Cold. Wet. Rainy. Hail. Thunder.
These are not words one normally associates with Jerusalem, Israel, on Passover.
The holiday of spring feels more like winter this year.
However, tens of thousands of people crowded around the Kotel, the Western Wall,
and the Western Wall Plaza for the annual Passover Birkat HaKohanim, the Priestly Blessing.
In Talpiot, the bowling alley had a long, long line of people waiting to roll.
Due to the weather, museums with free entrance for children were more popular this year than traditional tiyulim, hikes in the countryside. The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem was “packed.”
The Israel Museum has a special section devoted to Passover.
There is even a video where one can watch how matzah is made by hand.
Special, distinctive seder plates are on display as well.
This is a 1925, three-tiered silver seder plate from Vienna with three sections for matzah.
The annual Passover clean up of notes left in the Kotel stones was done a week before the holiday.
On that morning I entered the Old City by way of the Jaffa Gate,
and unlike this morning, the plaza area inside was quiet.
It was possible to get this photo without any people.
Next to the Hurva Synagogue in the Rova, Jewish Quarter, this man sat and talked on his phone near the golden menorah.
In the women’s section a young boy and girl had plenty of room to dance.
This is the area that was entirely filled with people today in spite of the cold weather.
In the area where a stone fell last year, blue scaffolding was next to the wall.
And new stairs have been added near the elevator which is still under construction.
The ancient Mount of Olives Jewish Cemetery still looks the same.
The wet winter was great for greenery, as seen in this view of Yemin Moshe.
Mitchell Park nearby next to the Artists’ Colony is also full of green.
Wild flowers behind the King David Hotel stand out after the spring rains.
In the Machane Yehudah Market, the shuk, this store covered its counters with foil, and was ready to put out its kosher for Passover food before the holiday.
One of the annual sights and smells of Passover on Jerusalem streets are the piles of fresh garlic for holiday cooking and to be dried out to use for the rest of the year.
And of course, around Jerusalem huge vats of boiling water were ready to kasher metal utensils.
One new and welcomed sight this year was these young men wearing gardener vests and carrying brand new shiny rakes and rolls of garbage bags. Mayor Moshe Lion had announced that the municipality was going to clean up public areas. Too bad I was on my way home and did not take the time to follow them to see their work area.
Chag Aviv Sameach in Yerushalayim.
Happy Spring Holiday in Jerusalem.
Tomorrow is to be warmer and it should start feeling like spring again on the Jerusalem streets.