When you get to Jerusalem, especially around Old City, you'll see a lot of ultra orthodox Jews. They are dressed in the black suit, black pants uniform. Many have "corners" growing on their face. This is probably new or different for you as a tourist, but do not just plop out your camera and take a picture. People don't like being treated like an animal at a zoo - and don't like to be gawked at or treated like objects to be photographed. Don't bother asking either. It's ok, if you take a picture when they don't know... or in a crowd (e.g. at the Wailing Wall). Same goes for monks in robes, Muslims coming from prayer at the mosque, etc. Just be courteous.
Long sleaves, long trousers, long dresses are very important things to wear in Jerusalem. If you don't especially the women will be harassed by watching and swearing men! The man that accompanies the women will be regarded as a fool, so be carefull! At some religious points guards are giving long dresses/blouses to tourists so they can visit religious places like the Dome of the Rock. On the picture: me and my ex-boyfriend Barry in a dress. Barry was a bit ashamed to wear it, because wearing a dress is not a common thing for men to do in my country (The Netherlands).
Israel Independence Day, celebrated on the 5th of Iyar (usually in May, but could come out at the end of April) marking the establishment of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948. The celebration begins at 8.p.m. the night before with an official torch-lighting ceremony on Mt. Herzl in a sharp transition from a solemn day of remembering fallen soldiers to a joyous national birthday bash. People head out to the streets, which are decorated with flags and colored lights. Most cities hold special events in parks and the downtown areas, with music blaring over loudspeakers, singers, folkdancing and fireworks. The kids have fun doing annoying things like spraying people with cans of foam or knocking them over the head with squeaky plastic hammers...The partying can go on until the wee hours of the morning. On Independence Day itself, picnics and barbecues ("mangal") in the great outdoors have become traditional. Other special events are the International Bible Contest and the Israel Prize ceremony, both televised. Shops and businesses are closed but the buses run (schedules may be different).
Jerusalem Day celebrates the reunification of Israel's capital city on the 28th of Iyar, which comes out sometime between late May and early June. For 19 years, east and west Jerusalem were divided by walls and barbed wire. Jews were denied access to the eastern part of the city, which was under Jordanian rule. Synagogues and cemeteries were destroyed and the area around the Western Wall was turned into a garbage dump. The Israel Defense Forces recaptured the city on the 3rd day of the Six-Day War in June 1967, and 20 days later, the Knesset (Israeli parliament) declared the two parts of the city officially reunited.
Jerusalem Day is celebrated by festive ceremonies (the main event is on Ammunition Hil) and a downtown parade with dancers, music, floats and delegations from all over the world - Jews and non-Jews. People line the streets to clap the marchers on. This, of course, produces a major traffic jam near the center of town and the Old City...
There are usually free walking tours, and people make "pilgrimages" to Jerusalem from all over the country. Synagogues hold special prayers.
Holocaust Day - a day set aside to remember the 6 million Jews - including 1.5 million children - who were murdered by the Germans in World War II. It usually falls sometime in middle or late April. The Hebrew date, the 27th of Nissan, was chosen because it falls midway between the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, which began on the first day of Passover, and Israeli Memorial Day. All places of entertainment are closed, but transportation runs as usual and shops are open. A televised state ceremony is held at Yad Vashem on the eve of Holocaust Day, and on the day itself, at exactly 10 a.m., a two-minute siren is sounded. Everything comes to a halt and a hush falls over the country as people stand at attention. Traffic stops and many drivers stand next to their cars until the wail of the siren dies down.
Inscribed on these towering rocks at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem, is a verse from Psalms: (78:6)
"That a future generation might know
Children yet to be born
And in turn tell their children."
The Haram ash-Sharif (former Temple Mount to the Jews, dating back to Solomon's Temple) is considered a sacred area to the Muslims, and you'll see evidence of this all around you. It's a peaceful feeling inside here, and you'll probably see Muslims at the water area where Islamic rules dictate that one must wash one's feet before entering a place of holy worship such as a mosque. You'll see a lot of students, both men and women, studying and talking under the trees and on the grounds around here.
When you go to the Wall, should wear shirt that covers your shoulders and upper arms and skirt that no shorter above the knees. If not, someone at the entrace will give you a big scarf. Like what I had in the picture. My skirt wasn't too short so it was ok ;)
There are many Christian pigrimas coming to Jerusalem especially during special Christian holidays and events. Catholic, Orotodox, Protestants, Koptic and Ethiopian pilgrims are a very colorful and interesting thing to see. I took this photo of twom Ortodox monks from Greece meeting in Jerusalem after long time they have not see each other.
There are many Christian pilgrims who come to Jerusalem during the all year and especially during some religeious events taking place all around the Christian quarter of the city or out side the old town. I took a photo of the hands of two monks meeting after not seeing each other after long time.
Women might be asked to cover their shoulders, and no shorts or short skirts are allowed. The guards may inspect you and your belongings for weapons but they are very friendly, usually very young.
Respect and be respected.
Israeli arabs and Palestinians are educated, open minded people. Do not think of women wearing the veil that they are old fashioned or conservative. They just feel like doing it because of their belief.
The Bedouins touch a new bride as they believe she has much power on her wedding day and want her to bless them. We were not aware of the custom, so it was rather frightening to have all these women grabbing at my new daughter-in-law. At first I thought they were trying to take the pearls off her wedding dress. They also yelled an unexpected war cry that sent shiveres up my spine -- that must be more of their custom.
Men have to wear little hats -keppeltjes- at the Wailing Wall. Religious men lend white hats like these to tourists, so they can take a look. For women their is no rule. They just have to stick to their side of the wall. It is appreciated when you are wearing clothes with long sleaves or a long dress.
When going to muslim areas, make sure that you wear long sleaves and a long dress. People won't accept you otherwise! When going into mosques take off your shoes.
People speak hebrew or arabian. English is sometimes spoken a bit, but don't exspect to much of it. On the picture: the hebrew Alphabet.
there are miilions of kinds of different people in different kinds of clothing and speaking different languages.
many students from all around the world studying in the hebrew university and learning hebrew in hebrew learning classes ( i was one of them and finishd the university recently)
there is the picture of the model of the holy temple for the jewish people which was derstructed two times, the latter in the year 70 by the Romans.