Why was this shop closed when the Emperor came?

An answer to last week's question, asked for the first time in 1898. Straightforward, actually.

Lenny Ben David ,

Ottoman Archives Logo
Ottoman Archives Logo

Why did the Jerusalem merchant close his shop if the Emperor was coming -  in 1898?

The shuttered shop at Jaffa Gate when the German Emperor arrived in 1898. (Ottoman Imperial Archives)

The full picture of the Emperor's arrival

The German Emperor's arrival in Jerusalem on October 28, 1898 was a major news item around the world. The Ottoman rulers of Jerusalem and Palestine changed the face of Jerusalem to receive him. Victory arches were built along his route, and the Old City wall was breached to allow passage of his carriage. 

And as the picture above shows, one shopkeeper closed his shutters. Why?

Enlarged photo of the millinery shop

The day was Saturday, and as we discovered in a photograph in the Library of Congress archives, the shop was a Jewish-owned hat store.  We enlarged that picture and discovered the shop and its clientele.  A sign with Hebrew writing hung above the store. (Readers are invited to decipher it.) 

The owner closed his store for the Sabbath, and the Jews of Jerusalem received the Emperor elsewhere in the city.

The Emperor and his wife passing under the Jewish community's arch on Jaffa Road. 

The photos of the Emperor's visit established the place of the photographers of the American Colony in the world market.

Below is the full Library of Congress picture of Jaffa Gate with the following caption: "Photograph taken before October 1898 visit of Kaiser Wilhelm II to Jerusalem when a breach was made in the wall near the Jaffa Gate. (Source: L. Ben-David, Israel's History - A picture a day.)"

Jaffa Gate and the Jewish shop (Library of Congress)