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Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, is here and I want to take you to the some of my favorite spots outside the Old City, going towards the entrance of town. I love it all. The history. The immigrants. The movies with Hebrew subtitles. The ancient passport looking thing that pops up at the beginning of the movies. I love it all. In honor of Jerusalem Day, let's connect with some of the places I love in the new Holy City.
Jerusalem is about tradition and that is Jerusalem’s central bus station, the Tachana Merkazit. They have not cleaned it since 1998. You think your favorite store in Israel closed. It's at the Tachana Merkazit; keeping Israeli tradition alive with the chicken-dog hotdog stand and the Tshirt store that sells Tshirts with no thread count. One-time-use only clothing, sold along with disposable plates.
The safest place in the city, you'll also notice the extra security setup, to ensure that you miss your bus. Allowing you to enjoy Jerusalem longer.
I love the new tram and any form of transportation I don’t have to pay for, if I don’t get caught.
Shuk Machane Yehuda
Prices shouted out loud, I love shopping there. There's no greater feeling than a retailer letting me know what to purchase, by yelling at me. In America, I'm thinking too much, wasting time. I have no idea what vegetable I want. In the Shuk market, they scream at me, I am scared, I buy it. And I'm back home in no time with avocados.
Any nut spot. Open nut stands. I'm taking that stuff for free. If you don’t ask, it’s free. There's nothing like the huge peanuts and sunflower seeds. Israel has mastered making sunflower seeds that easily pop out, making for great Shabbat enjoyment. The greatest part of all is that you can spit them out anywhere in the Shuk.
Machane Yehuda Bars
There's nothing like evening time at Machane Yehuda, when the place turns into one big bar that you're walking through. The only place where it's legal to drink on the street, because the bar is located there.
The streets are thriving. Jewish bookstores are everywhere. I didn’t know so much Judaica could exist. Growing up in Rochester, I thought the glass showcase at the shul was all the Judaica. I didn’t know there was anything more to Jewish art than a Mezuzah in Claymation form.
The area is the most lively in the city. Religion in living form. You can feel the hustle, the constant movement, the excitement of people running to find choolent. Choolent twenty-four hours a day. In Meah Shearim, it's Shabbis all week long. It's like Monsey.
Better than Pizza Hut, this place has the ultra-Orthodox Pizza sauce, and they created it. There is nothing like Charedi sauce, and I'm willing to buy pizza to get it.
Charedi sauce is a spicy mayonnaise style dunking sauce for the pizza that adds all of the flavor and makes you believe in God. To change Israeli pizza into something that tastes good is a miracle. In addition, Pizza Uri offers separate seating, so I don’t have to worry about spilling the sauce on myself. Amazing.
A little taste of Israel, if Israelis were American Yeshiva kids. Nothing makes me more excited than walking down a huge sidewalk.
Some call it a promenade. I just think of it as a place that cars should not be driving down, because it's illegal. They should have a sign, 'This is a very big sidewalk. We messed up the flow of traffic when we planned this. Don't drive here. Go wait at the light with all the other cars.'
Everything else may leave Ben Yehuda, Café Rimon and the one hat store on the top will not. Tradition.
The Falafel King
I love the name. The sovereignty it claims over its pita. The Shawarma Sultan, The Sabich Ruler, I love restaurants that claim dictatorship.
It's still only 10 shekels or so for a falafel, as low prices is how you control the commoners.
The Dollar Store
I love that all products are five shekels. In The Dollar Store, the dollar went up before the American Dollar Tree ever though to raise the dollar to a buck twenty-five. The Dollar Store gives me hope. That is the best rate you will get.
Off The Wall Comedy Theater
I perform there. No better time found in all of Jerusalem. Now located at the King Solomon Hotel.
I love it all. I love walking down the sidewalks made of Jerusalem stone, in the spring, when I don’t slip on them. Then, I see the homes made of Jerusalem Stone. I love how our city claimed limestone as ours, scientifically.
Yes. I love the whole city. It all looks the same. You love one neighborhood, you love them all.
I love anywhere in Jerusalem that has Jerusalem Stone. If there is falafel, there is tradition. To me, that's meaningful. It's the meaning of Jerusalem, the connection with our tradition and Tshirts that come apart when I wash them, that I connect with on Jerusalem Day.
I hope that you feel like you're in Jerusalem right now, or Monsey.
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How do you daven in shul with an infant? You need to get a baby siddur.
You get it? Babysitter. Baby Siddur. It sounds the same. A Siddur is a prayer book. Babysitters take care of kids. Brilliant and practical.
What parents do to get a cute nursery school graduation picture. It's wrong. It should be Asur.