By Rikki Mandel
This was my first Shabbat in Jerusalem and I was eager and ready to start the day. I woke early Saturday morning and after a quick bite to eat, I took the directions I had written the night before and headed toward my aunt and uncle’s house. I left the hotel and went down Jaffa Street until I got to Ben Yehuda Street and with the help of the locals, found my way to one of the orthodox neighborhoods in the city where my family resides.
It was a very special experience for me to experience the differences in the ultra-orthodox communities in Jerusalem. Just in one Shabbat I had the opportunity to hear from many different sects talking in different languages - Hebrew English and Yiddish. After my beautiful walk, I got to my family’s place and walked up a lot of stairs to their apartment.
I ate lunch and had a chance to bond with my family in Jerusalem, something that I always wanted to do. On the way back, my aunt and uncle walked me back though one of the ultra-orthodox community neighborhoods that is completely closed off with no cars driving through until you get to the end and the Chasidim stand at the roundabout, where several men stand and scream at the cars "Shabbos. " Walking though those beautiful old streets, I felt like I was walking through a story book. It was a dream come true.