Thursday, 7 August 2014

Tisha B'Av 2014~Women In Green Had a Large Turnout!

Bringing Out the Flags to Start the Women in Green Walk
This year, as in previous years I joined friends for the Women in Green Annual Walk around the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem.

As in previous years, the starting point is in the park and begins with the public reading of Eicha. Then, the flags come out, and when the police give the "OK" the walk begins.

This year, they changed the route of the walk due to the funeral of the young father of five who was killed by a terrorist. Sadly, his young children will forever know true mourning on Tisha B'Av.

One aspect of the walk is the mood of the crowd. We walk at a leisurely pace, many carry flags, some sing, and everyone is in a quiet, but "up" mood. The streets on the route are blocked as the marchers fill the road and join together in solidarity.

For years, Nadia Matar has organized this walk around the walls with a police escort, and it is a wonderful way to see the ancient stones and gates that one is normally unable to see.

Nadia Matar (Center) at End of Walk
Generally, it is not possible (for Jews) to walk the circumfrence of the Old City. The reason is, that "east" Jerusalem is too dangerous for Jews without a police escort! While the world calls us "apartheid", they fail to see that Arabs go where they please in Israel, while Jews are lynched if they happen to walk down the wrong street.

This year, we were very dissappointed when the walk was cut short at Zion's gate. We opted not to stay for the speaches and instead made our way to the Kotel.

What was heartening was the huge number of people who were in attendance. As we began walking, Nadia was speaking on an intercom and began listing the places people had travelled from for the walk. In addition to all areas of Israel, people were here from all over the world. People had come from places like Bolivia, Uruguay, all parts of the USA, Europe and beyond.

At one point, Nadia told us to turn around and look behind us. It was quite amazing! People were walking as far as the eye could see. Thousands had turned out! It was amazing to see so many people filling the streets all in support of Israel, and our capitol, Jerusalem!

It is the first time that I have seen the Old City with hardly any people walking around! Many streets were totally empty~no people in site. This added to the desolation and feeling of mourning. 

The Kotel Plaza did have numbers of people, but not nearly as many as in previous years.

I did notice, as we left, that more people were streaming in. Many carried small stools, pillow, blankets and foam pads, as they prepared to spend the night fasting and praying.

In front of the Churva Synagogue there was a very interesting display of the Beit Ha Mikdash. A young woman was explaining the meaning of the different areas and also teaching about the history.

It was a modular setup which she was able to take apart to provide a clearer view. She was very good in her explanations, and took time to address questions from the many people gathered round.

The display itself was very good, as was the lecture. Much to my dismay, it was impossible to get close to for a picture as the crowd was pressing in.

Our enemies may attack us on a daily basis, but Israel, and especially our capitol Jerusalem, was ours for 3,000 years and will remain ours forever!

Tisha B'Av 2014~The Kotel Plaza

Jews Gathered to Sing in the Kotel Plaza~Tisha B'Av 2014

Overlooking the Kotel Plaza~Tisha B'Av 2014

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