Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Jerusalem: Scenes and Faces

I had the honor and the pleasure of spending much time in Jerusalem over Chol HaMoed. Can one ever tire of this city? As I walked around the Ir Atikah (Old City), both with and without a guide, I thought that no matter how many times I have been there, there always seemed to be some new fact to learn. I tried to capture some of the Jerusalem I saw in these photos:

The Ramban/Churva Synagogue has been destroyed several times, the last time in the 1948 War of Independance. It is currently being rebuilt. This is where the famous arch in the old city was, built after the Six-Day-War to symbolize the shul. The minyan is currently held in an adjacent basement, where they ascribe to no specific nusach--the davening goes by whatever nusach the Shaliach Tzibur (leader of the tefilla) uses. This is at the behest of the Ramban himself. (Four Sephardi Synagogues in the foreground)

Father and son

Is there anywhere else in the world you'd see a sign like this?

Thousands of people were "oleh regel" to Jerusalem, from all over Israel, and from around the world. We were all welcomed by the Mayor of Jerusalem, Uri Lupianski.

A Karaite Jew, right around the corner from the Karaite Synagogue.

Karaite Judaism or Karaism (Hebrew: קָרָאִים) is a Jewish movement characterized by the sole reliance on the Tanach as scripture, and the rejection of the Oral Law (the Mishnah and the Talmud) as halacha (Legally Binding, i.e., required religious practice). They originated in Baghdad, in present day Iraq.

When interpreting scripture, Karaites strive to adhere only to the plain meaning (p'shat) of the text. This is in contrast to Rabbinical Judaism, which employs the methods of p'shat, remez (implication or clue), or drash ("deep interpretation"). In modern times Karaite Judaism has formed its own independent Jewish organization, and is not a member of any Rabbinic organization. (Some of this information was retrieved from Wikipedia). Needless to say this group is fairly controversial.

A simple Jew.

Happy on Chol Hamoed

Priest leaving the Christian quarter.

Protecting the Old City, both from unwanted traffic, and from more sinister dangers.

Praying at the Kotel. LeShana Habaah B'Yerushalyim Habnuyah!


Mazal Tov to our very special friends, Michael and Nadine upon their son Evan's Bar Mitzvah, which took place at the Kotel. The Bar Mitzvah was beautiful and meaningful and we give Evan, his parents, his brothers and of course, Boma, our heartfelt good wishes. It is because of our friends that we have been spending so much time in Jerusalem. We miss them terribly, but are so happy that Evan chose to have his celebration here. With G-d's Help, may they celebrate many more smachot here in the Holy Land!


Unknown said...

The Karaites were found in many countries not just Iraq as can be seen here .

Baila said...


I read the link; the stuff makes sense, huh?

Anonymous said...

Shalom and praised be YHWH.

I'm a Qaraite Jew who was present on the Qaraite synagogue's premises on April 23 since 6:00 AM till all Qaraite pilgrims were gone around 16:00 and I can assure you the man clad in the white biblical garments in the photo above is no Qaraite Jew, otherwise I'd have met him and seen him worshipping in the synagogue which he didn't throughout that day.
Obviously this guy is an impostor who told you he's a Qaraite. This comes as no surprise to me since several people have been known to present themselves as Qaraites when they're really Messianics or Xtians of other persuasions. A prominent example is Michael Rood.

Kol Tuv,


Anonymous said...

He looks a bit of heidbanger whatever he is

Anonymous said...

Yeah that "Karaite" is definitely a goy.

Anonymous said...

All Karaites are goyim (non-Jewish), unless their mother was Jewish. Some are trying to trick American Chabad rabbis into converting them, though, even though their heart is not in the right place.

Anonymous said...

Shalom again.

The Anonymouse smart-a** from Oct 05 may spout all the tired old mendacious Orthodox bile s/he wishes, but that nonsense doesn't become any more true with the passage of time. Au contraire, the internet's ubiquitousness in the Western world is facilitating a better understanding of who the Qaraite Jews are about and why they too are Jewish.
The maternal lineage criterion for Jewishness was decreed by ancient Rabbis after Mishnaic times due to what they percieved to be an alarming condition, thus seemingly nulyfying paternal desent as the chief yardstik for Jewishness. Yet paternal descent still remains the more proper yardstick since it has its foundation in the Tanakh whereas the Rabbinic criterion does not.

Regardless, i'd be interested to hear from that individual -- IF s/he has genuine and verified information as opposed to unverified rumors or plain attempts at mud slinging -- who those supposed Qaraite Jews are that are ostensibly trying to trick Chabad rabbis into converting them. The very notion is bunk since Qaraite Jews cannot convert to Judaism any more than Conservative Jews can. That is, unless that Anonymouse considers all forms of Judaism apart from Orthodoxy fraudulent,-- a most logical extension and conclusion of the Orthodox Jewish "it's either my way or the highway" mindset.

YHWH endures forever,


Anonymous said...

Please excuse my immense ignorance (and poor spelling), but all the talk of conversion above confuses me. Are you all talking of conversion of/from one 'Sect' to another, or of/from other faiths into Judaism. The Man in the photo indentified as Karaite seems to be wearing Priestly/Levitical garments. Is this a mode of dress seen more often in Israel now? I have not been there for some time so..... thanks in advance for any info.