Shabbat in Jerusalem

The Shabbat starts at sundown Friday and lasts until sundown Saturday.  In all of Israel public transportation stops and in certain neighborhoods cars are not allowed and most stores are closed (it’s like Christmas Day in the US though it happens every week).  So by 4 pm Friday the busy street our hotel is on, suddenly went silent.  We hustled around after we returned from the Dead Sea trip to get food for Saturday as all the stores/restaurants would be closed.  Everyone else was bustling around too and one thing I’ve always loved about Shabbat in Israel is that many people have flower bouquets they are taking home for Friday night dinner.  We walked to the Western Wall along with a sea of other people and then to Elana and Yakov’s home for dinner (our daughter and son-in-law) who also invited two young women, both Russian, who are studying here.  It was lovely to talk with them.  It’s traditional to have guests Friday night and there is a man at the Western Wall who has made it his business to help anyone who needs a home to go to for dinner find one.  He has a list of people who will take any stranger and he sets people up.

All the images on this posting came from the internet as it is not permitted to photograph on the Sabbath (for Jewish people).  We had a lovely restful time and we really needed it.  Saturday during the day we went to the Bible Lands Museum, the Shrine of the Book, and the Israel Museum all of which were open.  We prepared ourselves for many of the sites we will be visiting in coming days.  One thing I’ve learned teaching art history, is how wonderful it is when works of art stay in their home country so that one can really get an understanding of the context for it all.

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