CityPass, the consortium that (tries to) run the new Jerusalem light rail, just gave us somewhere new to sit at their Mt. Herzl terminal!
No . . . not more shaded benches at the station; that would be seen as pampering us, giving ALL of us relief from the 34 C heat.
No . . . not more seats on the tram; they wouldn't want ALL of us to get used to having a place to sit (let alone enough room to stand) in the packed trams.
No . . . it is a SUKKAH they gave us, a temporary booth in which to sit and preferably eat during the week-long holiday of Sukkot!
The soft walls say "To all the light rail passengers and to all the House of Israel--happy holidays and happy travels."
Inside a sign says it was generously donated by Sukkot Yerushalaim, the sukkah producers, who claim it is not only kosher, not only kosher lemehadrin, but rather KOSHER LEMEHADRIN MIN HAMEHADRIN.
That's like super-duper kosher!
Printed on the sides are paintings of Jerusalem.
The one above, at the Western Wall, is the only modern one.
(But notice how the Muslim Dome of the Rock is somehow missing. hmm...)
Throngs of pilgrims would come up to Jerusalem for Sukkot in biblical times.
Here they are walking toward the Jaffa Gate.
Here pilgrims are walking toward the Mercy Gate, from the east.
The picture quotes Psalm 122, "Our feet are standing at your gates, O Jerusalem."
The Temple is near as they converge from the south.
So many priests, some with trumpets, some tending to the sacrifices!
You might enjoy enlarging this photo to get an idea of how the Temple courtyard might have looked. (Click a second time on the photo that opens up.)
And after you have fulfilled the mitsvah of eating in the sukkah you can sing Birkat Hamazon, the blessing after the meal.
A kosher "roof" covering of a sukkah must let us see the stars at night, hence these "drops of sunlight" falling through the top and onto the walls.
Actually, this could be a good picture for Shadow Shot Sunday meme.
These verses from Deuteronomy 16 explain the three great pilgrimage festivals, when Jews from all over the world would make the journey to Jerusalem and walk up to the Temple Mount:
"Safeguard the month of standing grain so that you will be able to keep the Passover to God your Lord, since it was in the month of standing grain that God your Lord brought you out of Egypt at night...Then count seven weeks for yourself. From the time that you first put the sickle to the standing grain, you must count seven weeks. You shall then celebrate the festival of Shavuot to God your Lord, presenting a hand-delivered offering according to the extent of the blessing that God your Lord has granted you...When you bring in the products of your threshing floor and wine vat, you shall celebrate the festival of Sukkot for seven days...Three times each year, all your males shall thus be seen in the presence of God your Lord in the place that He will choose: on the festival of matzahs, on the festival of Shavuot, and on the festival of Sukkot...
You shall not appear before God empty-handed."