More Pre-Shabbat Stuff in Jerusalem

August 12, 2016

Every week, Jody Hirsh, the JCC's Judaic Education Director, provides a Judaic message that is featured at the top of the JCC's weekly email newsletter. Below is the Shabbat message for Friday, August 12, 2016.

More Pre Shabbat Stuff in Jerusalem

Aside from Friday Café society and major grocery and provisions shopping, there’s so much more that goes on in Jerusalem on Fridays just before Shabbat. And... the old train station in Jerusalem seems to be the epicenter of it all. The train station, built in 1888 was actually a train station that was the Jerusalem terminus for trains coming from Yafo, then Tel Aviv and Haifa. I remember the Tel Aviv and Haifa routes when I came to Israel for the first time in 1965 as a teenager.

The station was almost in downtown Jerusalem, near both the old walled city, and the new city.  Eventually, the train was discontinued and eventually a new station was built in Malcha, outside of town. For years the old station was boarded up and an eyesore. Finally, the City of Jerusalem initiated a $9.3 renovation turning it into a plaza/mall in the original station area including the outside. Now called “The First Station,” it has become an amazing center of restaurants, shops, and entertainment – especially in the summer.

On Fridays, it is especially busy – partly for the Café Society described last week in the Shabbat Shalom Message, [Deb – put a link here to last week’s message] but it’s also a place to spend the afternoon shopping, listing to live music, or riding amusement attractions for children! The station is packed with people: singles, couples, families, children from every segment of Jerusalem society and beyond. Late in the afternoon there is a Kabbalat Shabbat service with musical instruments, much like the one held at the Old Tel Aviv Port!

On Friday afternoons, the station becomes a bustling place full of laughter and joy.


Shabbat Shalom