|A procession -- but to where?|
To mark the sad event, we are reposting a two year old feature. The pictures here were photographed more than 100 years ago in Jerusalem. What was the occasion?
"A Jewish procession to Absalom's Pillar" is the caption on the Library of Congress' photo, which as dated sometime between 1898 and 1946. That's a huge window of time. The procession is walking down a ramp from the southeast corner of the Old City wall into the Kidron Valley. Presumably the hundreds of Jews came out of the Old City through the Dung Gate or the Zion Gate.
Why was there a procession to the tomb of King David's rebellious son, Absalom? It's not a very popular destination for Jerusalemites today. Some historians relate that there was a custom to take children to the shrine and throw rocks at it to remind the children to behave. Were there so many mischievous children? The long dresses on many of the people in the procession suggest many women were also involved.
|An enlarged segment of the procession picture|
Luckily, the Library of Congress site provides a TIFF download that permits enlarging the photo and provides incredible detail. And the enlargement shows that the procession consisted almost entirely of ultra-Orthodox men wearing their long caftans.
|The funeral near Absalom's Pillar|
|Women heading back to the Old City|