Yom Kippur Coming on Jerusalem Nights

Before Yom Kippur,

tens of thousands flock to the Old City,

and to the Kotel, the Western Wall,

for special selihot prayers.

The sounds of piyutim could also be heard coming

from the Israel Museum and the plaza at Kikar Safra.

In recent years a growing number of people,

 in religious neighborhoods,

such as Sha’arei Hesed and Nahlaot,

 come on organized tours to see and hear.

Nahlaot at night

Some alleyways were dark and quiet,

group walking tour of Nahlaot

while many others were filled with tour groups,

tour in Nahalaot with music

some with professional guides and musicians,

religious and secular,

Hebrew and English,

and students of all ages.

Certain locations in Nahlaot

Nahlaot grafitti selihot tour

were more popular, like this one with its striking wall art.

Often another group was waiting,

so it was time to move along.

On Rabbi Aryeh Levin Street

Nahlaot at night house Rav Aryeh Levine

by the house of Rabbi Aryeh Levin z”l,

a must-stop-and-see-and-learn spot in Nahlaot.

For decades Rav Levine z”l taught in Jerusalem,

and is remembered for his many acts of kindness,

visiting and caring for Jewish prisoners and the sick.

Our group went past a busy restaurant,

Aryeh Levine shul in Nahlaot

inside a Nahlaot courtyard

and up the stairs to see the synagogue of Rav Levin z”l,

Beit Knesset Ahdut Yisrael,

the Unity of Israel.

Memorial plaque in Rav Aryeh Levin synagogue

Memorial plaques line the walls

deaths in 1948 Israel mostly women and children

for Jews who perished in War of Independence in 1948,

mostly women and children,

Memorial for Israeli President Begin and Shamir in Levine shul;

and for former Israeli Presidents

Yitzhak Shamir z”l and Menachem Begin z”l.

Rabbi Benjy Levine speaking in his grandfather Reb Aryeh Levine's shul

Rabbi Aryeh’s grandson had some great stories to share.

Geula Jerusalem bakery open 24 hours

Many of the tours ended at this bakery in Geula.

It is open 24/6.

As you can see it was busy at midnight.

I am not sure how many could read the signs

Dress tzinuah do not speak lashon hara

calling for modest dress and pure speech.

Another sign is to harder to explain,

but will interest those who know

Paporus sign for Yom Kippur

 about the Shuk Kapparot.

On Tuesday morning, erev Yom Kippur,

it will be filled with live chickens and thousands of people.

Meanwhile, as on most nights in Machane Yehuda Market,

thousands of people were partying,

eating and drinking with loud background music.

As I walked home, well after midnight,

I passed more people coming.

Fathers and young sons,

young women looking for sehliot prayers in Sha’arei Hesed.

I do not know if they found what they were seeking,

but I do know that despite all the large posters and promotions,

the only place to find Matisyahu on October 13,

the Thursday night after Yom Kippur,

Soloman Sousa painting of Matisyahu in Machane Yehuda Market

will be in the shuk.

His performance has was cancelled and rescheduled for May.

Touring the Jerusalem, Israel, streets late at night

it is hard to believe that so much is going on.

The traditional greeting before Yom Kippur is

G’mar Hatima Tova.

There will be no bus service on Yom Kippur,

image for Yom Kippur

but in Jerusalem even the buses get in the pre-holiday mood.

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