The 24th annual walk of Tisha B’Av Eve

Jews from around the country participate in Women in Green's march in Jerusalem.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Nadia Matar, Yehudit Katsover
Nadia Matar, Yehudit Katsover
Flash 90

The traditional walk around the walls of Jerusalem on the eve of the fast of Tisha B’Av will take place again this year.

Minister for Jerusalem Affairs Ze'ev Elkin (Liku), other MKs, the head of the Republican Party in Israel, public figures, and thousands of citizens.

The walk will take place on Saturday night, at the beginning of the fast of Tisha B’Av, (postponed one day because of the Sabbath) on July 21st, 2018.

The event will begin with a gathering at Gan Ha’atzma’ut on Jerusalem's Agron St., where there will be a reading of the Scroll of Lamentations and immediately afterward, publicist and journalist Caroline Glick, who also serves as deputy editor of the Jerusalem Post, will speak. Afterwards, participants will then set out on the march, carrying hundreds of Israeli flags.

The walk ill also include explanations and historical information delivered by Aryeh Klein, an expert in both the modern and ancient history of Jerusalem. Its route will pass the New Gate, the Shechem (Damascus) Gate, and the Lions Gate. At the Lions Gate, through which the paratroopers entered to liberate the Old City in 1967, an assembly will be held with the participation of public figures who will speak at the site. From there, the walk will continue past the Dung Gate to the Western Wall.

Speakers will include Elkin, Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan (Jewish Home), MK Miki Zohar (Likud), Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Dov Kalmanovich, Derech Emuna head Rabbi Baruch Efrati, Republican Party in Israel Chairman Mark Zell, and Im Tirtzu Chairman Matan Peleg.

Women in Green noted that “this year, in contrast to previous years, no objection has been registered by the Arab public or from the Israel Police.”

Previous years have seen attempts to prevent the walk or to change its traditional route, whether for security reasons or out of concern for keeping the public order.

“These attempts,” Women in Green said, “were rejected by the court, which instructed the police to allow the walk to proceed and to secure it regardless of threats of riots or threats by terrorists.”

Women in Green also noted that “the preparedness of the police and the resolve of the organizers and participants of the walk have kept it running over the years without pause, without friction or any conflicts between Jews and Arabs.”

The co-chairwomen of the movement, Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar, emphasized that the walk, which has become a tradition, is actually a restoration of an ancient tradition that was held in Jerusalem hundreds of years ago on the eve of Tisha B’Av, but was suspended for many years.

“In 1994, Ruth and Michael Matar, the founders of Women in Green, became aware of the ancient tradition of walking around the walls of Jerusalem on the eve of Tisha B’Av. As a bride, who circles around her groom, the People of Israel encircle the Temple Mount, expressing its longing for the place and its loyalty to Jerusalem.

“The movement decided to renew this custom. In its first year, the idea was met with the objections by the police. The matter was placed before the High Court, which instructed the police to allow the walk to proceed and it has been held every year since then.”

“The walk is another step in the actual implementation of the sovereignty of the Jewish people over its eternal capital, Jerusalem,” Katsover and Matar said, stressing that “the sovereignty of the people of Israel over all of its Land begins with its sovereignty over its capital.”

The two women also praised the way the Israel Police deals with the march.

“The district police dedicates a lot of personnel, resources and thought so that the walk will take place safely and this dedication has proven itself and its effectiveness in the field,” they said. “It is likewise appropriate to note and give thanks for the impressive spirit of cooperation and understanding between us as the organizers of the march and the police officers, who are aware of the event’s importance and the value of maintaining law and order, which is the very essence of the event.”

The event will begin at 9:30p.m. with a gathering of the participants for Maariv (the evening prayer) and the reading of the Scroll of Lamentations. The walk will set out at 10:15p.m. after hearing Caroline Glick. The estimated time of conclusion is midnight.

Watch the video clip of last year’s walk, in which you can see the thousands of participants, and among them Kevin Bermeister and Rabbi Shalom Lipskar, head of Landow Yeshiva school in Miami Beach, who say a few words to the camera: