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The role of horses during Israeli rush hour traffic

August 16, 2011

Two days ago, I was driving through Bnei Brak, a city outside Tel Aviv known to be incredibly traditional and orthodox, in order to get to the highway after work to visit friends who live rather far away. As old-fashioned and traditional as Bnei Brak can feel at times, it’s still transversed by major roads and heavy modern traffic, especially during rush hour. So when a horse-drawn cart driven by an ancient religious man came at us the wrong way on a major road, ultimately running a red light and nearly causing all surrounding cars to collide in confusion, I felt adrift in an incomplete time warp of clashing modern and archaic transport methods — and the horse was totally winning the battle for the road.

Today there was major traffic on the way into Tel Aviv, and as I got off the bus, I saw what may or may not have been part of the problem: more horses.

Horses on the street in Ramat Gan

Though I suspect they were an attempt at a solution, as no police cars could break through the mass of bumper-to-bumper traffic out of sight to the right in the picture, there was a long line of cars behind these horses honking like mad to get past them.

I never thought living and working in the urban center of Israel would allow such regular reflection on horses or livestock to make such frequent appearances. It’s weird, but completely fantastic.

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