Rabbi Sol Solomon’s Rabbinical Reflection #154 (3/24/18) – DimonaLand
airs March 24, 2018 on Dave’s Gone By. Youtube: https://youtu.be/azlmn6yQcSs
Shalom, Dammit! This is Rabbi Sol Solomon with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of March 25, 2018.
What does Israel really need? What’s missing from the land of milk and honey? Oh, some would say peace between Jews and Arabs. Others might suggest curing cancer or irrigating more of the Negev. But a couple of Rabbis have a different idea. They say what Israel needs most of all is a theme park.
No, I am not kidding. A story in the Jerusalem Post explains that entrepreneurs have been visiting Eretz Yisroel in the hopes of building a Jewish equivalent of Disney’s Magic Kingdom. In fact, planning is well under way for a 60-acre tourist attraction in the heart of Dimona—a city which, until now, was best known for housing the secret arsenal of Israel’s nuclear weapons. What better place to bring kids for a Hebraic vacation or, as I call it, Shlepcot.
The theme park will consist of five “worlds”: “World of Spirits, World of the Jewish Nation, World of Society, World of Time, and Oasis.” Someone got lazy with the last one, there. (Either that, or Noel Gallagher is really out of ideas.) But this is beautiful – Lea Malul, CEO of the project, told the Jerusalem Post, quote, “The park will have the same rides and the same layout as Disney World but with content. It will be 90% fun and 10% content.” Because God forbid Jews should have 100% fun at anything. No, always gotta make room for disappointment and boredom. Even at Passover, a happy holiday where we escaped from slavery and entered the holy land, we pour out 10 percent of our wine glasses. Why? Because Egyptians died, and we’re not supposed to celebrate too much. So now they’ll have a theme park where the last 10 seconds of the roller coaster slows down for a physics lesson.
But seriously, although the original idea for Shlepcot was put forward by a New Jersey Rabbi, the venue won’t be one of these biblical passion pageants. Nevertheless, it will promote Talmudic values. For example—and again, this is right from the Jerusalem Post—the popular Splash Mountain ride will include a theme of six work days and then, after the drop, a calm zone representing the day of rest. There’ll also be a People of the Book Roller Coaster. Which I guess means that Genesis and Exodus go really fast, and the last three books go two miles an hour and put you to sleep before Deuteronomy. They also might consider branding the long lines in the hot sun as representing 40 years in the desert, and making The Haunted Mansion Leona Helmsley’s old apartment.
If the project goes forward, developers expect the surrounding area to be built up with shopping malls, hotels—I’d say falafel stands are a good bet. More importantly, officials from Dimona hope to make that city an international destination. Said one official, quote, “Every year, four million cars pass by en route from Beersheba to Eilat. We want them stopping in Dimona.” What they don’t say is that the city was originally settled by North Africans and later got an influx of Russians. So the theme park will have both rhythm and fixed elections.
Here’s one more quote from Malul, the CEO: “Jewish history is mostly sad – with the Holocaust and so on.” I love that, `the Holocaust and so on.’ Like she’s browsing through a catalogue. But, she says, “this will be a unique way for Jewish values and learning to become fun.” Well, 90 percent fun.
Most promising is the idea that this park will not have Mickey Mouse or Goofy but “alternative characters who will represent the heroes of tomorrow,” unquote. One can only imagine: Ephraim, the plucky lizard. Stingy Duck. Winnie the Jooh. Captain Shnook. Shmuella DeVille. Shimon E. Cricket. And of course, Lilo and Stitch, the stitch being part of grandpa’s hernia operation. And I guess you need seven dwarf-equivalents: Yitzi, Chaiki, Shloimi, Rivki, Doc (who is a Jewish doctor), Gassy, and Grumpy because, let’s face it, Grumpy was always the Jewish one anyway.
Jokes aside, I am all for anything that brings joy and tourism to Dimona. And if some shmegegge employee accidentally pushes the wrong button, and instead of starting the Magic Carpet ride blows up half of Lebanon? Well, that would sure be worth the price of an E-Ticket.
This has been a Rabbinical Reflection from Rabbi Sol Solomon, Temple Sons of Bitches, in Great Neck, New York. (sings) “Leave a small tip after all, leave a small tip after all…”
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