Monday, April 9, 2012

Pessach 5772 / 2012 in Jerusalem


First I didn't want but eventually I took the risk: Going to Jerusalem on Chol haMo'ed Pessach (the intermediate days) is crazy. The city is just packed, as thousands of Jews are finding their way into the capital. Let alone Christian tourists. 

I got my first shock at the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv this morning when I saw the line up.

 Waiting for the bus to Jerusalem. EGGED organized extra buses going up to Jerusalem.

After my arrival in Jerusalem I saw that it was impossible to get onto the tram, as there were more line ups and the typical fights of who is first.:- ) The result was that I walked all the way down to the Old City. Thus I had plenty of time taking great pictures. 

At the George / Strauss / Jaffa Road junction, Café Ne’eman sells kosher cakes and coffee. Every Pessach, the place is kosher for Passover (according to the Rabbanut Yerushalayim). I had a slice of pizza "kasher le'Pessach" and a coffee. 

The pizza made out of Mazze flour was delicious but very expensive !

The real masses were storming Jaffa Gate, the most secure entrance to the Old City. Jews were flooding the Arab Quarter and we got all stuck. Nothing was moving. Narrow alleyways and too many people making their way down to the Kotel (Western Wall). When we finally got to the Kotel entrance, the security staff was totally unable to deal with so many people at once. The result: Huge line ups and I decided not to go down to the Kotel. 

 An at least 100 meter line up in front of the Western Wall security.

Instead I took pictures from far away. 

The Al Aksa Mosque in the back (round grey roof) and to the right the Arab village of Silwan

Leaving the Kotel Plaza through the Dung Gate, I made my way to Silwan where the Jewish "City of King David – Ir David" is located. The crowds had already arrived but I succeeded in buying an ice - cream.

Police at the entrance to Arab Silwan

 Inside the City of King David

I don't regret going to Jerusalem and having some Pessach atmosphere. However, those who are going to the Old City this week, do need one thing: Lots of patience !

In the Arab Quarter of the Old City

Copyright / Photos: Miriam Woelke 


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