Tisha B’Av night in Jerusalem, Israel,
is unlike anywhere else in the world.
Businesses are closed and restaurants shuttered.
Walking in front of me as I headed toward Jaffa Gate,
which was decorated with Ramadan lights,
were a group of Muslim men and boys out to celebrate.
Behind them were three Jewish men on their way to the Old City.
Entering Jaffa Gate I love to see the moon over the lights of the Tower of David.
Near the Kotel, the Western Wall, were thousands of people, many sitting on the ground.
The diversity of the crowd was obvious.
I did not stay too long because again ,
I wanted to see the 19th Walk Around the Walls of the Women in Green.
Security was stronger this year.
The crowd was large for the middle-of-the-night starting time.
Due to Ramadan celebrations again this year,
the group had to wait for several hours to start their walk.
The route goes around the walls of the Old City, and partially along the Light Rail tracks.
The Damascus Gate was busy and active with Ramadan celebrations.
At Herod’s Gate,
Israeli police, some on horses, observed to insure that the two crowds would not mix.
For the late hour, there were still a lot of people out.
At the Lion’s Gate there were speeches,
while hundreds of people sat and listened,
I decided to head home. It was already after 1:00 am.
While the rest of the Jerusalem streets were quiet,
the Old City, the Kotel, and the Jewish Quarter
were all filled with thousands of people.
While some left even more kept coming.
Tisha B’Av in Jerusalem looks like a big party.