27 May 2016 295 views
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photoblog image Streets of Jerusalem Old City 5
Streets of Jerusalem Old City 5|

Streets of Jerusalem Old City 5


Oddities in street names in the Old City of Jerusalem. The street name plaques indicate that I am on the corner of Via Dolorosa and Via Dolorosa. I will try to explain. The street running from left to right (north to south), in front of me, is known as Al Wad ha-Gai street. Via Dolorosa ("Way of Grief" in Latin) is a path where Jesus probably was lead in agony, carrying the crucifixion cross. It is more a route, than a street. Nevertheless, as the route goes from street to street, the streets so involved are known by the name of Via Dolorosa, for that part. As I sit here sipping my very strong Turkish Coffee at a sidewalk cafè and enjoying the most exquisite baklava, I start to realise, that this is a very interesting spot. To prolong my stay at this interesting spot, I ordered a pomegrenate juice which was squeezed freshly at the counter.


If you would continue to the left, out of the picture, you are on Al Wad ha-Gai street. From this point to the right you will be on Via Dolorosa for another 100 meters or so, when the Via turns off into a side street. No more Via Dolorosa and Al Wad ha-Gai street continues.


Looking at the Via Dolorosa plaque above the policeman's head, you will see engraved on the stone, top right to the plaque, the letters III ST are engraved. It is the third of 14 stations along the route. The stations mark the place where something of note happened during Jesus' walk of agony. At station 3 Jesus fell for the first time under the weight of the cross that he was carrying.


The man in blue is a policeman and the one in olive is a soldier. You don't have to go far to find a policeman and/or soldier on duty. And they always seem so relaxed about what they are doing. Well, observing the comings and goings at this guard point, I have reason to believe they are quite aware of what is going on in the streets with many names. I have spoken to a Belgian Jewish woman who migrated from Belgium to Israel and is now living in Jerusalem. I pointed out, all the aggression and policing, etc. in Israel. She replied that the same aggression etc is going on in Belgium, but the difference is that in Israel the authorities are aware of what is about to go down and are ready to deal with the incidents. She felt more safe in Israel. This discussion was early in Dec 2015. Everytime, when extremist activity flares in Belgium, I think of the discussion.


Some gutters for the connoisseurs.


All the best for the weekend.



comments (16)

I'm so glad you explained this no nicely, Louis - I felt I was sitting with you enjoying coffee and baklava, watching the goings on!
Louis: I have to relax and observe. Can always determine significance once I have a feeling for the place.
  • Martine
  • France
  • 27 May 2016, 04:50
Les militaires ont l'air de s'ennuyer un peu.
Louis: Il n'envisager cette façon de faire, Martine.
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 27 May 2016, 05:02
This is a great picture and I took time to read all the text...
About Belgium... Belgium is a laugh, in Brussels they speak French and Flemish, they have many districts in the city and the districts have 5 different channels to communicate, the French speaking and the Flemish speaking policemen 'have a dislike to each other'.......
If something happens, it takes hours before they communicate. It is known for years that the whole police system there is a total laugh..'people who have something bad in mind' do know this too, that is why in Brussels it took some time to get organized after the attacks.
Louis: A perfect good explanation why some of the attacks are planned from Belgium. Maybe if the Euro union say they want to move offices, they Belgian authorities will decide to co-operate with themselves.
Great capture Louis! Thank you for the explanations.
Louis: Thank you Richard.
Though not exactly the same, Louis, your discourse has reminded me of all the Peachtree streets in Atlanta that one barely knows how to distinguish from each other! Most interesting storu about the Belgian woman...which makes a good point!
Louis: I had to go read up, to see what you mean about Peachtree streets - got a good article in Wiki. Amazing.
  • Chris
  • England
  • 27 May 2016, 06:58
A feast of interesting things to see and learn here Louis. I am interested that the Belgian woman felt safer here than in Belgium. The stations of the cross too, still fascinating down the millenia
Louis: The whole country is fascinating, in my mind - compiled of endless facets.
You have written a very interesting report Louis. I did not notice the 'stations of the cross' when I was there, nor did our guide point them out.
Louis: You should get your money back from that guide smile The route of stations is old. Some of the stations are based on facts that was determined by archaeologists - e.g the platform where Pontius Pilate stood when he delivered Jesus to the Jews. Some others are a bit iffy in my mind.
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 27 May 2016, 11:09
Fresh pomegranate juice...one of the great reasons for pausing a while...
Louis: Most places that sell refreshments (and there are many) in Israel, has a press and a ready stock of pomegranates and the other favourite is oranges. We learned to check that a purveyor's press is clean, before buying. We had an incident of jippo guts in the group, that was definitely related to the juice.
SUCH AN Interesting discussion at the end.
Louis: One of the most interesting aspects of staying in backpackers, is that everyone is talking and exchanging info.
Another really interesting post Louis.
Louis: Thank you Brian.
The world felt a lot safer when all we had to worry about was a nuclear war.
Louis: We still have to worry about nuclear wars. Like the Aussies will say - there are some barking mad people running around with either; too much power or too much money.
Dolorous indeed, Louis
Louis: Good pun, Tom smile
And a nice surveillance cam...
Louis: Important part of the security chain of events ...
i liked the text, Louis. that engraving above the soldier's head is going to take some time to locate, especially in the evening or low light situations.
Louis: You are right about that, Ayush. There is a more visible sign, just out of my shot.
it seems strange to see the route that Jesus took to the Crucifixion has cameras up and down the streets and police checkpoints along the sides...
thanks for sharing the information Louis....petersmile
Louis: Yes, it is thought provoking, peter. The natives are still restless, but the methodology changed somewhat.
  • blackdog
  • United Kingdom
  • 28 May 2016, 18:46
A very interesting read, you certainly enjoy soaking up the atmosphere in a relaxed kind of way ;o)

On a separate note I always wondered about there being 14 stations of the cross. Why not 12 like the 12 apostles etc. Seems a fairly random sort of number lacking any mystical significance. So maybe all the more believable... Who knows, not me.
Louis: Actually, the Bible uses 7 to indicate perfection, and 7 and 14 are inseparable throughout it. Example: there are 14 generations from Abraham to David, 14 from David to the Babylonian exile of the Jews, and 14 from there to Jesus. Another example: Noah led the clean animals into the ark in sets of 7 pairs for each species.

Having said this, it doesn't necessarily mean that the 14 stations have the same significance. But, like you said - who knows? Not me.

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