Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The Kotel in 1932

I just came across an interesting YouTube channel called The Travel Film Archive, a collection of old travel footage from around the world. Some really neat stuff there. Of particular interest to my readers might be the clips of old Palestine, and especially the video below, which shows Jerusalem in 1932, and some scenes of the Western Wall (jump to 5:45).

Times were indeed unimaginably challenging for religious Jews back then. I had always been told that the British authorities at the time treated the Jews unfairly, but the footage in this clip is indeed very disturbing. Apparently, the Brits were so cruel that they forced the Jewish men to do the unthinkable, to do something that no Torah Jew would ever be caught doing today - they made the men and women daven together with no mechitza present!

Oh, the horror... the horror....!


Sol said...

Looks like they also didn't allow those super annoying notes to be crammed into every crevice of the wall.

How could anyone expect God to remember your request if you don't leave him a reminder note??

Jay said...

Notice that the space available was very narrow. It was after '67 that Israel came in and destroyed a bunch of Arab homes to make room for the Kotel Plaza we have now.

Beirish Finagle said...

Hedyot, you are not showing daas. How do you know these are not photoshopped. Everything now can done w/ photo shop. My cousin Chaim Finagel, runs a tzedakah to help families get shiduchim. They photoshop pictures of older generations to put sheitlech and kichels on women, beards and hats or yarmulkes on men. In desparate cases we cover up bathing suits and make clothing look less modern. Some anti-semite conservative lesbian feminists probably photoshopped this video to make it look like pritzus was once OK. No way. I have seen the drawings in the history books my children get from yeshiva. Your story is all lies. I will be dan l'kaf zchus that even though you are a kofer you want to present the facts. Please retract this terrible bilbul and do tshuvah

Anonymous said...

Actually, there are old paintings with man and women davening at the same time there, no partition. Not hard to find in google images.

S. said...

The mechitza actually became a major international incident when some people set one up in 1928.


Anonymous said...

Harry Maryles posted on this issue:

As for the Wikipedia article, the source cited is an Artscroll book, so I don't give much credence to the details.

Arthur Hurwitz said...

Somehow, Jerusalem, and that includes Jewish Jerusalem, seemed to be a far more pious place under Gentile rule.