Today we visited the Jewish Quarter. Can I go on record here as saying I have a very conflicted relationship with my own Jewishness. I am not a religious Jew. I wasn't brought up in a faith based family and when faith finally came to me, I went in an entirely different direction. Second, there are certain behavior patterns of my people that frankly drive me nuts...always have. I think a lot of that is learned behavior from my Father but it is what it is. Thirdly, I have a profound belief that real faith is all internal, that all the external show means nothing. Fourthly having said all that I believe in my core that once a Jew, always a Jew because the next Hitler that comes around isn't going to give two rats asses about your spirituality but is going to brand you as Jew and throw you in the concentration camp and you'd better not forget that.
So it is with that set of conflicted feelings that I not only have come to Israel but especially to here in Jerusalem and the Jewish Quarter. For if you want to see all the behavior patterns, all of the external demonstrations of faith thrown in your face it is going to be here.
So let's talk a little bit about what you are going to see in the pictures. You are going to see the Western or Wailing Wall, the only part of Herod's Temple that remains after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans 70 AD. It is probably the holiest site in Judaism. Just about everything you see around it is reconstructed. Very little of Jerusalem we see today dates back from earlier than the late Middle Ages and even a lot of that was bombed during the Israel War of Independence in 1947-8. So almost everything is reconstructed. So without further ado on to the pictures.
The Wailing Wall
The immediate vicinity of the Wailing Wall
The serious business of ice cream
This day and every day with the #3s
In the Jewish Quarter is one of the best preserved ruins from the city in the 6th century. It was the main shopping district of the city
Fresco of what it would have been like in the day
The painter liked the idea of the past and present coming together
As did 3.1
3.2 on the other hand prefers to charge through history
Replica of Roman era map of Jerusalem found in a ruin in Jordan
A many times rebuild synagogue
And if you want to escape to Middle Earth, go here but don't forget your Balrog repellent
Because you don't see this many eggs that often
Scenes from the Four Sephardi Synagogues founded by Jews who came from Turkey
And back again through the narrow streets of the Old City