Passover Scenes in Jerusalem

Passover in Jerusalem, Israel, as always, was like nowhere else.

10 rockets rained in from Gaza to the south and Sderot.

In Jerusalem, it rained dirt for a short while; what a mess for the cars!

But it cleaned the air and with much less traffic,

everyone was breathing easier.

image closed for Passover

This 24/6 store was closed for seven days,

image Passover, photo Passover no bread

and bread bakeries were shut tight.

image Passover Jerusalem, picture Passover

One restaurant was selling used books instead of food.

image matzah on Passover

Passover matzah meals were enjoyed on the streets,

image Passover clothing, photo dressed in matching dlothes

as families paraded in their matching holiday outfits.

image David Citadel, photo Old City, picture Jaffa Gate

A banner welcomed all to the National park that surrounds the walls of the Old City.

image protest Old City, picture peaceful protest

A small, peaceful protest about the Temple Mount

at Jaffa Gate was not newsworthy.

Arab protesters and rock throwers got all the media attention,

image police Jerusalem, photo Israel crowd control, picture Old City security

but I was impressed with this police officer,

armed for serious crowd control – with a bull horn.

I was not the only one this year to come to the Jewish Quarter after the big

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

Last year was such a mob scene.

picture Passover Old City

Popcorn and fresh juice were for sale on the route through the Old City.

image bagel closed, photo Passover Old City, picture Jerusalem

Bagel shops were closed,

but the shwarma bar was open, with its tables covered.

picture Hurva, photo Hurva shul, image synagogue

The image of the new  Hurva Synagogue

against a blue sky is always impressive.

image dressed for holiday, photo Western WAll, picture men Passover

People were dressed in so many ways for the holiday,

image Ethiopian, Western WAll, Waling wall apartheid

as they offered holiday greetings to one another.

image Ethoipians, picture Wailing wall, image Kosel

Many Ethiopians gathered around their leaders,

image Ethipians, picture kosel, photo Passover

who stood under their colorful umbrellas.

image Wailing Wall, photo Passover

But theirs were not the only umbrellas on the Kotel plaza.

With so many people converging in a small area,

image Arab girl, photo Israel apartheid, picture Palestinian Israel

the streets outside of the Old City were blocked to cars.

image Arab boys Old City, photo Israeli apartheid, picture streets closed Jerusalem

While inside the Old City roads were also blocked,

these young Arab men making a delivery had no trouble getting by,

image ARab woman Israel, photo Arab woman, picture Palestinian woman

and this Arab woman also walked freely.

image Arab girl, Israel apartheid, photo Israeli soldier

However, I was not allowed to use my regular exit.

We had to walk all the way around.

image Jerusalem, photo Silwan, picture from Old City walls

Look at the nice view of Jordan in the distance,

for nothing is very far away in Israel.

image Silwan, view Jerusalem,

These people stopped to enjoy the view.

Another barrier,

image exit Old City, photo Israel street blocked, picture barrier Jerusalem

 but this time ice cream trucks were ready for tired tourists.

image tourists, photo Old City, picture tour in Old City

And all day every day, tourists kept coming.

image road closed Jerusalem, street block Israel image

Then another closed road at Zion Gate,

photo car getting by closed road, photo Old City ,

but this car got through.

image Passover, photo Old City walls, picture Jerusalem passover

Finally outside the walls, a picture perfect time,

image passover, photo wailing wall, picture Al-Quds

that rock throwers did not ruin for the hundreds of thousands

of visitors who came from around the world.

There was as always too much to do and too little time,

and too much to eat.

And this year some major supermarkets ran out of eggs.

Big news,

image Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, picture lobby hotel, photo new Waldorf

that the new Waldorf-Astoria Hotel opened its doors to the public,

but  that will have to wait for next time…

must go bake some cookies now before all the kids go home.