This Year in Jerusalem, Best of Passover

This Year in Jerusalem, Best of Passover

Passover is one of the three festivals

on which there were traditional pilgrimages to Jerusalem.

This year on all the days of Passover

Old City on Easter and Passover

thousands of people walked to the Old City

Buses to Kotel on chol hamoed

or arrived by bus after bus, on the intermediate days of the holiday,

Western wall passover

 dressed in their holiday finest at the Kotel, Western Wall, plaza.

Kossel of Pesach

Prayers started early and

Davenng at Kossel for Pesach tefilla with tora chol hamoed

went well into the day, with participants all ages

Kotel on Pesach, women's section

on both sides of the mechitza partition,

Robinson's Arch Kotel Plaza Pesach

and in the new area where all pray together.

Holiday scenes from the Old City
view of Har Hazetim from Old City

included buses lining the road on the Mount of Olives,

Street scene Jerusalem, Israel Old City

as well as people coming and going as usual.

New to these ancient streets is

Train for tourists in Old City

the colorful tourist train which starts from Jaffa Gate

crowded street in Old City for Pesach

and shares the road with buses, cars, segways,

and pedestrians going in both directions.

This year since Passover and Easter coincided,

I was hoping to find more Easter scenes,

Copts in Jerusalem for Easter

but I came much too late for sunrise services.

I did spot a few men leaving the Old City,

perhaps they were Copts from Egypt.

Jaffa Gate on Pesach with man selling bread

 Easter buns and beigele were being sold by the Jaffa Gate

for anyone craving fresh baked goods on Passover.

However, there were more things to do in Jerusalem

View from gesher at Begin Center

than just going to the Old City.

Gan Paamon skate park

In the roller-blade/skate park in Gan HaPa’amon,

the Liberty Bell Park, Arab parents watched their children skate

along with Jews, both religious and secular.

Nearby, the Menachem Begin Heritage Center

Menachem Begin photo

had activities and free tours all day long.

I did not know that tours

had to be booked in advance.

But since we arrived at the end of the day,

we were able to wait a bit and join a tour.

I usually mention the tour on photo walks in the area.

Now that I finally took the tour myself

I will continue to recommend it

for its important historical information

presented in a modern, moving exhibit.

From old to new,

the evolution of the haggadah

was the theme of this  Kol HaOt event at Inbal Hotel.

Signs of the seder evolution of haggadah

Israeli artists displayed their works,

while speakers elaborated on seder symbols,

design, and the history of haggadot.

The page on the right which reads “Next year in Jerusalem”

illustrated with modern building cranes and trucks.

For me, an illustration of the transition from ancient to modern.

There is so much building in Jerusalem,

things are constantly changing.

Jerusalem Botanical gardens

A place where one can really appreciate the development

is the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens,

which also had free admission on Passover thanks to Bank Hapoalim.

The new entrance way

Jerusalem gardens view of pond

leads to the pond

people reflected in pond

where people gathered to enjoy nature.

eat matzah sandwiches and ice cream treats.

Pray Shin-Min

Shin-Min, “pray and and flowers will come out” in Japanese

is carved on this stone, but more than prayers went into

Botanical gardens

turning this old derelict space into

a beautiful, expansive nature area, with comfortable paths.

Tour in Botanical gardens on Pesach

Organized tours were available,

but the gardens are divided into well-marked growth areas,

such as Australia and South Africa,

and all the vegetation is identified.

Group on grass in Botanical Gardens

Groups or individuals could easily

meet, eat, and explore

bath in garden in Jerusalem Israel

this man-made oasis in the middle of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Botanical Gardens

There was much more to see in the Botanical Gardens,

Flowers, Botanical gardens Jerusalem

but the festive holiday meals involve lots of preparation.

Over the holiday, the overcast skies finally cleared.

Rain was predicted,

but only enough fell to get the dirt out of the air

and cover everything.

Passover greeting on bus

but not enough to ruin holiday outings

or the Passover greeting on the buses.

See Passover Matzah Baking in Jerusalem

See Passover Matzah Baking in Jerusalem

Passover is a special time in Jerusalem.

Before Passover you can find almost anything discarded on the streets.

This week I saw an old bed, a new can of flavored bread crumbs,

electrical appliances, and a single, brand-new white shoe out by the trash.

In Kikar Safra, Municipal Square,

a Matzah b’Kikar Festival was held outside City Hall.

The weather was perfect last week for the event.

Among the attractions were

Washing clothes Jerusalem Matzah Festival

a woman washing clothes by hand,

Actors at Matzah Festival in Jerusalem Israel before Peasach

an old time junk dealer,

Actor dressed as tailor in Jerusalem Kikar Safra for festival

a spiffy tailor,

Old fashioned photographer in Jerusalem Israel before Passover

and a vintage photographer.

But the main attraction,

matzah baking Jerusalem Israel

was matzah baking.

matza baking before Pesach

It featured four ovens fueled by gas tanks.

Aprons, gloves and perfect timing were mandatory

Baking matza at Kikar Safra Matzah Festival

for those at the work tables in the preparation tent.

matzah baking

Staff in orange vests carried the

used stainless steel rolling pins

to be cleaned of every last drop of dough

between batches of baking matzah.

Matza baking

Dozens of wooden poles were lined up outside,

baking matzah

for the workers to rush the rolled dough to the ovens.

Hand made matza

Boxes of the hand-made baked matzahs

were ready for the participants to take home.

It is a shame more people did not take advantage of this

public, free event held over two afternoons.

I’m glad I saw a full page ad in a Hebrew paper,

but I know many heard about the matzah baking too late.

Matzah Festival in Kikar Safra Square sign

The festival signs were up along some roads,

but it was impossible to read the small print from moving cars.

Baking matzah in Jerusalem, Israel, before Passover,

just one step in preparation for the holiday.