Pesach – come experience Jerusalem

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Ancient map with Jerusalem as the center of the world

This week we celebrated the feasts of Pesach, Unleavened Bread and First Fruits.  This meant that we did not prepare a study.  However, as we did previously, we will try to share the Jerusalem experience.  During the first part of the feasts we have taken a number of pictures for you to see what happens in Jerusalem during Pesach.

Pesach, like Sukkot, is always an extremely busy time in the city.  Police implement crowd control measures that mean that some streets get closed off and some passages are converted to one-way traffic.  Of course, this means that traffic backs up in all sorts of places and tempers start to rise.

The Jewish Quarter in the Old City is where you really experience the feasts.


New sign in Jewish Quarter
New sign at the entrance to the Jewish Quarter.

It is always interesting to watch all the people prepare for the feast of Unleavened Bread.  The bakeries start to sell off all their baked products, and then replaced them with new biscuits that contain no leaven. All shops are cleaned, homes are swept clean and even the cars receive a clean.


Before the First Day of Unleavened Bread, the last leaven is burned outside the Jewish Quarter. This is also the time that the palm branches left over from Sukkot are burned.

The shops have a very “interesting” way of getting rid of leaven.  They simply cover the shelves that contain leavened products during the seven days.  We have also heard that they actually sell the leavened products to a non-believer for the seven days.

The next step is to buy the products required for the Seder.

Enough products at the market for all the Seder meals happening in the city.
Enough products at the market for all the Seder meals happening in the city.

The shops also start selling the unleavened products.

On the day of First Fruits we also look at the wild barley on the outside of the Old City on our way to the City of David.

Barley in Jerusalem
The barley next to the wall of the Old City on the way to the City of David.

As usual, the streets are filled with musicians.  This always gives the city a feeling of festivity.

The city is also a place of variety.  What ever you need to buy, you can have it in almost any color.

At the Jewish market you can have your pick of fruits, vegetables, fresh produce, spices or any other product you may need.

But the biggest variety of all you will find in the people of the city.

Last, but not least,  let us not forget what country we are in.  Security is always a concern for the people of Israel.

Soldiers walking around remind you of the threat that this nations lives under.
Soldiers walking around remind you of the threat that this nations lives under.

Next year in Jerusalem! Have a blessed 7th day feast.







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12 responses to “Pesach – come experience Jerusalem”

  1. Elmie

    Thank you so much for all the beautiful pictures. So wonderful to know our Messias is alive and He rejoice with us in all of these festivities! Shalom

  2. Sheila Lemieux

    Chats Sameach
    Thank you for those great pics
    I can smell and hear the sounds of each one
    Did Pesach in Portugal but will see you in the Sukkot celebration in Jerusalem

  3. Wendy

    Thanks for the lovely photos it brings back many memories

    We are in Lisbon now getting ready for Shabbat.

  4. Stephen

    Shalom Schalk and Elsa! My family and I are here in Jerusalem also. Would you have time to get together on Shabbat? Is there a place you like to go on Shabbat? (Believers meeting, synagogue, etc)

    Yah bless you!

    1. Shalom Stephen,

      We are in the Jerusalem hostel. We usually go to independance park on shabbat around 14h00. You are welcome to look us up at the hostel or meet there with us. There are usually many believers with us in the park.

      Blessings, looking forward to meeting you and your family
      Elsa and Schalk

  5. Wendy

    Elsa, we were talking this afternoon about preparing for next year. Here’s our question.
    If we have purchased our breads, crackers and alike before Aviv. of 2016. And then we are into the 14th day of the first month and have to get rid of the leavened things in our house.
    We were trying to figure this out. What are your ideas on this.
    Thanks and blessings

    1. Shalom Wendy,

      I would wait and purchase those items after the feast of unleavened bread is over. Otherwise, you could buy the flour etc and bake your own bread. Yeast and baking powder I would definitely buy only after the end of the feast. The feast of first fruits starts the barley harvest and wheat is harvested after Shavuot, so you would still be able to buy produce from the previous year’s harvest, so you won’t be transgressing if you do this.

      Hope this helps and thanks for your question,

  6. Sue

    I am thinking of visiting Jerusalem for Sukkot.
    Is there only one Jerusalem hostel?
    If not, which do you recommend?

    1. Sue

      Sorry – that was a bit brief!
      Shalom Schalk & Esla!
      I hope you had a great time in Jerusalem!

    2. Shalom Sue,

      There is only one Jerusalem hostel, but it already fully booked for Sukkpot. You can also look at the Abraham hostel or the Jaffa gate hostel.


  7. Craig

    Very nice visual presentation and explanation – Thanks!

  8. Danilo Perez

    Great to know how this Biblical Holy Day is being observed….thanks for your pictures…I am learning..and hope to learn more through your site…

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