60"X60" Acrylic Paint
There is a concept that Israel is the crossroads of the world. This is certainly true in Judaism, with Jerusalem as the epicenter. The location where the Holy Temple stood would be the pinnacle of holiness. That place today is the Western Wall, or the Kotel (Kosel) as it is called in Hebrew.
But there is a very different type of epicenter in this city. A place unrelated to religious fervency and introspection, but rather multicultural social interaction and commerce.
This place is called the Mahane Yehuda Shuk, located in the Mahane Yehuda neighborhood of Jerusalem, Israel.
It’s a bustling marketplace jam-packed shoulder-to-shoulder with locals and tourists from all walks of life, coming to sample, buy or just experience the uniqueness of this place. The first thing you notice as you approach the market is the exotic aromas wafting beyond the limits of the market. Once in the market your senses are exploding. Spices, wines, textiles, judaica, kebab, shawarma, clothing, falafel, cheese, shoes, fish, halva, housewares…the list goes on with all the things that can be purchased in the shuk. Music blaring, vendor shouting out to attract your attention. This place is alive. This place is a reminder of what a pre-dotcom era once was. You can literally romanticize about the bygone centuries and how fundamentally very similar commerce in a marketplace looked back then.
For the fullest experience, I would recommend going on a Friday morning. Being that it is Erev Shabbos, the place is especially busy, and the produce, baked goods and prepared meals are super fresh for those customers coming specifically to shop for their Shabbos seuda (meal).
Original photo credit: @maltejaeger.de