19 Photos of Jerusalem on Tisha B’Av

19 Photos of Jerusalem on Tisha B’Av

The Nine Days leading up to Tisha B’Av

are always hot, unless you live in Southern Hemisphere.

This year was no exception,

unless you count hotter than usual temperatures.

Jerusalem, Israel, is known for its cooler evenings,

but the night of Tisha B’Av stayed warm and humid.

People at Gan Haatzmaut reading Eicha

In spite of the uncomfortable weather, thousands ventured out

to sit on the stones and streets to hear a reading of

Eichah, the Book of Lamentations.

At Gan Ha’atzmaut, Independence Park,

Eicha at Gan Haatzmaut

this woman sat on a bollard to listen,

Police man sitting next to motorcycle during Eiacha

while this policeman sat on the ground.

I have joined the Walk around the Walls since 2011,

 security threats seem to be an annual feature of this event.

Walking from Damascus Gate to Lion's Gate

With the recent murders and riots on Temple Mount,

the walk only got permission to proceed at the last minute.

It was hard to get the long line of participants into one photo.

Muslim women working as journalists reporting on Walk around walls

As we approached the Damascus Gate,

the location of many recent troubles,

the Arab media was waiting to record the marchers.

Policemen on horses for security

Police on horses were ready

Walk around Walls of Old City Jerusalem

as the crowd proceed along with Israeli flags.

walking walls Jerusalem

A few stopped to rest near Damascus Gate,

Two men walking on step of Damascus Gate

just before the steps came into view.

Shar Shehem on Tisha B'Av

This year Tisha B’Av fell after Ramadan

and the Damascus Gate was quiet.

Walking around walls of Jerusalem Israel

This is the only time all year

that I walk by this gate

Jerusalem views at night

and around it to capture the dramatic night views on this side of wall,

Gate of Jerusalem Old City

on the way to the Lion’s Gate.

This was the scene of Muslims worshipers

filling the streets and rioting and being controlled by the police.

However, hundreds of Jews filled the same streets

and sat late into the night on the stones peacefully listening

to the Women in Green’s list of speakers.

Continuing around the walls and entering through Dung Gate,

Western Wall has large stones from destruction at base of wall

one sees the huge stones that have remained over the centuries

at the base of the wall,

reminders of the ancient destruction of Jerusalem.

On to the Kotel, the Western Wall,

Tisha BAv Kotel at night

where thousands gathered, to sit, to mourn,

Men's section Kotel for Tisha B'Av

even to spend the night on the ground.

street on Tisha B'Av night

People were arriving throughout the night.

Western Wall Plaza view at night

The gilded of Dome of the Rock,

built over the foundation stone, glimmered above the Kotel lights.

Jerusalem, city of peace, has seen many rulers

and thousands of years of conflict.

This year passed quietly,

the only words one heard on the walk around the walls were

“תודה – Thank you!” over and over,

to the police and security personnel guarding along the route.

Old City Jerusalem Menorah for Temple lit for Tisha B'Av

The lights on the Old City streets were dimmed

for Tisha B’av night,

but the large Temple Menorah glowed brightly.

Tisha B’Av Around Jerusalem

Tisha B’Av in Jerusalem, Israel, is unique.

On the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av,

for centuries, Jews around the world

people sitting on stones for Tisha B'Av

 sat on the ground as a sign of mourning for Jerusalem,

and read Eicha, the Book of Lamentations.

 I went to ‘Walk Around the Walls’ again after Shabbat.

Last year Tisha B’Av coincided with Ramadan

and even at midnight there was a huge crowd

at Sha’ar Shechem, Damascus Gate.

Damascus Gate at night

   This year all was quiet,

women in Green walk around walls

as the Israeli-flag waving crowd walked by,

street in East Jerusalem

with only a few Arabs in sight near police barriers.

Tisha B'Av Women in Green

Going past Herod’s Gate,

night in Jerusalem, Israel

the atmosphere was very different

from Tisha B’Av of last year.

Although it was a few days ago,

I still want to share that night,

Jerusalem Israel at night

and the beautiful sites around the Old City Walls.

As Lion’s Gate and midnight approached

Jerusalem Israel walking at night

   we passed this man walking with two young boys.

Jerusalem Israel at night

Spectacular views were of Har Hazetim, Mount of Olives,

Jerusalem Israel at night Old City Walls

across from the Old City Walls,

Jerusalem Israel Old City excavations.

and the impressive major excavations.

But most impressive,

Wailing Wall at night

was the huge crowd at the Kotel, the Western Wall,

where tens of thousands came,

Tisha b'Av in Jerusalem, Israel

some to sit and sing sad songs,

Tisha b'av Jerusalem,Israel

others to pray, or to spend the night.

Jerusalem,Israel at night

People were coming and going all night long

to the Old City of Jerusalem.

But nearby at Sha’ar Yaffo, Jaffa Gate,

Jerusalem,Israel Mamilla Mall at night

 Mamilla Mall was closed and quiet,

as were all entertainment and most food places.

Tisha B’Av in Jerusalem, Israel,

is not like anywhere else in the world.

More photos of Walk on Facebook, HERE.

But,

after the mourning of Tisha B’Av comes

Tu B’Av,

and party time celebrations grow every year,

Tu b'Av

this one is to take place in the Jerusalem Forest.

After the Fasts

Not eating or drinking is called a “fast,”

but without water and morning coffee…”slow” would be more accurate for me.

 The Tisha B’Av fast started on Monday, August 8, 2011 at nightfall,

this post should have been out on Tuesday, but even after the fast…sorry–still slow.

 Mourning the destruction of Jerusalem in the reunified Jerusalem

is a unique experience.

 Tens of thousands of people gather at the Kotel, the Western Wall,

and sit on low chairs or on the stones to recite the sad verses of Eicha and Kinot.

For so many centuries,  The Book of Lamentations asks…Alas, how could it be?

Some opt to sit

 alone,

while others prefer to sit in small groups.  Many stay all night.

As the Jewish Quarter closed for the fast day,

 much of the Muslim Quarter was open

with colorful displays of food to break the Ramadan fast.

Colored lights lined the way of most

but not all the alleyways.

For the seventeenth year in a row,

  Women in Green assembled a large group in Gan Ha’atzmaut, Independence Park

 for prayers and speeches, followed by a walk around the walls of the Old City.

This year they shared the park with the “tent city” protesters

and the night with Ramadan celebrations.

 The march was to begin at 11 pm, much later than usual because of Ramadan.

 For the first time the marchers had to watch out for an empty light rail train.

  It was well after midnight when the group arrived at

Sha’ar Shechem,  the Damascus Gate.

Street vendors and Israeli flags filled the sidewalk and on to the street

 and families and more vendors kept coming.

 Security personnel watched the quiet scene.

After passing Herod’s and Lion’s Gates


the end of the route was in sight.

Dozens of idle buses lined the road ready to transport

 the hundreds of people still coming and going after 1:00am.

The Kotel entrance plaza was a busy place all night.

Near Jaffa Gate a new table was set up to sell photos of the Baba Elazar z”l.

While tens of thousands of people were out on Tisha B’Av in the Old City,

a few minutes away this normally busy intersection was deserted.

This year, Ramadan coincides with the month of August,

so devout Muslims will fast all day and at night crowds will gather to eat and shop.

Abu Sharif, a member of the PLO and former advisor to Arafat,

has called for “Friday intifadas during Ramadan”.

Walking around the Walls on Tisha B’Av concluded peacefully.

Last year thousands of Muslims prayed in Jerusalem every Friday of Ramadan.

It is possible to share the streets of Jerusalem peacefully.

 After the fast, as Israelis head to the airport and up north on vacation

…at least the streets should be a little less crowded.

 

More photos of  Walking around the Walls on The Real Jerusalem Facebook Page.