See What’s Happening in Jerusalem – 6 months since October 7

April 7, 2024, in Jerusalem, Israel.

Over the Jerusalem streets, the sun is shining. The weather is a bit cool.

Six months after the brutal murders of over 1,200 people in Israel by invaders from Gaza on the holiday Shabbat is still hard to comprehend.

However, while remembering that there are still 134 hostages captive in Gaza, we try to move forward. Under the constant shadow of war, with tens of thousands of people from the south and north unable to return home for the Passover holidays, with an uncertain future, struggling to be joyous in some fashion.

The new National Library of Israel (NLI) has become a popular site, especially impressive at night.

Included in the new video presentation for visitors with information is the quote, “If you have gone to the library a dozen times to look at the books, go once to look at the people.” – Martin Buber

I have not gone a dozen times yet, but even before it opened. and each time there is something new to see.

On Thursday night, I caught NLI Rector Shai Nitzan and CEO Oren Weinberg seated near the video having a conversation.

The Batim M’befnim, Open Houses Jerusalem, is an annual event, previously held at the end of October. As Mayor Moshe Lion welcomed guests at the NLI to the opening event, he mentioned the decision to move forward in the spring opening hundreds of locations to the public.

Open Houses Jerusalem used to be called Houses From Within.

I vividly remember one of my first experiences years ago when they opened the gates at Hansen House for the first time and had a tour inside. Oh, how Hansen House has changed!

The Mayor spoke briefly in Hebrew and English, for the benefit of leading Israeli architects and visiting international tourism professionals in the crowd.

The dairy food was presented inside in the lobby before the Mayor arrived,

and the dessert display outside was also photo-worthy and tasted as good as it looked.

An NLI tour was offered to various groups. I was in the white group, which was in English, and included international visitors from India, the US, and Italy.

The modern automated stacks of over 4 million books are impressive even when not in operation.

Across the small viewing room stands this relic, with a warning not to get close, a reminder of the library of days past, for my librarian and researcher friends.

Going out to the Jerusalem streets this week were lovely sights and signs of spring.

But the closed-off street near the Prime Minister’s home is making the headlines.

Closed hours before protesters, at least we could walk by Azza Street.

New large posters were calling for Unity Now.

And the better slogan, #LetThemGoNOW was on display over a major Jerusalem street.

This week I went on a press visit to Shefayim, in the hotel dining room where survivors of Kfar Aza are presently living, a table is set for their kidnapped members.

After months, some of the young families have been moved out of hotel rooms into small buildings made for them to have a little more space, as it will be a long time until they can return to Kfar Aza.

As we walked away from meeting the distraught family members of the kidnapped hostages, the fog was settling in, time for one more photo before heading back to Jerusalem.

I

n the National Library’s main reading room, the display for the Bibas family children draws attention.

But, after hearing Doron Steinbrecher’s mother’s anguished appeal to international media

and Gali and Ziv Berman’s brother speaking, I decided to share their photos displayed in the library again.

The world concern for Israelis held captive in Gaza must constantly be raised. It’s been 6 months too long.

April it’s spring!

The Jerusalem streets look to nature with music and workshops planned in parks.

Passover the holiday celebrating freedom is in two weeks.

Wondering how many visitors will fill the Jerusalem streets this year?

Favorite Purim Photos in Jerusalem and More

The weeks feel as if they are whizzing by, and standing still at the same time.

How can that be?

Live goes on while too many lives are stuck on October 7.

Downtown Jerusalem streets looked “normal” today with the sun shining and people shopping.

On Shushan Purim, Monday last week, the light rail was not running, there was a special Purim parade.

Call it an ‘Ad lo ya do‘ or Purim United – tens of thousands of people came out for the holiday celebration.

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion and his wife with hostage family members were first carrying a banner stating ‘redemption of captives is a great mitzvah’ in a giant balloon yellow ribbon.

The weather was threatening some of the time and the pace moved slower than a turtle,

But there were large puppets and people lining the Jerusalem streets to watch.

Interesting displays held by numerous people

and some spectators dressed more colorfully than the parade items.

Families in coordinated costumes waited for the parade to move along.

But street actors were on the sidelines as well to entertain.

In the media we read complaints, but the people I saw were happy to smile for the camera.

Some had their cameras ready to capture the moment.

All of Jaffa Street was crowded and waiting for what was coming next.

Not everyone walked the route, these two women had a special place to sit and ride.

This lion got a lot of pre-Purim publicity, but I had trouble getting a good photo as it moved along.

In this upside-down world, this clown was appreciated.

But I got distracted by a family, in the Purim spirit dressed in coordinated leopard spots.

At the beginning of the Purim Unity parade was a clock with the time of hostages captive in Gaza.

The donkey float, on which the Moshiach is to arrive, was surrounded by Chabad flags.

More photos of the Purim Unity parade on Facebook HERE.

This was seen in traffic on a Jerusalem street on the way home, Purim was celebrated this year, even though a somewhat subdued Purim.

Ramadan and Muslim prayers midday have attracted large crowds for the third Friday in a row. Tales of restrictions were not evident at Jaffa Gate. It was also Good Friday, and Sunday Easter was celebrated.

New art is on display at Mamilla Mall, the Beatles on a Yellow Submarine caught my attention- All you need is love. Ah if it was only so simple.

OPEN HOUSE JERUSALEM 2024 This year’s festival includes hundreds of tours and houses connecting the past, present, and future on consecutive weekends, April 4-6 and April 11-13, 2024. Fascinating tours and activities throughout the capital are free, but some need prior registration.

I was in Tel Aviv this past week for a Jerusalem Post – Women Leaders Summit.

As the sun was setting, this caught my attention – Together we will succeed!

Time marches on.

In Jerusalem and Tel Aviv,

Purim is over, Passover is a month away.

Wonder what will be happening next on the Jerusalem streets, check back next week to see.

What’s Happening for Purim in Jerusalem this Year?

Purim is celebrated in Jerusalem on Shushan Purim – a day after the rest of the world.

As I mentioned most years, it feels so strange to those of us who grew up elsewhere.

Megilat Esther in Israel Museum

Megillat Esther, Scroll of Esther, is read at night and again during the day.

Purim past megillah reading on Jerusalem street corner

Ten years ago Chabad Rabbi Yisroel Goldberg was at a megillah reading on Azza Street.

His initiative AZZA ZAZA has grown to hourly readings, day and night, on more Jerusalem streets.

Strange creatures have been spotted on Jerusalem streets for many days before Purim.

A princess was seen in a park ably managing the play equipment in a big hoop skirt.

Make-up stores were busy before the holiday began.

Wine for the festive Purim meal was on display in Jerusalem shopping malls.

Jerusalem celebrates Purim

Remember the large sign for the Purim parade Adloyadah?

Due to complaints from hostage families, the name has been changed to the United Purim Parade.

As the hostage tragedy drags on into a sixth month, the concerns about their welfare heightens.

Hamentashen

This Purim, the fillings for hamentashen have taken less attention than in some years.

While there are many more IDF costumes this year.

Happy Purim on Jerusalem Montefiore Windmill

The Montefiore Windmill was dressed up during the pandemic when no events were allowed.

This year the Purim events in multiple locations around Jerusalem are too many to list.

Happy Purim bus sign in Hebrew

Purim Sameach!

Happy Purim!