Friday, September 28, 2012

A sukkah at the tram terminal!

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."



VP said...

A curious idea, but an occasion like another to tell a fascinating story.

Sara said...

It's very hot there! We may be in the high 90s here this week...Your very interesting post reminds me it's time for me to watch Ushpizin again...and spend some time reading the Psalms of Ascent...

Hels said...

I think the images on the side of the succah are lovely, but you cannot rest your weary legs on images. People should bring a very light weight collapsible chair with them, while they are waiting for a tram. That heat is too much!

Kay said...

I've seen the sukkah in the neighborhood and thought of you, Dina. Wishing you peace and happiness.

Dina said...

Helen, the sukkah is built over one of the concrete benches in Holland Square, across the street from the tram station.
Usually when I have a long time to wait for my bus home, I sit there on the Calder statue and eat or read.

The standing at the tram/bus station is not so bad, but it would be nice to have more shelter from the summer sun and soon, from the rain. Not to mention the freezing wind that comes up from the valley and blows on high Mt. Herzl.

Rob Mandy said...

What a great idea! Beats any bus stop I know!

Birdman said...

What beautiful wall hangings to help you enjoy your food. Peace.

Dina said...

Birdman, the pictures are actually printed on the cloth "walls." So everything is hanging from the metal frame.

Spiderdama said...

Very much history in all your pictures
There is a lot of people from Norway going to Jerusalem to be there at Løvhyttefesten (try to pronounce it:-)

Reader Wil said...

How full of interesting information is your post. I am sorry that I had no time to read it earlier.