Rue des Rosiers, the heart of Le Marais, the old Jewish ghetto of Paris, is as busy as ever. The wait for lunch on a Sunday at L’As du Falafel, the venerable kosher restaurant that Israelis fly into from Tel Aviv to eat its falafel sandwiches, was more than 30 minutes. The chic designer shops were equally busy, in part because this is the only place in Paris open on a Sunday, because it still is the “soldes” bi-annual sale and, most importantly, because the French and the free world are making a statement: Je Suis Charlie, and Je Suis Juif.
Little has changed since the terrible attacks in Paris against Charlie Hebdo and the Hyper Cacher, except the presence of a few more police and some military soldiers armed with submachine guns. Their presence, was not disconcerting, but comforting. Outside a Hebrew School and synagogue, French soldiers guarded both on opposite sides of the street, with French Jewish children talking to them playfully, with an assurance they are safe.
And just nearby, on Rue des Francs-Bourgois, its name emblematic of those that shop there — the ultimate bourgeois Parisian experience — it was crowded with the fashion chic, as the week coincided with French Fashion Week in Paris. So, make a statement, tell the world you are with the French, and with its French Jewish community, to support freedom, and come by with the rest of the crowds in one of Paris’ oldest quartiers, and enjoy the experience.