you've never seen anything like it

the old city (of jerusalem) last night was something almost unimaginable--we tried to get to the kotel-- it was the holy arizal's yarzheit(sp?), the anniversary of his death (he was, i think, 37 when he died and all of his teachings that he gave over comprised less than three years of interaction between he and his main disciple r' hayyim vital) we all went to the kotel to pray in his merit for the redemption of the jewish people, and to save us from all of our pursuers (in this, the darkest time of our year). the city was so full it was like veins of people flowing, you couldn't fight the pressure of the flow, you had no choice but to go where it would take you. we tried so many routes to the kotel but there were so many people, we couldn't get in. we did catch a glimpse from the road that goes down there, but it was packed solid as well--we couldn't get any closer than just that glimpse. i've never ever seen so many people in the old city.. even getting out of the city was virtually impossible. (the traffic in (the new city) was backed up all the way to the entrance from the main tel-aviv jerusalem road) it took me 45 minutes to get most of the way to the old city in a cab before i had to get out and walk/run.

the amazing thing was the noise--no one shouted, no one shoved (that i could see anyways), the pushing was polite 'i'm here don't crush me' pushing.. but there were so many people it was loud to the point of overwhelming. in the end we went to king david's tomb[getting out through shaar tzion was quite a challenge of patience and will power], where we couldn't see anything because of the trees, but we could hear people from all over.. it was sooo many people. it must have been close to midnight before all the traffic had cleared out.

we were rescued by a really kind and unusually well-mannered police man and a cab driver with enough personality for 10 people.


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