Photochrome, Vintage, 22,5 cm x 16,5 cm, Collection Privée
According to William R. Wide (1815-1876), an Irish surgeon and author, “the Jewish people live with the hope that one day, they will ascend to Zion”. In the Bible, Zion designates various geographical places where the presence and the blessing of God remain: Jerusalem is one of them. Until 1839, the year of the publication of the firman (Royal Decree) that allowed Jews to enjoy their rights fully, they lived in extreme poverty. The Ottoman Empire imposed strict obligations on the Jewish people and deprived them of their property rights and the resources of trade and agriculture. This vulnerable situation led to a Jewish depopulation. Tourists and photographers in Jerusalem saw just their poverty and religious practices without this hidden context.