Sarona: From Templers, To Nazis, Government, Terror And, Hopefully, To Tranquility
The extraordinary history of an urban oasis that was founded as a Christian agricultural community, changed hands as the Holy Land did, made bloody headlines this month, and has been determinedly reclaimed by the public.
The day after the horrific act of terror on June 8 in Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market, things seemed to be back to normal. Or maybe abnormal. For more Israelis than usual — thousands, in fact — were wandering the complex, eating in the restaurants and shopping in the stores.
One shocked European film crew asked an Israeli correspondent if this resumption of normal activities wasn’t rather callous. The correspondent responded that this is how we do it in Israel: Life goes on, and we refuse to live in fear.
Sarona is a uniquely Israeli site that had its start in 1871. Indeed, more than 30 years before Theodor Herzl published a visionary volume about a utopian Tel Aviv, a group of Germans Templers settled in what is today the heart of that lively modern metropolis.
They called their new home Sarona, for the Templers were devout Christians and were thrilled to be living near the biblical Plains of Sharon. Way stricter than other German Protestants, they planned to establish a spiritual kingdom of God in the Holy Land together with the People of the Book.