Friday, March 6, 2009

The women of Jerusalem

I was sitting on a concrete wall near Jerusalem Central Bus Station, eating a sesame bar, waiting for the infrequent bus back to my village in the hills, when this woman came and set up shop beside me. Not to waste time, she whipped out her knitting needles and started making another beautiful pair of pantofalach. (I remember hearing that Yiddish word [probably from Polish and/or German] in the old days when there were still many Yiddish speakers in Israel.)
Times have changed. This grandma/babooshka spoke only Russian.
But she sure knows how to knit and do business, even without Hebrew, English, or Yiddish.
.
International Women's Day this Sunday. Women of the world, unite!

17 comments:

Fabrizio - ikol22 said...

I am not sure to love all knitting jobs but I love them when they are expression of tradition and culture like these you're showing in this photo. I've been many years ago in Jerusalem and I'll never forget its beauty.

JM said...

This is something I don't remember seeing on streets for sale ever! :-)

Dina said...

Shalom Fabrizio. I agree with you on both ideas. I'm glad you loved being in Jerusalem. It has changed in the last decades. Come again and see!

JM, I also had never seen kiddie slippers for sale in an impromptu sales place outside. Israel is in the growing economic crunch now too. More and more people will have to find little ways to supplement their pension or income, like this woman did. The number of beggars is increasing too.

spacedlaw said...

Pantofola in Italian too (pantoufle, in French) for slippers.

Jew Wishes said...

What a beautiful photo...so filled with the tones of life!

Shabbat Shalom.

Dina said...

Hi Spacedlaw. Really? Thanks for telling me. Funny how I first learned the word through Yiddish. hehe. I don't know much Yiddish, but having studied German I can understand a bit.

Dina said...

Jew Wishes, thanks for such a poetic way of articulating what you see in the picture. Wish I could have thought of that. :)
Gut Shabbas to you too.

Mediterranean kiwi said...

pantofalach - we say pantofles for slippers in greek

have you had your dust-storms yet? we've had so much dusty air, it's not funny. from single digit temperatures, we went right up to 21 today. and if the dust stays in the air, we're going to have red rain tomorrow...

(blogging break continuing, spontaneous posts not included!)

Indrani said...

This is such a lively glimpse of your place, I hope she made a good business.

Gretchen said...

How cute! We don't have street vendors like that around here. Such a pity. I've seen them in Paris and other large cities I've visited.

Kay said...

That is really amazing! Those little booties are adorable.

Reader Wil said...

Thank you of reminding us of International Women's Day! I have already a post ready about IWD.There's still a lot to be done.

Cloudia said...

I will probably never here yiddish again after my dad passes, and he's probably leaving us soon....glad you are OK after yesterdays incident. Aloha means love-

Catherine said...

Dear Dina, I love this street slices of life and these streets pictures about men and women's little jobs. That's what gives an impression, especially if we can speak with them.

richies said...

Cool photo, cool story

An Arkies Musings

mommanator said...

my grandma used to say "idol hands are the devil's workshop" knitting is a great way of not being idol!

susieofarabia said...

How unique and colorful!