Adom (Israel's counterpart to Red Cross) with its sophisticated emergency medical services, blood bank and fleet of ambulances. At the other end of the street (where the building is No. 43!) is the beginning of the religious community of Kiryat Mattersdorf which was established in 1965 with a substantial influx of American immigrants to Israel.

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