Exactly 50 years ago, the Israeli army liberated Jerusalem’s Old City from the Jordanian occupation. However, YOM YERUSHALAYIM (Jerusalem Day) is an annual holdiday in Jerusalem. The most famous event is the flag parade where thousands of Jews wave Israeli flags and march from Sacher Park down to the Kotel (Western Wall).
Today after work, I went downtown because I needed to buy some food for Shabbat at the Machane Yehudah Market. I got some chicken and the butcher told me that business has been terribly slow for the past three days. First the roads were closed due to the Trump visit and today it is Yom Yerushalayim. Thus, people preferred to stay home.
I was lucky and caught one of the last buses in Agrippas Street before the roads in downtown Jerusalem were closed again due to the flag parade. Nevertheless, we didn’t get too far when the bus driver was told that King George is already blocked.
So, I was on the 78 bus going to the Armon HaNatziv direction and where we ended up was Damascus Gate. We were passing East Jerusalem, then Jaffa Gate, the Cinematheque and Abu Tur where I got off. I had a real sightseeing tour, I must say. 🙂 Well, at least I didn’t have to walk all the way through the parade.
Most participants in the parade are national religious Jews. You will hardly find any Haredim there. Some may be standing at the side and watching but not too many. It is a Zionist event where the national religious youth is dancing with the flags. And yes, there is a Mechitza (gender separation) but not really strict.
So tomorrow, Jerusalem is finally returning to a times where streets are usually not closed. 🙂 And next week is Shavuot!