Monday, April 28, 2008

Pesach in Jerusalem

The sign that greeted us as we entered the baggage claim at Ben Gurion Airport after our flight back to Jerusalem

As happy as I was to be in Belarus for much of Pesach, I was also happy to get to spend the last few days of Pesach here in Jerusalem. I never realized just how special Pesach was in Jerusalem, but it's a very big deal. The restaurants either kosher-ize themselves or shut down entirely; the grocery stores hide all of their chametz beneath big white pieces of plastic; the city is overrun with tourists and visitors; there are special street fairs and events going on all week long to please tourists and natives alike. The weather has been beautiful, albeit HOT (I'd forgotten about the heat waves that hit this city every so often), and the people once again wish you a 'chag sameach' whenever they see you in their stores or on the streets. It was just a great time to enjoy living in Jerusalem and to hang out with good friends

Just wanted to leave you with some pictures--enjoy! I hope you all had a wonderful Pesach, and an even better time re-entering the delicious world of chametz :)

The plastic sheets covering all of the chametz products the grocery stores aren't allowed to sell the week of Pesach. If they are caught selling something that is not Kosher for Passover, they run the risk of losing their kosher certificate, and with it the majority of their business.

As Steph and I were walking home from the grocery store on Thursday night, we were greeted by a lovely surprise: fireworks right across the street at the YMCA building. I was so happy to have had my camera on me, despite the fact that the pictures didn't turn out very well. It was a wonderful way to get us back into the Jerusalem groove after 2 long trips to Belarus and Spain.
The sign at Cup O'Joe, my favorite coffee shop, assuring me that the food and the kitchen were both Kosher for Passover, and that the restaurant would be open for Chol haMoed, the days of Pesach in which you do not hold seders.

Enjoying a healthy and Kosher-for-Passover brunch at Cup O'Joe with Carlie, Batya, Erin, Steph, and PJ.

Since none of us had a normal Passover seder (matzo ball soup, gefilte fish, etc.) we decided to have an American seder-themed Shabbat dinner this past Friday night on Julia's mirpeset (balcony) after Kabbalat Shabbat services. It turned out to be one of my favorite Shabbat dinners all year, with great food, good friends, lots of laughter, and beautiful weather. From left to right: Tami, Shlomo (Marc's friend), Julia, Marc, me, Ariel, and Greg. Steph was also there, but taking the picture :)

The lovely ladies after a wonderful Shabbat meal. I apparently did not get the memo to wear either green or blue :) From the left: Julia, me, Ariel, Tami, Steph.

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