In the Torah portion of Shlach Moshe sends representatives to spy out the Land. They report that in Eretz Yisrael, everything is larger than life, from the size of her fruits to the size of the enemy inhabitants. I guess not much has changed!
The shuk is probably my most favorite place in the world. It is a concentrated burst of bounty in each of the myriad specialty shops: one for dried fruit, another for fresh; shops for vegetables; others for cheese, another for meats, and yet another for fish; stands for seeds and nuts; spices; flavored teas; unusual rice mixes; housewares; clothes; Judaica; bread; rugelach.
When I used to live in Israel, I would visit the shuk every Tuesday, because if I went early enough I could find a parking place, and early in the week the shuk wasn’t overly crowded. This time, however, I was simply a tourist with a camera. I went on a Friday, which is when the entire world seems to go, tourists and pre-Shabbat shoppers alike. It is hard to describe the sea of determined shoppers, the din, the commotion, the color. Of the dozens of languages one can hear, amid the mixed multitude of people of every color and country east, west, north and south, Sephardi, Ashkenazi, religious and secular, this giant melting pot of Jews is truly an “ingathering of exiles.” I thought you might enjoy this mouth-watering but calorie-free pictorial essay. It helps remind us how HaShem has blessed the Jewish People in our Land! (click on any photo to enlarge)