Just before crossing the streets from the newer parts of Jerusalem towards the old city, we stopped at a toy store where we bought the games Monopoly and Taboo in Hebrew. As I was talking with the store owner, he wanted me to take a look at an error of advertising in one of the magazines he gets. How did he even know that I am interested in such things for my blog? Notice the correct date for the trade show on the front cover of the magazine while on the back cover it is off by a year. I guess that 50% accuracy is not that bad, but than again, paying your marketing department 50% what they deserve, is not that bad either.
(Click on images to enlarge)
The young lady who was helping us pick out the games, decided to give us a discount since she seemed to like us. She was probably in her twenties and to my amazement she then took out a calculator and while struggling to figure something out, looked at the storeowner and asked frustrated: “how much is 10% of 157?” This actually happened on two different occasions at two different stores. Although the majority of Israeli citizens believe in great education, this proved to me the importance of a good education.
Many thousands of years of history are contained within the walls of this fascinating city. We walked towards Jaffa gate in the old city staring at the ancient walls, various religious places and the tower of David
(Tower of David)
We entered the colorful Arab market where storeowners hustle to negotiate their deals. “Make me a great offer,” said one, while another yelled: “How much do you want to pay for this?” It is common and almost expected to hear the seller name a price and the “negotiation game” begins.
(My daughter Sharon engaged in tough negotiation)
(My daughter and wife with Adnan, the store owner, displaying the new wall hanging addition for the Barr family)
We then took a sharp right turn and entered the area of Roman ruins called the Cardo followed by some great Israeli shops.
I went to visit one of the friendly storeowners I met last year who greatly impressed me. A devoted Orthodox Jew, (pious), who has great love and passion for his religious studies, life and people. Since it was my daughter’s friend who originally sent me there, I walked into the store hoping to be recognized for the connection and said:
“Do you know who sent me?”
“God of course” he said.
We chatted for a couple of minutes when I asked: “So how is business?”
Unexpectedly he replied: “It depends”
“Depends on what?” I said.
“On the person of course” he answered.
Curiously I asked him to articulate further.
“Look it” he said, “God may grant you success and at times even put you to the test. It all depends what you decide to do with that wealth, how you use it and how much you share and give to others that makes the difference.”
I delightfully purchased something at his store, listened to his wisdom while he was talking with several other visitors and thanked him for the meaningful few moments together.
We then entered the Jewish section of the old city, walking towards the holiest site of the Jewish people, The Western Wall.
(Old city streets)
(Dome of the rock and the western wall)
(The western wall)
On our way out, this sign caught my attention. It lets people know this week’s biblical portion, when exactly the Sabbath begins, when to light the candles and when the Sabbath ends. It also lets people know that any question they may have about Jewish laws, there are Rabbis standing by to answer those questions. Just make sure you don’t call these numbers during the Sabbath.
It’s amazing how busy the restaurants are during the day as well as quite late at night. A common site in the majority of restaurants is a security guard standing at the entrance and checking for weapons. I am not sure what kind of a deterrent this is to a terrorist, but it seems to make the visitors and perhaps the restaurant owners feel better. This country loves to party and I was glad to take a part in it and get my tasty Israeli Latte having my choice between the hopping coffee shops of Café Hillel and Café Aroma. Interestingly, all restaurants charge a small fee on their bill (2 Shekel = 50 cents per person) for their security guard.
I decided to take some night shots of Jerusalem before calling it a day. Actually an outstanding day!
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(Old city at night)
(Old city at night)