Tisha B’Av in Jerusalem

I have a problem this week – I have been wondering what to share.

Today is Tisha B’Av, the Ninth Day of the Hebrew month of Av, a fast day, and the saddest of the year on the Jewish calendar for centuries.

Is it appropriate to write about the special session held in the Knesset?

Not the one where the attendance board was lit up with the photos of the many Knesset members who were in the building all night to vote.

Or what about my visit to Old City on Friday for a special photo-op with a delegation of international Ambassadors?

I decided today, without coffee or water, that those and other stories will wait until next time.

Today is Tisha B’Av.

It’s blistering hot outside on the Jerusalem streets.

Last year was very different,

However, last night I went to walk around the walls of the Old City, and it felt similar to past years.

The night began after Shabbat with Eicha, the reading of Lamentations, sitting on the ground, in Gan Ha’atzmaut, Independence Park was one.

The security was as extensive as the crowd was diverse.

Going past Damascus Gate always requires a quick stop to take a photo.

However, the moon over the Lion’s Gate was more impressive last night.

The views towards the Mount of Olives at night over the Tomb of Absalom

and the cemetery at night, though not so easy to photograph, amazing to see from this side of the Jerusalem Old City streets.

The area near Robinson’s Arch with those original stones from the Temple’s destruction is not such a great photo this year as restoration work on the stones of the wall continues. But as usual, when I go there to check, it was quiet with only a few people.

But the scene at the Kotel, the Western Wall, was like, not sure what word to use, one huge “celebration.” Tens of thousands of people at midnight, singing slow sad songs, women on the other side sitting in a circle on the ground singing also.

This view is from above

but doesn’t show the hundreds of people leaving and even more arriving.

I did a very quick video to give an idea of the crowd on my way out.

I went by the quiet Hurva Synagogue in the Rova, the Jewish Quarter.

The archeological display has been improved with new lighting.

A memorable scene was in the Cardo, with a lone young man sitting on the stones near remnants of the Roman Empire, the pillars of a once-bustling marketplace.

Then by Jaffa Gate, a group of young people was listening to the history and significance of Tisha B’Av.

The diversity of people, so many people, coming and going all night long.

One man was power washing the stones at the entrance to Mamilla Mall. At 1:00 am, he was getting ready for Tisha B’Av day. Though all the stores and restaurants were closed, Mamilla is a major route for people coming and going to the Kotel all night.

And as I approached home I saw another impressive sight.

The sanitation workers were out to do the clean-up after Shabbat.

Much hotter, but cleaner street on Tisha B’Av today.

There’s much more happening on the Jerusalem streets but it will have to wait for next time.

Take care and stay well, hope to see you soon.

10 thoughts on “Tisha B’Av in Jerusalem

  • July 18, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    As is so often the case when I can’t or don’t want to be out and about, you take me with you to see the most magnificent places in our Holy City. Thank you. Hope your fast went well. May we celebrate in Jerusalem next year on this day!

    • July 18, 2021 at 4:47 pm

      Thank you. Yes was so busy on the computer all day, fast went fast for a change. Shavuah tov!

  • July 18, 2021 at 5:51 pm

    As you get ready to call it a night, our fasting here in the U.S. continues… Thank you for connecting us to the source of our sadness – and hope – with your photos and video. Next year, may we all be in the same time zone, celebrating a rebuilt Jerusalem, please G-d.

    • July 18, 2021 at 6:04 pm

      AMEN. Take care and stay well.

  • July 18, 2021 at 7:56 pm

    It is so good to see the Kotel area full of thousands of people again. . . may we all merit to join together there very soon, in good health and for happy, “redemptive” reasons. Thank you very much for sharing 9 b’Av in Yerushalayim with us (and all of your other posts too!!)

    • July 18, 2021 at 7:58 pm

      Thank you, hope all are well.

  • July 18, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    Thanks for all the beautiful pictures and video. They are so meaningful especially seeing them on Tisha b’Av. Hope to see you in Yerushalayim when we come for the chagim, as long as they let us in. Our fast here will be over in 3 hours.

    • July 18, 2021 at 8:05 pm

      Hope all goes well and you can come. Thought of you last night as I went by the Castro store, the old men and women sign is long gone, but last night no Castro signs for a renovation or new store.

  • July 18, 2021 at 8:17 pm

    Unable to be in Israel but your photos are the next best thing. Thank you, Sharon. Still fasting here in Brooklyn. Best regards to hubby. Toba

    • July 18, 2021 at 8:20 pm

      Stay well. Take care hope you can come again soon.


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