You'd think, Friday, Saturday - it's the weekend - no problem finding any place to eat. WRONG! It's Shabbat from Friday dusk to Saturday dusk. Meaning, EVERYTHING is closed from around 3pm to Saturday night after dark. There ARE restaurants that are open during these times, but usually, if they do, they won't get business from the locals who celebrate Shabbat. So, to keep constant business, most places ARE CLOSED. Even at the hotel, you'll only wind up getting salads and cold sandwiches during this time. There is NO SHOPPING in normal malls. Go to the Old City for food, drinks, snacks - and even shopping during this time - but don't expect to catch a normal bus, or go to the mall.
In Jewish Orthodox synagogues men and women sit separately, usually the men in the hall and the women on the balcony, although other arrangements also exist.
As the Wailing Wall also serves as a place of prayer and a synagogue, gender segregation is also practiced there, with separate prayer areas for men and for women.
The attached photo was taken near the entrance to the Wailing Wall plaza, and the sign says that this aisle is reserved for the use of men only.
However, the Jewish Orthodox (Haredi) community is demanding more than that: Some public buses serving the Haredim have separate seating for men (at the front of the bus) and for women (at the back), and women are also expected to get on the bus through the rear door.
Most non-Haredi Jews find this very dusturbing and objectionable. It shopuld be stressed, however, that most buses are regular "mixed" buses, and for every bus line you can choose to wait for a "normal" bus rather than get on the Haredi, gender-segregated one.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Chanukah is celebrated in the memory of this legend:
the Greeks entered the Sanctuary, they defiled all the oils, and when the Hasmoneans (the Maccabees) defeated them, they searched and found only one remaining jar of oil with the seal of the Kohen Gadol (the High Priest). Although it contained only enough oil to burn for one day, a miracle occurred, and the oil burned eight days
Down the generations the Jews have been saying not 'Next year in the Land of Israel' but 'Next year in Jerusalem'... One can create Tel-Aviv out of Jaffa but one cannot create a second Jerusalem. Zion lies within the walls, not outside them.
In synagogues throughout the world, when taking the Torah out of the Ark, Jews sing "kee mi tzion tezeh Torah, u dvar Adoshem me'Yerushalayim", means, the Torah will come forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. "Zion", the Biblical name for Jerusalem, is not just the three-thousand-years-old capital of the Jewish people, it is the intellectual , cultural and spiritual center of Jewish gravity. Mentioned over six hundred times in the Bible, it was the city of David the heroic who conquered it and of Solomon the wise, who built the first of the two Holy Temples there. During the many centuries of exile, Jerusalem symbolized both the glorious past of the Jewish people - and their hopes for the future.
The month of Elul – the last month before the "Days of Awe", namely Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – is a time when Jews examine their deeds. From the day after Rosh Hodesh(=first day of the month) Elul till Yom Kippur, the custom is to rise very early in the morning and read Selihoth (penitential prayers) in the synagogues or the Kotel(Western Wall).
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.
Calvary is the place where Jesus was crucified. You need to know come Christian people to be directed to the correct place. There was no doubt in our mind that this was the place. This is how it looks when you reach the place.
scapulars are popular around the Roman Catholic World (both the eastern rite and the western rite) According to traditional accounts, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared at Cambridge to St. Simon Stock, who was Prior General of the Carmelite Order in the middle of the 13th century. Originally, the brown scapular was given only to the members of the Carmelite Order. but now anyone may benefit from it by being formally enrolled in it by a priest. The scapular originally was a full-length wool garment that extended over the shoulders on both the front and the back of the person, reaching almost to his feet (just like the scapular which makes up the habit worn by religious); but now it is very small, although it is still wool, and still must be worn over the shoulders on the front and the back.
You Can buy these Mount Carmel Brown Scapulars in small and big sizes and costs NIS 8 per small piece and NIS 12 for a big piece. at the Pater Noster Church in Mount of Olives or at other Roman Catholic Church stores around Jerusalem
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.