Sunday, December 28, 2008

Where's the Mechitza - early twentieth century Jerusalem

In an earlier post, I linked to Biblicalia's quotation from the Rev. Alexander Keith . In a fascinating comment, he adds the intersesting information that Keith was among the first to photograph the Holy Land. These photos were made into a sort of slide show, or as it was called then a magic lantern show, and exhibited in order to raise funds usually to support the missionary movement.

Here are some interesting photo's from the Matson collection of the Library of Congress. The interested reader will no doubt be able to unearth many more interesting photos at that site.

Here is one of the Kotel at the beginning of the century:

As you can see, there is no Mechitza (they seem to be davening anyway), as the Arabs would not allow it. Attempts to build a Mechitza in 1928 lead to serious conflict.

This is a Samaritan (Kuti) high priest:

Presumably, he would have supervised the Korban Pesach at Har HaGrizim, like this one:

Finally , here are some "alte Yerushalyme Yidden" clearly posing for the Shaygetz:

Once can read a lot more about the Yishuv HaYashan in Nima Adlerblum's (Chaim Hirschenson's daughter) Memoirs of my Childhood, and probably in a lot of other places.


Kevin P. Edgecomb said...

I'm happy to have helped. Keith was an interesting character.

Don't spend all day looking through those Matson pictures! It's dangerously addictive!

Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

I'm not saying these people in the last photo were, but some of the models in these photos (or, rather, 19th century photos) from the Holy Land were converted Jews.

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