Open Houses for Sukkot in Jerusalem


is the season of open houses.

The International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem

opened its gates to visitors.

The beautiful gardens

and provided a perfect setting for hundreds of international tourists.

A large sign welcomed visitors to the sukkah at the Beit Hanasi,

the President’s Official residence.

However, many visitors who had passed metal detectors and x-ray machines

were forced to wait outside.

People standing in the blazing sun while the doors to the building were shut

did not feel very welcome and

 the cloth-covered barriers made it impossible to leave.

As one man began to collapse, it was too crowded for him to fall down.

The barriers slowed emergency personnel,

but at last they were able to take him inside.

Before the office door was shut, some people got a glimpse of the president.

Finally, reaching the sukkah,

it was full of color and flowers and fruit and vegetables.

Out in the garden,

Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz

seemed to be having a good time.


  Also many young people

            seemed to be enjoying themselves.

 For the majority of visitors, the photographs of

President Shimon Peres with former President George Bush and

the Pope were all they would see of him.

In the evening, Mayor Nir Barkat and his wife hosted an open house,

but More Open Houses will have to wait…time for the Jerusalem Parade.

Only Sukkot

Before the Sukkot holiday trees in Jerusalem are trimmed 


so that the branches can be used as schach to cover the tops of sukkot

There was no building freeze last week in Jerusalem as the city transformed itself for the Sukkot holiday; 


all kinds of sukkot — small ones on the rooftops 


and also large ones; 

 sukkot on the sidewalks 


and where the sidewalks are too narrow, in the streets; 


on poles off the ground 


and even built around trees. 

Some neighborhoods 


are crowded with sukkot 


while in others they stand alone. 

How many are there? 


Some are easy to see, 


while others are not so easy to see, 


and for some, well, you just have to know where to look… down. 


Some sukkot are very private 

others are hard to avoid. 

On Sunday there were crowds for hours after Birchat Hacohanim 


trying to get in to the sukkah on the plaza near the Kotel, the Western Wall 

and on Friday there were crowds of visitors at the sukkah 


on the grounds of the International Christian Embassy on Rachel Emenu Street. 

Whether the sukkah 


is a clever one on a small porch 


alone by the garage, 


or a sukkah as if on top of the world, another week and most will be gone until next year. 


Sukkat shalom, Sukkat shalom

Not Just Shopping


The quiet streets and pleasant weather on Yom Kippur were wonderful.

But traffic and humidity have returned to the Jerusalem streets,

 and so has the noise of pounding hammers, as thousands of sukkot  popped up overnight.

Then it seemed as if everyone went shopping.


Shopping for food,

shopping for clothes,

 shopping for…wicker.

 As the week began, 


colorful sukkah holiday decorations went on display

and signs went up.

A large sign announced the arba minim market off Jaffa Street, near Machaneh Yehuda, the shuk.

Outside, there were decorations, but inside

early bird shoppers could examine the merchandise carefully and avoid the crowds later in the week.

Outside the shuk,

and all around Jerusalem

 hundreds of mini-bazaars filled with sukkah decorations

and displays of etrogim and lulavim could be found.


Not everyone was shopping;

these workers were busy

installing bollards

and a yellow security fence

all along Gan Sacher, Sacher Park.

Preparations for the Sukkot holiday events in the park were well under way on Sunday.

Visitors come from around the world for the holiday celebrations in the city center,

including thousands of Christian pilgrims for the Feast of Tabernacles parade.


This year, parking on the sidewalk at Gan Sacher will be very difficult, but walking should be safer.

Chag Sameach!

Happy Holiday!