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Experiencing Jerusalem on Sabbath

The Western Wall on Sabath

On the last night in Jerusalem, a group of us went back to the Old City to experience a Sabbath at the Wailing Wall. When we arrived, the scene was not what I expected. There were large groups of Jewish men and women singing, dancing, and celebrating at the wall. Before coming to Israel (in my limited knowledge of the Sabbath), I thought the Sabbath was a more somber affair, spent in the confines of the home. This Friday night excursion proved that wrong! The people at the wall were from various countries and backgrounds, but all celebrated the end of the week and the beginning of the week as one. The energy and hope from the singing and dancing groups was contagious and I thought this was a fitting end for our time in Jerusalem.
[caption id="attachment_22168" align="aligncenter" width="640"]The Western Wall on Sabbath The Western Wall on Sabbath[/caption] [caption id="attachment_22170" align="aligncenter" width="640"]The Western Wall on Sabath The Western Wall on Sabbath[/caption]
After the Wailing Wall, we walked around the Old City. A drastic difference from the bustling, crowded markets from our first day of touring. With Friday being the holy day for Jews and Muslims, the city was quiet and empty. I took this moment of solitude to appreciate the architecture and craftsmanship of the Old City. The winding streets can cause you to become disoriented, and even when you find your way, the path is difficult with stairs and darkness. This maze in the middle of a busy, metropolitan city makes you forget that you are in the middle of a hotly contested neighborhood and transports you back in time. I sincerely enjoyed this intimate look at the Old City and look forward to the time I can go back!
[caption id="attachment_22171" align="aligncenter" width="640"]The Old City at night The Old City at night[/caption] [caption id="attachment_22169" align="aligncenter" width="640"]The Old City at night The Old City at night[/caption]

-Aly S.