The Courtyard of Creativity

And where is this?

The Jerusalem Art Colony – Hutzot Hayotzer
Two years after the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967, the old stables and storehouses -located in the former no-mans-land between the old and new Jerusalems – were renovated by former Mayor Teddy Kollek, and transformed into a vibrant artists street of twenty-six studios / galleries. The area was named Hutzot Hayotzer – The Courtyard of Creativity.

I would actually say that Hutzot Hayotzer translates to “the outskirts of the Creator”, like in the phrase וּבְחוּצוֹת יְרוּשָלַיִם,the outskirts of Jerusalem, which is originally from Yirmiyahu 33:3, and then familiarized more in its use in the last of the sheva brachot recited during a Jewish wedding.

But I Travel Jerusalem says this:

Hutzot Hayotzer can be translated as “the Creator Steps Out,” which is precisely what happens; dozens of artists meet at this event, showcasing their creations, selling their crafts and allowing thousands to take in what Jerusalem and the world has to offer…

Visitors stroll from stand to stand, taking in local and international artisans’ work from watches to hammocks to paintings, often being sold by the original artists, and much more. From the depths of the Sultan’s Pool, entrenched in the earth’s Jerusalem stone, with the Old City lit up in the background and the stars above, the romantic, artistic and friendly environment envelops guests.

The fair is a great place to purchase art and functionally designed items. Or at the very least, it is inspiring to see all the creativity emerging from Israel and countries around the world.

We’re looking for creativity; renewal. Here in Israel, where people are grappling with real life-and-death issues, getting inspiration is life-affirming. Having other people from outside confirm it is valuable. Below is a photo from the Indonesian booth.



But not essential.

Below is a (clearly not great) photo of Mayor Nir Barkat, welcoming the crowds to the second evening of the festival from this year. First, he talked about how important it was to come out and enjoy life, return to normal, not to give in to terror. But also,they honored the soldiers who gave so much to protect the country. The emblem on the screen is of the Combat Engineering Corps, who were the honored guests that evening. They lost 5 soldiers in this past war, 2 from Jerusalem.


And then we enjoyed a great concert by Amir Benayoun.


To be honest, I had never heard him before. But he was jusssst right for the evening, for the times. You can see more about him on his Facebook page here. And here’s an interesting article how he was asked to write a song for the Syrian opposition that never made it into my purview at the time. Maybe maybe the world is listening now.

He called up Yehudah. Yehuda who? Who knew? It was a fellow who wanted to propose to his girlfriend. He did and I cried some more.

Oh, she seemed to accept.

It was so wonderful to see all kinds of people who weren’t going to let a little war stop them from enjoying life at its fullest.

Nothing less than the Creator stepping out.








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