Jerusalem: Gay Parade Photos You Did Not See

It is hot outside.

It is so very hot that the cold water from the tap needs ice to cool off.

Wild forest fires were burning.

The smell of burnt wood filled the air last night.

Shira Banki, the girl stabbed at the

 Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance died of her wounds.

SIGH.

JustinRoths and now Laura have been writing,

 many more friends are posting on Facebook.

I posted on the parade on Israellycool last week.

However,

I did not do a RJS Shabbat Shalom greeting.

But not to say something, to ignore events turning Jerusalem,

Israel, and Israelis inside out?

Enough.

That fateful Thursday afternoon,

I went to see what was happening,

and I want to share some photos of scenes you did not see.

gay parade

Gan Ha’atzmaut, Independence Park

had a nice size crowd gathered for the start of march,

 rainbow colors were even on cars.

The crowd seemed larger than previous years.

The route was different from last year,

horse and police patrol

 as always the police horses were worthy of a look.

I was on Lincoln Street minutes before the stabber.

wedding carcar decorated for wedding

There was a car decorated for a Tu B’Av wedding,

this is wedding season, heat or no heat wave.

street blocked for gay parade

City buses blocked traffic for the parade,

and some people were held up for two hours.

Jerusalem street photo

Walking was best way to get around.

But, there were so many other things happening too.

networking group

Made in Jerusalem was celebrating

Jerusalem’s ranking as one of the top 50 start-up cities.

People were also gathering near them at First Station

for a Klezmer band to start performing,

part of Klezmer Festival taking place in many venues.

Muslim pcinic

Muslim families were picnicking in this park,

while at Kraft Stadium the annual Woodstock Revival was rocking on.

train that takes tourists around old city

The new tourist train to Old City was running.

elevator

The new elevator at the Cinematheque is coming along,

to provide better access for the disabled.

construction Jerusalem

 Isrotel Hotel across from First Station is going up.

Jerusalem street photo

At least one women on Emek Refaim was using her head,

Jerusalem cafe street photo

while others at this cafe were looking down.

Really big news,

Jerusalem Street photo

 a 5 shekel cafe has opened in the German Colony.

Around the corner,

building Jerusalem photo at night

the Christian Embassy lights go on as it gets dark,

always a beautiful scene.

There are all kinds of jokes and myths about full moons,

but that night was also a ‘Blue Moon’.

Jerusalem sunset

Blue moons are not blue,

they just happen once in awhile.

That night the full, blue moon rose over the Kidron Valley.

As traffic was stopped for emergency crews and police,

 just a few minutes and meters away,

all was so peaceful looking.

Today it was so very hot,

Jerusalem street photo bus stop

as these women were waiting for a bus,

at the stop along the march route,

another day on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

Tisha B’Av Around Jerusalem

Tisha B’Av in Jerusalem, Israel, is unique.

On the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av,

for centuries, Jews around the world

people sitting on stones for Tisha B'Av

 sat on the ground as a sign of mourning for Jerusalem,

and read Eicha, the Book of Lamentations.

 I went to ‘Walk Around the Walls’ again after Shabbat.

Last year Tisha B’Av coincided with Ramadan

and even at midnight there was a huge crowd

at Sha’ar Shechem, Damascus Gate.

Damascus Gate at night

   This year all was quiet,

women in Green walk around walls

as the Israeli-flag waving crowd walked by,

street in East Jerusalem

with only a few Arabs in sight near police barriers.

Tisha B'Av Women in Green

Going past Herod’s Gate,

night in Jerusalem, Israel

the atmosphere was very different

from Tisha B’Av of last year.

Although it was a few days ago,

I still want to share that night,

Jerusalem Israel at night

and the beautiful sites around the Old City Walls.

As Lion’s Gate and midnight approached

Jerusalem Israel walking at night

   we passed this man walking with two young boys.

Jerusalem Israel at night

Spectacular views were of Har Hazetim, Mount of Olives,

Jerusalem Israel at night Old City Walls

across from the Old City Walls,

Jerusalem Israel Old City excavations.

and the impressive major excavations.

But most impressive,

Wailing Wall at night

was the huge crowd at the Kotel, the Western Wall,

where tens of thousands came,

Tisha b'Av in Jerusalem, Israel

some to sit and sing sad songs,

Tisha b'av Jerusalem,Israel

others to pray, or to spend the night.

Jerusalem,Israel at night

People were coming and going all night long

to the Old City of Jerusalem.

But nearby at Sha’ar Yaffo, Jaffa Gate,

Jerusalem,Israel Mamilla Mall at night

 Mamilla Mall was closed and quiet,

as were all entertainment and most food places.

Tisha B’Av in Jerusalem, Israel,

is not like anywhere else in the world.

More photos of Walk on Facebook, HERE.

But,

after the mourning of Tisha B’Av comes

Tu B’Av,

and party time celebrations grow every year,

Tu b'Av

this one is to take place in the Jerusalem Forest.

Israeli Summer Heats Up

As the summer weather heats up, I slow down.

Sipping an ice coffee while walking

has become a routine.

Jerusalem graffiti

It seems I am not alone, this man who

   walked into my new graffiti photo had a drink in hand too.

It took me a couple of weeks to get to Yoel Salomon Street

Jerusalem umbrellas over street

to see the Jerusalem, Israel streets’ hottest summer display,

dozens of colorful umbrellas strung above the narrow lane.

There used to be so many used book stores lining the streets,

Another used book store closes

but another book store is closing,

and these signs were plastered announcing the sales.

At least on the other side of the street there are happier signs

Beit Avi Chai outside building

of summer children’s programs at Beit Avi Chai.

signs hung for summer programs on Jerusalem  streets

Summer festivals will be starting soon,

summer in Kikar Safra

and posters are up for summer events

in Kikar Safra, Government Square.

But this week leading up to Tisha B’Av

is also ten years since the end of Gush Katif.

I wrote about a visit to the new Netzer Hazani four years ago.

Since that time,

photo of Gush katif community before 2005

beautiful communities like in this poster,

are now remembered in Gush Katif Museum in Nitzan.

gush katif museum

In the courtyard the wonderful sand is displayed.

seats in Gush Ktif Museum made form moving boxes

Moving boxes are used as seats for a video in the museum.

The army was organized and provided everyone boxes

to pack up their lives and leave their homes,

then every last one was knocked down

and every last Jew left the Gaza Strip.

rocket fired from Gaza into Gush Katif

All was not ideal in Gush Katif.

Yaakov Gross keeps a Gazan rocket

that fell into his house in Gush Katif

in his still temporary store.

But after leaving Gush Katif, what have we gotten in return?

The government promised peace,

and instead we got ten thousand rockets

and Israelis have suffered through three wars.

bomb shelter next to park

In southern Israel,

an outdoor meeting place has to have a safe area

five seconds away.

inside of pipe used as bomb shelter

And who can forget

 last summer as millions of Israelis had to run to bomb shelters.

Some in the south had to huddle in cement pipes

as protection from hundreds of Hamas rockets

that were fired at Israeli citizens day and night.

Gush Katif new community

People are slowly rebuilding.

After ten years

new house old house Gush katif

some families have nice homes,

while some are still in temporary living conditions.

green around home from new Gush Katif home

One garden stood out in the neighborhood,

newly rebuilt in the sand.

Garden of Gush Katif Museum in Nitzan

The names of the destroyed towns are listed,

and the pain and division of the nation

are symbolized in this monument.

Tens years on that summer still makes no sense.

Hopefully you will remember,

as there are those who are trying to erase history,

and the Jewish connection to this land.

Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov

Rosh Chodesh Av in Jerusalem, Israel,

and the new month feels like summer.

As I begin to melt and slow down in the heat,

these purple flowers are thriving all over.

shabbat shalom

שבת שלום וחודש טוב

Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh tov!

Beer Sheva: Old and New City

So much in Jerusalem, Israel, is old and new.

We used to joke that a good friend is defined as

someone who leaves Jerusalem to visit you in Beer Sheva.

With family in Beer Sheva, over the years,

we have visited the desert city many times.

ANZAC cemetery Beer Sheva

I used to say the only place that was green was this cemetery.

The Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery,

or the ANZAC cemetery, as most of the British soldiers

buried here were Australian and New Zealanders,

who fell in the World War I battles against the Turks,

ending the domination of the Ottoman Empire.

But things are changing, 

Carasson Science Park in Beer Sheva

Carasso Science Park opened in 2013,

and is the largest science park in Israel.

Park in Beer sheva

Remembering the British,

monument to Allenby in Beer Sheva

is Allenby Garden.

The park was established in early 1900s by the Turks,

After WWI, it became a memorial to General Edmund Allenby,

was destroyed during the Arab uprising in 1929,

and was finally rebuilt in 2014.

Allenby park and trail

One day when it is not so hot,

ANZAC trail Beer Sheva

it would be interesting to follow the ANZAC trail.

Art Museum in Beersheba

Across the road is the Negev Museum of Art,

the main art museum in southern Israel,

housed in what was the 20th century Governor’s house.

The current exhibit is called,

“Pulp and Fiction”

where all pieces are made out of paper.

Pulp and Fiction Lost Forest by Jan Fairbairn-Edwards from  France

“Lost Forest” by Jan Fairbairn-Edwards of France

The Burmese Story by Naamoa Aaronson

and “The Burmese Story” by Naama Aaronson of Israel

are just two of the works.

Who knew that paper art was started 35 years ago

at the Beer Sheva Station of the old Turkish railway?

large mosque in Beer Sheva

More of the old city and new

in the same area is the one mosque,

seal on mosque

built by the Turks.

It went unused as a mosque for decades,

and was the city’s Archaeological Museum.

Since 2011, it has been home to the

Museum of Islamic and Near Eastern Cultures.

stone in courtyard of Beer Sheva mosque

Ancient stones with Thuluth, Arabic and Kufic script

are in the courtyard.

Inside the restored mosque,

paryer rugs on display in Beer sheva mosque

is the current exhibit of old prayer rugs,

special lamps with Arabic writing

with new glass lamps decorated in Arabic hanging above them.

Turkish flag in Beer Sheva

A Turkish flag flies at the Train Yard Compound

which was restored and opened in 2014.

Bedouin man

Bedouins are still around.

Beer Sheva old and new

Going into and out of Beer Sheva

one can see the old and new,

with the new train track over the old Turkish one.

But it is at Be’er Avraham,

Abraham’s Well,

Abraham's well in Beer Sheva

located near the Beer Sheva River,

that one can really appreciate the old and new.

An international visitor center,

showcasing the life of Avraham Avinu,

in a 3D presentation, opened in 2013.

In old days, to get to Beer Sheva,

it seemed it took as long as a camel trip,

standing on those Egged buses

on hot Friday afternoons.

With the new modern highways going to Beer Sheva,

 it is not like it used to be,

 see the Old City and new neighborhoods.

but we will have to find another way to define good friends.