Meah Shearim & Geula

Meah Shearim & Geula – a pre-Succot experience.

A few days before Succot, I toured of Mea Shearim & Geula.

Malkhei Yisrael & Mea Shearim streets seem full of people and decorated kiosks. Many stores change to temporary sales points for thatched Succa roofing and the four species. Others add festival products: luau (palm branch) cases, citron boxes, woven jackets for the four species and festival presents.

Walls are covered with pictures of rabbis & wise men, the Temple, the Western Wall & Jerusalem views, all designed as succa decorations. All this is offered alongside glatt kosher plastic Israeli fruit produce.

Kiosks decorated with shiny streamers fill the street, and the many people with plus strollers somehow manage to pass in between.

The courtyards alongside the street have turned into markets for the four species. Men stand next to tables checking quality, wetting a finger (?), holding a magnifying glass. It is important to glory in the blessings of the festivals. The pashkevillim (wall posters) warn of unfit citrons and invite men only to a four species fair.

Youths standing next to the kiosks call for all to donate to the sick and needy at festival time.

Above my head, the hanging apartment balconies are being converted to wooden succot. Most are sealed, but an occasional faces peer out of the tiny windows.

Everything is so colorful and loud – my eyes and legs and even my camera are already tired. I sat at the "Petilia" restaurant at the end of Mea Shearim St. and feasted my soul on sour red koube soup.

Translated by Davyd Tal