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“A Community Neighbourhood in Jerusalem”
Review of Me'a She'arim

Me'a She'arim
Ranked #68 of 310 things to do in Jerusalem
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 10 December 2013

Though listed under ' Attractions ' the community of Mea Shearim is anything but, nor should it be treated as such.

A short walk from Zion Square or King George Street will land you in this lively neighbourhood. Having a mix of shops ranging from gifts to food and fashion, the streets are constantly a mass of people.

Over the past 10 years I have found them to be scrupulously honest, helpful and friendly. At times though there is an urgent brusqueness to their service.

The Gal Paz music shop is a treasure trove of CD's and DVD's. They are quickly able to show you the latest releases. I have acquired CD's here frequently at a cheaper price or sooner than they would be available elsewhere in town.

On the same side is a wonderful bakery. Still further up is a retaurant take away which has tastey fish fillets, baked stuffed green peppers and fried chickpeas. On a weekly basis I buy most of my food here that I do not get at the Mehane Yehuda Market.

Off the main drag on a side street on the other side are Hoffman tours, who I have used for 8+ years. Their tours to religous sites are educational, fun and represent good value for money.

Back down on this side by a men's clothing shop is a small Sephardic money changer who is a joy to use. He speaks French and is friendly and personable.

Nearer the lower intersection is the Feldheim Bookshop which gets as much of my money as Gal Paz does. They stock wonderful books and for a modest amount will emboss one's name on the cover.

There are some new Synagogues amongst the smaller older ones and a visit to recite Tehillim in either is a meaningful experience. Be sure to walk though these streets on a Shabbat and greet the families out for a stroll.

Hundreds of other shops sell delightful pastries, Judaica and clothing. A scribe will prepare lettered parchments for you at a reasonable prices. Don't forget to look up for old architectural features or old inscriptions.

I have no doubt you will find something of interest. But remember thousands of families live here. It is their community home and neighbourhood.

13  Thank Yonatan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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43 - 47 of 117 reviews

Reviewed 5 November 2013

My son and I needed some specific books so we decided to go as we were told it was the best place to find them , we spent an hour and a half there looking at all the shops and people , I found it very atmospheric and would definitely go back , we visited on a Friday which I was told is the busiest day

6  Thank fatola4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 September 2013

make sure you go on Friday afternoon and get some true Ashkenazi food from Deutsch. 2 huge plates of Cholent and Kishke, 3 piece of Gefilte Fish and 2 drinks - 77 shekels. Not much to look at of course, no women allowed to sit.. but the FOOD is sensational

3  Thank Davidb18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2013

Touring Meah She'arim is a eek into a world that was. The people there dress as their parents did in the 'old country', and they don't plan on changing any time soon. Care should be taken to dress in a long skirt or pants, and to wear long sleeves, even in the summer. The people are friendly and will behave amicably enough if you respect their sensitivities. Just remember, this is their world, and you are a visitor.

4  Thank Raphi N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2013

This is not a "Tourist Attraction " in the broad sense of the word but it is certainly something to see when you get to Jerusalem. The ultra-religious sects of Judaism live in very closed communities. Many of them, believe it or not, are anti Zionist and anti-Israel. They can be offended very easily by outsiders and they won't hesitate to show you that they have been offended . Do not attempt to visibly photograph them as "Photography steals the soul". Photography is also considered an attempt to recreate one of God's creations and is therefore against one of the ten commandments. Men should wear long pants and try to avoid T-shirts. Women must wear dresses or skirts that reach at least below the knees. women should also wear a top that has sleeves which reach , at least, below the elbow.
Things to look for!
*********************
1) "Pashkavilim" - Notices on the sides of the street informing residents of non compliers with religious law.
2) Complete separation between men and women. Men in front, Women at the back, even in the street.
3) Different types of dress for different sects of the ultra religious movements.
4) Tsitsiyot - You will notice that the men have four strings protruding from their clothing representing the four directions that their belief reaches.
5) All women wear wigs. They are forbidden to show their hair in public.
6) Streimels! - Large fur hats, (real bear fur from Russia), and long black coats. Summer and winter.
7) Small boys with long hair. Until the age of three, boys do not have their hair cut. Traditionally, they all have their first haircut on the same day, (33 days after the beginning of Passover).

8  Thank Ronnymarcus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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