Open Houses for Sukkot in Jerusalem

Sukkot

is the season of open houses.

The International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem

opened its gates to visitors.

The beautiful gardens

and provided a perfect setting for hundreds of international tourists.

A large sign welcomed visitors to the sukkah at the Beit Hanasi,

the President’s Official residence.

However, many visitors who had passed metal detectors and x-ray machines

were forced to wait outside.

People standing in the blazing sun while the doors to the building were shut

did not feel very welcome and

 the cloth-covered barriers made it impossible to leave.

As one man began to collapse, it was too crowded for him to fall down.

The barriers slowed emergency personnel,

but at last they were able to take him inside.

Before the office door was shut, some people got a glimpse of the president.

Finally, reaching the sukkah,

it was full of color and flowers and fruit and vegetables.

Out in the garden,

Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz

seemed to be having a good time.

 

  Also many young people

            seemed to be enjoying themselves.

 For the majority of visitors, the photographs of

President Shimon Peres with former President George Bush and

the Pope were all they would see of him.

In the evening, Mayor Nir Barkat and his wife hosted an open house,

but More Open Houses will have to wait…time for the Jerusalem Parade.

Only Sukkot

Before the Sukkot holiday trees in Jerusalem are trimmed 

 

so that the branches can be used as schach to cover the tops of sukkot

There was no building freeze last week in Jerusalem as the city transformed itself for the Sukkot holiday; 

 

all kinds of sukkot — small ones on the rooftops 

 

and also large ones; 

 sukkot on the sidewalks 

 

and where the sidewalks are too narrow, in the streets; 

 

on poles off the ground 

 

and even built around trees. 

Some neighborhoods 

 

are crowded with sukkot 

 

while in others they stand alone. 

How many are there? 

 

Some are easy to see, 

 

while others are not so easy to see, 

 

and for some, well, you just have to know where to look… down. 

 

Some sukkot are very private 

others are hard to avoid. 

On Sunday there were crowds for hours after Birchat Hacohanim 

 

trying to get in to the sukkah on the plaza near the Kotel, the Western Wall 

and on Friday there were crowds of visitors at the sukkah 

 

on the grounds of the International Christian Embassy on Rachel Emenu Street. 

Whether the sukkah 

 

is a clever one on a small porch 

 

alone by the garage, 

 

or a sukkah as if on top of the world, another week and most will be gone until next year. 

 

Sukkat shalom, Sukkat shalom