Posted: 29 Apr 2018 10:15 PM PDT
The Enigmatic Photograph from the Library of Congress:
|Enlargement of the army camp. Note the permanent
structure surrounded by tents.
The tents belong to a British army camp after they defeated the Turks in 1917 and were deployed along the northern ridges stretching from Nebi Samuel to the Mount of Olives. The compound appears similar to other British army compounds in Library of Congress photographs.
The day started off cool, and the girls have shed their sweaters. It’s a warm Spring day, and from the shadows it’s probably around
|Shimon Hatzadik’s tomb today (Israel|
In fact, the day was Tuesday, April 30, 1918. The procession is almost certainly an organized outing of several Jerusalem schools taking place on Lag Ba’Omer, four weeks after Passover. Traditionally, on Lag Ba’Omer Jews flock to the Galilee mountaintop of Meiron to the grave of Shimon Bar Yochai, one of the most famous scholars in the Talmud. But some 100 years ago, travel to Meiron would have taken days. Instead, the children took a hike to Shimon Hatzadik’s grave, a known custom 100 years ago in Jerusalem.
The picture was taken just four months after the British forces captured the city of Jerusalem. The city’s Jewish residents received the soldiers as their saviors — saving them from severe hunger and deadly diseases. The children had much to celebrate.
|The parade route today (picture taken from the 8th floor
of the Olive Hotel) (IDP)
“Anyone who could travel to Meiron on Lag Ba’Omer would go, and there take place miracles and wonders. But the residents of Jerusalem who couldn’t afford to travel to Meiron have as compensation the cave of Shimo Hatzadik located at the edge of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood north of the Old City.”
|Comparison of buildings from 1918 and today. Second stories
were added to the buildings over the years. (IDP)