Bialik Street, Tel Aviv A tour in one of the the most beautiful streets. Tour guide: Zahi Shaked

Zahi Shaked A tour guide in Israel and his camera. +972 54 6905522 zahigo25@walla.com צחי שקד, מורה דרך ומדריך תיירים. מצלם אותם בכל הזדמנות 0546905522 Chaim Nachman Bialik was born in the Ukraine in 1873 and later became known as Israel's "national poet". Bialik was most famous for his two poems about the Kishinev pogroms in Russia. The second poem, "Be-Ir ha-Haregah" ("In the City of Slaughter," 1904), was a searing denunciation of the Jews' meek submission to the massacre, in which he is bitter at the absence of justice, and struck by the world's indifference - and even the indifference of nature - "The sun shone, the acacia blossomed, and the slaughterer slaughtered." This poem resonated with the Zionist feelings of Jews, especially those living in Eastern Europe and, of course, those who had immigrated to Palestine. Beginning in 1924 and continuing until the end of the decade, the style of building in Tel Aviv was "eclectic", a classical architecture with Oriental [Arab] features such as arched windows plus Jewish ceramic motifs. Because there was no "Jewish architecture", the builders added biblical figures and Jewish symbols to the columns and arches to create a Jewish feeling. A number of the oldest original houses on Bialik Street were in the eclectic style, many with ornamental ponds in their gardens. The inhabitants, many of whom had homes without baths, would put live carp in these ponds shortly before the Sabbath. Later these carp were to be clubbed on the head and made into gefilte fish. In the decade of the 1930s there was a huge German influence on the burgeoning city's architecture, from Palestinian (Jews born in Palestine) architects who studied in Germany and from new immigrants who had left Germany and Europe to practice architecture in Tel Aviv. More than 4,500 buildings were designed by more than 60 architects in the international style, which in Tel Aviv was called "Bauhaus" after the famous German design school of the same name in Dessau, Germany. We saw many of these on Bialik Street. This simple, unornamented style was designed within a social context, primarily for the working class. Because thousands of these buildings are still standing (the majority in great need of extensive renovation), Tel Aviv is called the White City and has been accorded the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Most of the international style buildings in Europe were destroyed during WWII.) Due to Tel Aviv's Mediterranean climate, the architects made adjustments to the international style buildings, adding deep, rounded balconies, flat roofs and smaller, horizontal windows to cut out the glare of the Mediterranean sun. The exteriors were whitewashed with either smooth or rough plaster over bricks. The idea was to build an apartment that would be cool in summer and comfortably warm in the winter. Therefore, the living rooms generally faced west and the bedrooms faced east. The apartment units themselves were quite small and the inhabitants spent much of their time on the balconies, which sometimes had modifications to increase the circulation of ocean breezes. Chaim Nachman Bialik was already a famous poet, acclaimed as the "national poet",