Shabbat Shalom–a Friday evening at the Western Wall

We went out to walk the streets this evening.  From my journal:

The street in front of our place was Full of Jews marching by in their finest Shabbat clothes. We wondered where they were all going. Men were in their finest black coats that looked like a cross between a bathrobe and a tuxedo. Many of them wore the tall fox-tail fancy hats with fur sticking up on the top. We’re told that those hats cost up to $10k. Beards and side locks flowing as they raced by. We were tempted to follow them to see where they were all going (100s of them). We finally asked the man where we bought some Arab fast food and he told us they were going home from being at the Western Wall. So we didn’t follow them. Instead, we went to the Western Wall to see what was happening there. It’s about 10 min from here.

The whole plaza was still full of people, men and women, families, all dressed in their best, mostly all in black with their fancy hats and top hats. It was like a big Ward Party. Lots of happy spirits and comradery. Many have the tassels hanging at their sides from the front and back. Sometimes we’ll see someone with a phylactery tied on their forehead.

I find the men so interesting with their long beards, untrimmed, and their curled side locks that hang and blow with perfect ringlets. They must all own a curling iron.  The women dress very modestly. Long skirts, usually dark solid colors, stockings, long sleeves, scarves and head coverings. They are not unlike the Amish folks in their dress.

We wandered back to our Hospice after that, as shopkeepers were closing up. Many of the shops are closed by 5:00. The sun is setting at 4:45 and we made it back in time to go up on the roof here to watch the last rays of light coming over the hill, lighting up the golden dome of the mosque on Temple Mount. It was beautiful. Stood looking out over Jerusalem, wondering if we will be here again some day, or is this our last time.

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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