JEWISH FESTIVAL TOURS
Tours to learn about the holy sites and how they connect with jewish festivals.
Jews have been celebrating their festivals or feasts, as some people like to call them since the days of creation. Firstly God created Sabbath to celebrate His creation, then, in the days of father Abraham, came the Brit (circumcision), to celebrate birth and the covenant between God and the Jews, then came all the festivals that fill the entire year, celebrating the history of the Jewish Nation; Pesach, Shavuot, Succot, and later Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Hanuka and Purim, Tu Bishvat and then the days to remember sad events in our history, like Tisha B'Av and others and finally the latest festival Yom Ha-atzma-ut (Independence Day) Join Leon for walks to learn about how thes festivals are connected to the Land of Israel and participate in celebrating them with modern Jews in their homeland.
Please note that although it's best to do these walks on the festivals themselves, this is not essential because one can see the sites associated with the festival, please tell Leon which festval most interests you and he will make that the emphasis on the tour.
Sabbath is a day to celebrate creation by not creating, resting, study and prayer. On the tour conducted by Leon Gork, you visit some of Jerusalem's famous synagogues, stopping for a chat about the history of the synagogues and the way Jews pray.
ROSH HASHANAH (New Year)
The day when Jews as forgiveness for their sins. Leon's beautiful tour will visit the Wailing Wall (Western Wall) and take you to the place where the ram's horn used to be blown at the temple. You continue along the Kidron Valley passed the Gate of Mercy with magnificent views of the valley below. Finallly ends at the City of David for an overview.
YOM KIPPUR (day of atonement)
A meditative silence reigns on this solemn day as you walk with Leon from the ultra Orthodox neighborhood, Mea She'arim, stop at a magnificent vantage point for a view of the old and New cities of Jerusalem. Experience the difference in culture between the various religious communities of Jerusalem, then walk with Leon through the Damascus Gate, along the Arab Market in El Wad Str to end at the Waling Wall.
SUCCOT (The feast of Tabernacles)
This walk with Leon will bring you to the famous market of the 4 species, which takes place in every town and village, here you will see people choosing the best fruits for the ceremony of waving the 4 species; the etrog, which is yellow like a lemon, the palm branch, which is upright, green and makes a rattle when shaken, the willow leaves, which rustle and remind one of water and the myrtle branch, which is perfectly formed. the walk will take you to a booth and you can eat some of the tasty dishes that Jews make on this festival.
Leon's Hanukkah tour is one of the famous tours of Jerusalem. Leon takes in the evening soon after sunset when each family has kindled its Hanukkia and the flames are lighting up the usually dark alleyways and children are playing the dreidle game (a game played with a special top) the tour ends at a famous conditure of typical Jerusalem delicassies so that all the participants can enjoy the doughnuts which are tranditionally eaten on this festival.
(New Year for trees)
On this tour Leon takes for a walk in the gardens in and around Jerusalem, starting in one of the beautul parks of New Jerusalem, then walking past the ancient trees of around the walls of the Old City with views of Mt. Olives and Mt.Scopus. The tour ends in the most famous garden from Biblical Times, the Garden of Gethsemane with its ancient olive trees. A walk to the Garden Tomb is an optional extra.
PURIM (the festival of lots)
On the Purim tour Leon will take you the orthodox neighborhoods of Jerusalem to see the carnivals taking place, kids and adult dressed in fancy dress costume, dancing and singing in the street. The tour will be in the evening so that you can experience the synagogue service which is very unusual on this day you can hear the reading of the story of Esther according to an age old melody.
Many sites in Israel offer you the opportunity of learning about PESACH.
We'll start our walk in at the entrance to the suburb of Mea Shearim to witness the dipping of the untensils (only during the week before Passover), an interesting custom to watch, undertaken to virtually renew utensils to be used during Passover. From here we'll continue to one of Jerusalem's famouse wine shops to learn about the importance of wine on Passover, how wine was made and of course to taste some really good Israeli wine. We continue to the Jaffa Gate for a visit to the museum of the Jewish Quarter, where you can experience the fascinating lifestyle of prayer and study practiced by the Jews of medieval Jerusalem. our tour ends at the Wailing Wall with options to continue to the the site for archaeological reconstruction.