Jerusalem Travel Blog› entry 24 of 29 › view all entries
October 21st, 2008 – by: mistein
We walked through the enormous shook that leads to Ben Yehuda street and then proceded into the old city. After spending quite a bit of time searching for this free, mythic hostel that a friend had told us about in the old city we finally tracked it down after talking to everyone over the age of 3 in the Jewish Quarter.
The Wailing wall still amazed me even though I have been there and seen countless picturesâ€¦ its such an overwhelming feeling to walk up to this ancient place surrounded by the old city walls. We spent some time there and then were told by our hostelleader that we should find this man Jeff who would set us up with a meal for the nightâ€¦ Being the poor college students that we are, Dakota and I figured wed go. We were paired up with a religious family from NY who was spending the Hag in Israel.
After the meal one of the girls at the table insisted that she walk us backâ€¦ but first she wanted to show us the men dancing with the Torah. We went from Yeshiva to Yeshiva watching all these men and boys dancing and jumping and singing while holding the Torah in celebration for their love for it. Everythign was shut down in the city so everyone was just walking through the streets talking to friends and going in and out of Synangogues. It was interesting to see it but strange to have to watch the men celebrate and the women all stand behind a wall peeking through a little hole to see the dancing.
We spent today walking through the Old city and getting lost in the Shook which was basically the only thing open today. At one point, while we were waiting for the sun to go down so the bus station would open, Dakota and I popped into a coffeeshop. After sitting there for a bit two Hassidic men came to the door and started yelling at the owner. They refused to leave and stood there chanting â€śJews should not break the Hag (Holidayâ€¦ nothing is supposed to be open on Simcha Torah) for over an hour until the holiday officially ended. It was pretty disturbing to watch this man spend what should be a joyous day of family and celebration, screaming at a shop keeper who was doing nothing to interrupt his holiday.
Despite the crazy experiences, it was so nice to be in Jerusalem for a few days, especially during the Holiday. Well, classes start again in the morning so I should get some work done.
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