Israeli history photo of the week: Succot in Jerusalem

JPost special feature: A Library of Congress collection of photographs that document Israel before the creation of the state.

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October 11, 2011 16:10
1 minute read.

Historical photos of Succot in Jerusalem 311. (photo credit: American Colony-Jerusalem-Photo Dept)

The Library of Congress has recently digitalized a collection of over 10,000 photographs, taken by the "American Colony" in Jerusalem, a group of Christian utopians who lived in Jerusalem between 1881 and the 1940s. The photographers returned to the US, and bequeathed their massive collection to the Library of Congress in 1978. The collection includes Winston Churchill's visit to Jerusalem, Jewish expulsions from the Old City during Arab riots, and the building of Tel Aviv.

Preparations for Succot usually involve building a succa, a temporary structure -- sometimes just a hut -- with a thatched roof, in which Jews eat and often sleep during the seven day holiday.

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These photographs of succa structures were taken over a 40 year period and show Bukharan, Yemenite and Ashkenazi succas.

Several photographs include the Jewish celebrants holding four species of plants traditionally held during prayers on Succot --  a citron fruit and willow, myrtle and palm branches.

Bukhari Jews, shown in pictures from around 1900, were part of an ancient community from what is today the Central Asian country Uzbekistan. They started moving to Israel in the mid-1800s.

More photos can be viewed at http://www.israeldailypicture.com

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