Making my way through the masses at the Kotel (Western Wall) were enough for me.
Photo: Miriam Woelke
Sukkot and all the other high holidays are over and we are back to normal in Israel. I was planning to go to the Simchat Beit Ha'Shoeva celebrations in Mea Shearim but, in the end, decided not to because the neighbourhood was simply overcrowded. Thousands of visitors made their way through the narrow alleyways of Mea Shearim and those who finally got to a Tish needed to squeeze themselves in. Furthermore, many Rebbe's were holding their celebrations in their Sukkah (such as Kretchnif / Jerusalem or Dushinsky) and you can imagine how hard must have been the access for any female.
Instead of getting lost in the crowd, I rather went for a Shabbat meal to friends at the Batei Hungarin. This was last Erev Shabbat and there weren't too many visitors at that time. What I saw were hundreds of chassidic families walking through Mea Shearim and this was a much nicer atmosphere than staggering through the crowds and, as a woman, being rejected my many Synagogues during Sukkot (e.g. the Toldot Aharon shut down their Ezrat Nashim for females not belonging to the group).