Whereas Diaspora Jews still keep the second day of Sukkot today, Jews in Israel are going back to their “normal routine”. Chol HaMoed (the intermediate days on Pessach and Sukkot) always stands for traveling, hiking and plenty of other activities.
I haven’t planned too much yet but I am going to a Chabad Sukkot celebration as well as to another Simchat Beit Hashoeva event at the house of Rabbi Mordechai Machlis. I will take pictures and make videos which I am going to publish on my blogs.
The problem is that thousands of Christian missionaries are cruising around Jerusalem these days. They are all participating in their Jerusalem missionary parade this Thursday afternoon. In the meantime they are looking for free food. Apparently Christian travel guides and Christians who were here in the past are spreading the word to all freeloaders: “Places and addresses where the Jews serve food”. Many Christians have now found Chabad and it is a pity that the Shilichim do not protest. A couple of times I spoke with the Chabad Shaliach Rabbi Israel Goldberg in Rehavia/Jerusalem. When he announces a Kiddush on Shabbat, a Pessach community Seder or his Sukkot party, plenty of Christians show up to freeload. Most of them behave in a greedy rude way and push Jews aside. Rabbi Goldberg told me that he doesn’t notice any Christians but wants to pay more attention. However, so far, nothing has changed and I will see if there is any improvement when I go to his Sukkot party.
If there is a normal Christian who is quiet and doesn’t come with evil missionary intentions-no one is complaining. However, all those Christians who are around now only come with one intention: To learn from the Jews in order to talk other Jews into idol-worship.
So, if you go to any public Sukkot celebrations, be aware of missionaries!
Tomorrow morning (Wednesday), the traditional Birkat HaCohanim (Blessing of the Cohanim) is taking place at the Kotel (Western Wall) during Shacharit. Followed by the Hakhel in the afternoon at around 4-5 pm.
If you go to the Old City, make sure you have a bite to eat before. The restaurants in the Jewish Quarter are far too expensive. 🙂
The security situation in the Old City is tense but there are a lot of cops and soldiers taking care. So, you don’t need to be too worried. The Jewish Quarter itself is very save.
Tomorrow night I am making my way to Mea Shearim. Although a couple of Pashkevilim told outsiders to stay away, I will sneak around a bit and make a few photos. 🙂 There is still one or the other place where outsiders can participate in a Simchat Beit Hashoeva Tish but it will be packed. I was walking through Mea Shearim Street on Erev Sukkot and the traditional Mechitzot (metal gender separations with curtains) were already set up all along the street. 🙂 Unfortunately the modesty bridge from a couple of years ago doesn’t exist anymore. I loved this bridge because it was funny.
More on the bridge here:
No more bridge but the Neturei Karta hung up a couple of huge announcements against the State of Israel. In English and I will hopefully be able to take pictures of that. 🙂
Otherwise I have to work on Chol Hamoed or I sit on my balcony with a good book. I am not the type who is squeezing himself through the crowds.
Chag Sameach-Happy Sukkot to all of you!