|"Fishing at Dawn" © 2013 by Heddy Abramowitz|
There was a mix of structures from different periods: older Templer-style and Bauhaus ones with arched windows, those with crumbling stucco walls and flaking wooden shutters eaten by the salty air, alongside brutally utilitarian apartment blocks. The neighborhood post office never had a line longer than one – and that was just poor timing.
The Jewish Quarter has in recent years become a focus of tour groups who visit to conduct “selichot tours” in the lead-up to Rosh Ha Shana, the Jewish New Year, a time when observant Jews of the Sefardi tradition conduct penitent prayers at dawn complete with shofar blowing for a full month. The Ashkenazi Jews limit this tradition to the night following the Shabbat before the holiday for that week. Whichever the tradition, the observant are in preparations for the somber two days of self-examination that is at the center of Rosh Ha Shana.
The nature-ordered schedules of surfers, wind-sailors, dawn to dusk sun-worshipers, and fishermen, are replaced by the devoted Jerusalemites who keep to their prayer schedules; the Jews seek out synagogues three times a day, the muezzin calls out five times a day, and the church bells chime the hours as they pass. Both lifestyles share an order and devotion to something greater than themselves.
With much gratitude, best wishes for continued health, and peace in the New Year.
This post was originally published on The Times of Israel here or: