Richard Branson brings some laughs to the Jaffa flea market

by Phil Schneider

The Middle East is known for many things. But one thing that nearly everyone seems to agree about is that the haggling in the markets is a unique experience. Richard Branson chose to do some PR in this most unique place – the Jaffa flea market. Many people frequent the various markets in the Middle East, but perhaps the most fascinating one in the State of Israel is the Jerusalem marketplace. Most people call it simply, “The Shuk.”

The Shuk in Jerusalem has a certain magnetism that draws people from all over the city to buy it’s wares. Some people come for the prices, and some people come for the quality and freshness of the fruit. But there is one facet of The Shuk that is perhaps the essential cause of the magnetism for so many. The Shuk is a microcosm of the Jewish people – in 2 blocks. Every single nationality is featured somehow in The Shuk. Since the Jewish people have been scattered around the world for 2 millenia, there are Jews who returned to the Land of Israel from more than the 4 corners of the earth. They have come from more than 25 countries to make their home in the Land of Israel. You can smell the unique aromas, and taste the delicacies from Asian, African, and other Middle Eastern countries and never get bored. There are always new things propping up to try out as there are always new communities that are coming back to the Land of Israel.

The story of the return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel is indeed the story of the Biblical narrative coming back to life in a way that is simply mind-boggling. We are privileged to see miracles in our time.

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