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In Jerusalem, an old-fashioned medium goes online

The AP reports from JERUSALEM:

For ultra-Orthodox Jews who shun secular newspapers, radio and the Internet, the best way to hear the news has long been by literally reading the writing on the wall.

The insular, strictly religious community still relies on black and white posters pasted up on walls in their neighborhoods to hear the latest rulings from important rabbis on modest dress, upcoming protests and the correct way to vote in elections.

Now one avid collector has teamed up with Israel's National Library to bring this old-fashioned form of communication into the 21st century by scanning more than 20,000 of the posters — known locally as "pashkevilim" — into a digital online archive. Continue reading.

Bernat Armangue / AP

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man pastes ads and pashkevilim, posters used to publicize news and important messages in the ultra-Orthodox community, in Jerusalem's religious Mea Shearim neighborhood on Sept. 27.

Bernat Armangue / AP

Letters of the Hebrew alphabet, used in the printing process of the pashkevilim, are seen inside the library of ultra-Orthodox collector Yoelish Kraus, in Jerusalem on Sept. 27. The posters are typically written in Hebrew or Yiddish and use incendiary language. "Jerusalem is in danger!" one bellows - the danger being a mixed-gender swimming pool.

Bernat Armangue / AP

Yoelish Kraus is seen inside his library in Jerusalem on Sept. 27. Two years ago, the National Library offered to help Kraus catalog and scan his collection of pashkevilim. It was an unlikely partnership: Kraus will not enter the library because it carries secular literature and a boycott of it was announced - by pashkevil, of course - decades ago.

Bernat Armangue / AP

Torn and old pashkevilim cover a wall in Jerusalem's religious Mea Shearim neighborhood.