Meah Shearim & Geulah
Bordering the city centre are the neighborhoods Meah Shearim and Geulah; physically close to the city centre but culturally worlds apart these neighborhoods are enclaves of the Old World. Other neighborhoods in Jerusalem have historical significance that is limited to architecture and sites that remain; in the neighborhoods of Meah Shearim and Geulah the people and their way of life embodies their history.
Meah Shearim means "one hundred gates" and the name is derived from the Torah portion that was read the week the settlement was founded. Meah Shearim is the core of present-day Geulah and was built in 1874, the second neighborhood to be built outside of the Old City's walls.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews, both Hasidic and non-Hasidic populate the neighborhood wearing strikingly different clothing such as the long black coats, black hats or shtreimels (black fur hats that are a mark of prestige in the Hasidic communities) for the men and thick stockings, dark mid-calf length skirts, buttoned-down shirts and flat shoes for the women.
Modesty is a tenet that is very central in ultra-Orthodoxy and this is the reason that signs are posted at the entrances to the neighborhood requesting that those who do so wear modest clothing. It is both respectful and advisable to adhere to these requests so as not to spark altercations. Additionally, make sure not to drive through the neighborhood on Saturday-the residents like to ensure that the Sabbath day is observed as required according to Jewish law and driving a car is forbidden for Jewish people on the Sabbath day and doing so has been known to cause altercations in the past.
Categories : Neighborhoods