How is This Passover Different Than All Others?

It felt like spring last week,

at times it even got hot enough to dry clothes.

Passover is a only week away.

There will be extra sanitation service

and special bins for burning Chometz will be out.

Every last bit of bread will go up in smoke,

 so that the windows will have to be closed.

But first,

everything from large plasma TVs and refrigerators are on sale,

Jerusalem photo, image Jerusalem

and as usual, all kinds of housewares can be found on the streets.

Passover food on display, Jerusalem photo

Dates, nuts and other holiday foods are everywhere.

Jewish wedding , Jerusalem street scene

Now is the time to get married before the holidays,

Jewish wedding, Jerusalem photos

although not everyone seemed so excited at this outdoor chuppah.

The Mea Shearim (100 Gates) neighborhood was always on

our ‘must do shopping list’ when we came as tourists

so I decided to go to see what was new for Passover this year.

The area which used to have beautiful art work for sale,

photos of rebbes, Jerusalem street  scene

 now is big on photographs of rabbis,

picutre of rebbes, Jerusalem street scene

some very big ones indeed.

pashkevillim, posters in Mea Shaerim

As always there were pashkvilim, the red one announced a big fair.

pashkevilim., Jerusalem street photo

This man’s job is to put up the new announcements,

posting sings in Mea Shearim

impressive how quickly he works.

poster against IDF, Jerusalem street sign

The ultra-orthodox community is not too pleased with the 

 proposed changes in the laws on army service and it showed.

poster against Yoir Lapid

Which is worse for this generation: Yair Lapid or an iPhone?

Jerusalem street scene,

Everything from new bikes

Passover photo, image Jerusalem passover time

to a coat of fabric looking like a piece of matzah,

Passover covers, Matzah cover photo

and new designs of matzah covers were out on the street.

This is the busiest season for retailers.

Thousands of visitors arrive annually during the week before Passover.

Jerusalem streets are packed with rental cars and tourist buses.

But this year President Obama has decided to pay a visit to Israel.

Many streets will be blocked.

Hundreds of cars will not be allowed to park in their usual spots.

US flag, #ObamainIsrael

US flags are ready and flying along the Presidential route.

This year, the week before Passover should be like no other.

#ObamainIsrael

Holiday Celebrations

Tens of thousands of people came from around the world to celebrate Passover in Jerusalem

  and to pray at the Kotel, the Western Wall.

It was hard to find a bagel as many eateries were closed tight for the holiday,

however, the fresh bread in the Christian Quarter of the Old City smelled especially good.

 Easter week coincided with Passover this year,

and thousands of Christian pilgrims came to the Old City by way of the Jaffa Gate

and the New Gate,

all heading towards

 the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Built in the fifth century by Queen St. Helena,

 the Monastery of the Holy Cross

was also a popular Christian tourist spot.

It is located in the Valley of the Cross below the Israel Museum.

 Passover with its potato rolls ended on Monday night… and Mimouna celebrations began.

This celebration by North African Jews the day after Passover is now an official holiday.

It begins at night with the baking of fresh mufletas and continues into the next day.

Large crowds kept coming all day to Gan Sacher, Sacher Park.

 There were plenty of mangals with grilled meat and many serious photographers.

The afternoon scene included a group of Arab women and children

and Mahmoud and his friends playing soccer.

 Arab families enjoying Jerusalem parks as usual, even though,

  BenYosef Livnat was shot and killed at Joseph’s Tomb by Palestinian police just hours before.

Holiday celebrations in Jerusalem were large and festive this year, but since there was no violence,

it is not news for the mainstream media…

Now it’s back to school and back to washing  and cleaning up from the holiday celebrations.