Eileen, our friend ‘Sheilaaah’, and I recently visited the Old City of Jerusalem. One of the things that I find interesting about Jerusalem is that four cultures and religions are able to co-exist together, although the control of East Jerusalem and The Temple Mount has been a political issue for many years. I want to share a little glimpse of two of these cultures all seen through the eyes of my camera and iPhone (video).
The video below, begins with a Bar Mitzvah celebration held at the Western Wall (Kotel). Bar Mitzvahs, Jewish boys coming of age, are frequently held at the Wall in the Old City. Many that are held there are Israeli young men celebrating this special day, but people from around the world come to the wall to become Bar Mitzvah. The women are observing from their side of the Wall and candy can be seen being tossed around by the people attending.
One example of the contrast of culture/religion found in Jerusalem is the Muslim Adhan or ‘call to prayer’. We were touring The City of David, which is located just outside the Old City, when we heard the Adhan sounding from the the mosques in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem. The Adhan is heard five times a day, calling the Palestinian Muslims of Silwan and Muslims throughout the city to stop, kneel towards Mecca, and pray. Silwan, seen in the video, is a predominantly Palestinian neighborhood Forty Jewish families also live in the area. Silwan is located in East Jerusalem.
At the end of the video, after panning Silwan, you will see the Mount of Olives. This bare hilly area, once containing hundreds of olive trees, has been used as a Jewish cemetery for over 3,000 years and holds approximately 150,000 graves. It is still in use today.