Jerusalem: centre: part N — ultra-contrast

Gen 26.12: Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him.

This hundredfold crop has given name to the quarter of ultra-orthodox haredim, Mea Shearim. On the contrary, it is a quarter of poverty and dirtiness, dark and gloomy, with notices from rabbis posted all over. Narrow streets and pavements, rickety balconies protruding from grey buildings. Coming from any direction you encounter signs warning about necessity of modest clothing (shorts in the case of men and any trousers in case of women can even cause violence from the habitants). Many men of haredim spend their life studying bible and praying, living only out of government’s subsidies. Which is not even recognized by many of them since the real Jewish state can exist only after the coming of the Messiah. Going through this part of the city you feel that you are constantly observed with suspiciousness, so all my pictures are taken with a lot of discretion.

But few streets further on, on the other side of Prophet Street, you find yourself in a completely different world. A world of nightlife, kosher McDonald’s and variety of cafes and bars of Nahlat Shiva, souvenirs shops along crowded Yehuda Street with artefacts such as skullcap with the trademark of Pepsi. Neons “I love Jerusalem” and “Shalom”. Ultra-contrast.

(October-November 2015)