Gazelles in Jerusalem?

It seems that there will be a small nature reserve right in Jerusalem. What is called the deer valley has now been granted protected status, thanks to common citizens “fighting” City Hall.

My only quibble with the article is the somewhat biased view by the woman who led the fight for this natural park that religious people are somehow at odds with nature. She expresses surprise that the fight to protect this spot in Jerusalem was joined by datiim.

Those of us who follow the halacha are not necessarily wedded to the concrete jungle. Part of the reason we chose to live in a yishuv was the clean air and the proximity to open spaces, not to mention the wildlife. Sure, we complain about the hyrax, and the occasional scorpion or snake in our yard is not exactly welcome, but I love to see the migrating birds flying in a “V” on their way to and from their winter homes, and the occasional hunting bird hovering overhead before it plunges down to literally “grab a bite”. When my kids were little they would sometimes find turtles – which their visiting cousins from the city thought was the coolest thing.

I would hate to live in a congested, noisy and polluted city. A few years in New York City was enough for a lifetime. I am very happy in a quiet rural environment, and I don’t think it is at odds with my observant status.


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