The lively kitten in the flowerpot was playing hide-and-seek with a litter-mate.
She is my contribution to Camera Critters meme today. However, the other photos are in response to the many readers who got excited about cisterns in new Jerusalem in yesterday's post.
Jews began moving out of the overcrowded walled Old City in 1860, when the first Jewish neighborhood in new Jerusalem was built. Many of the new houses where built around a courtyard which could be locked at night for better protection. Robber bands and wild animals were a danger then, outside the city wall.
Today the openings into the cisterns are plastered shut or locked. Some pumps have become quite decorative.
The three photos above (which are clickable, as usual) show the courtyard of the late Rabbi Kook's yeshiva and of the Museum of Psalms.
The slight curve signals the vault of a cistern below the street.
The complex of city center neighborhoods, officially known as Lev Ha-Ir (meaning the heart of the city), was declared an area to be conserved. The are quite charming now.
Can you imagine the hardworking mothers who once gathered here draw water and to wash the laundry and exchange the latest news?
A courtyard of one of the many the ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods near the market. Often all the houses surrounding the courtyard made up one little "neighborhood," with a name of its own.
They have big families. With all the little kids playing outside, the openings to the deep cisterns are today carefully blocked.
The building houses the Jerusalem branch of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel.
As we said yesterday, the SPNI is campaigning to have City Hall allow the re-opening of some of Jerusalem's 11,000 cisterns so that rainwater can be caught and held and used, instead of going down the drain.
After five straight years of drought, we need to conserve any rain that might come.