Holiday Celebrations

Tens of thousands of people came from around the world to celebrate Passover in Jerusalem

  and to pray at the Kotel, the Western Wall.

It was hard to find a bagel as many eateries were closed tight for the holiday,

however, the fresh bread in the Christian Quarter of the Old City smelled especially good.

 Easter week coincided with Passover this year,

and thousands of Christian pilgrims came to the Old City by way of the Jaffa Gate

and the New Gate,

all heading towards

 the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Built in the fifth century by Queen St. Helena,

 the Monastery of the Holy Cross

was also a popular Christian tourist spot.

It is located in the Valley of the Cross below the Israel Museum.

 Passover with its potato rolls ended on Monday night… and Mimouna celebrations began.

This celebration by North African Jews the day after Passover is now an official holiday.

It begins at night with the baking of fresh mufletas and continues into the next day.

Large crowds kept coming all day to Gan Sacher, Sacher Park.

 There were plenty of mangals with grilled meat and many serious photographers.

The afternoon scene included a group of Arab women and children

and Mahmoud and his friends playing soccer.

 Arab families enjoying Jerusalem parks as usual, even though,

  BenYosef Livnat was shot and killed at Joseph’s Tomb by Palestinian police just hours before.

Holiday celebrations in Jerusalem were large and festive this year, but since there was no violence,

it is not news for the mainstream media…

Now it’s back to school and back to washing  and cleaning up from the holiday celebrations.

Birchat Kohanim

17 Nissan 5771

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Jerusalem

Birkat Kohanim,  the Priestly Blessing at the Kotel, the Western Wall.

Major streets were closed to traffic.

Security was out in force

as thousands of people walked to the Old City,

trying to get close enough to hear

and see the Birkat Kohanim.

From every entrance

 

and stairway the crowds gathered.

Dignitaries did not need an umbrella this year, as the weather was pleasantly cool.

Thousands of people stood completely still,

 except for a couple of security men watching the crowd,

as everyone looked toward the Kohanim.

The chief rabbi began to recite a psalm and people began to move.

 As the Kes walked toward the Kotel

 other people began to leave the area. 

In the mass of people

it was possible to find a friend. 

Awesome event… but it’s Passover,

so time to eat… again.