Everyone can find something on their grocery list at the Mahane Yehuda Market and with bargain prices as a kicker, all manner of Jerusalem’s residents converge here. This makes it a fun site to visit – both for people watching and the products on display.
The entrances are somewhat narrow and are watched carefully as the Mahane Yehuda Market has unfortunately suffered through several suicide bombings in recent history.
On July 30th, 1997 two Hamas militants carrying bags overflowing with high explosives and nails almost simultaneously activated the explosive devices they were carrying. The men were standing about 150 feet apart when they detonated their devices, sending a deadly wave through the market. 16 people were killed and 178 were injured.
On April 12th, 2002 a 17-year-old Palestinian girl detonated a suicide vest strapped to her body at a bus stop located at an entrance to the market, killing 6 people and injuring 104.
Entering Mahane Yehuda Market:
Once you are actually inside the market, you will immediately be greeted by smells of spices and fresh fruit, colorful displays of everything from fish to vegetables and vendors shouting out the products they have on offer. The market engages all of your senses.
Just about anything pulled from Israeli soil or waters can be found here – nuts, oils, pastries, fish from the Mediterranean Sea, candies, soaps, teas and coffees, freshly baked bread and much more.
Thursdays and Fridays are the most active days for the market. Before closing on Friday, Hasidic Jews (men) walk through the market, blowing trumpets as a signal to everyone to close up shop for Shabbat. This is a great time to snag some deals on products for sale.
Scenes of the Mahane Yehuda Market:
Below is a video I shot walking through the market… Give it a few seconds as for the first 15 seconds or so, I am just entering the market: