Shabbat before Passover,
not much time,
and not baking challah.
But lots of matza was made this week.
When Shakespeare wrote
that ‘the whole world is a stage,’
somehow I do not think a cheese shop
or fruit and vegetable stand was what he had in mind.
However, the Israeli Opera had
performers in Machane Yehuda Market,
the shuk on Monday singing arias.
The man selling nuts was smiling,
as was the green grocer across the way.
So was I after they found my cell phone.
Trying to get a good shot with so many photographers
pushing in the crowded and narrow alleyways,
I almost lost my phone there.
There was more than one place used as a stage,
some shoppers were determined to keep going,
while others in the market became part of the show.
“L’elisir d’amore” by Gaetnao Donizetti
is to be performed in the Sultan’s Pool the end of June,
and some Jerusalem shoppers got a preview.
As cameras rolled,
one girl in the crowd was serenaded to by this opera singer,
but after an hour the surprise show was over,
and it was back to time for holiday preparations.
Mountains of fresh garlic have arrived in the shuk
and piles of fresh fruits and vegetable are ready,
and one fresh fish store was really popular.
I loved this sign,
this store is ready for Passover and
NO ONE is to bring in anything that is not for Passover.
Now if only my house was nearly as ready.
The 2015 Israeli election is over.
President Reuven Rivlin has sent letters to the various
political parties inviting their leaders to come to Beit Hanassi,
starting on Sunday, March 22, 2015
to indicate their preferences for forming a new government.
Over 4,250,000 of these little slips of paper,
each with Hebrew letters representing a political party,
were put into little blue envelopes
which were then inserted into a slot in
and were counted by hand.
What a low-tech method for a Start-up Nation!
Some emerging facts are surprising.
Who would think that an Arab village would have
the highest percentage of voters for Bibi?
77% of voters in Al Naim voted Likud.
We knew that the head of elections was an Arab Supreme Court Judge,
and now the Joint Arab list has even more than the
10% representation than they had in the last Knesset–
so much for apartheid.
The last RJS post with 30 photos broke all the rules
of blogging, it was very long,
but the marathon was such a big and colorful event.
Photographers waited at the marathon starting and finish lines
and all along the routes, so that millions of photos were taken.
This photo was by far my most popular in the social media.
Some people may be tired of seeing pictures of runners,
but there is one photo I want to make sure gets seen.
Team ALEH posed for photos on the track
at the start of the Community Race.
For this special 800 meter event,
5000 people participated representing many organizations.
Police officers were lined up ready to “run” with
children, all with severe disabilities, from ALEH,
One police officer was holding a child’s hands,
ready to be the first off the starting line.
Then he stepped off on his way,
using a special harness called “Upsee.”
This child was able to “run” in the Jerusalem Marathon.
We may still be using paper ballots,
but one Israeli mother invented this device,
got it manufactured,
and changed a child’s life-one step at a time.
She has more clever devices on the way,
and I cannot wait to see what Debby comes up with next.
Start Up Nation at its best.
Now that that the marathon is over, it is time to prepare for Passover,
but there is more than just cleaning to look forward to next week.
There is the Jerusalem Arts Festival
and the long-awaited new nature reserve,
The Valley of the Gazelles, is slated to open.
As always, there is so much happening in Jerusalem,
however, the more things change,
the more some seem the same.
Again this year, some love it and some hate it.
The Fifth International Jerusalem Winner Marathon
was run on Friday morning.
While I love some aspects of this event,
at the same time some parts are hard to like.
With over 26,000 runners from 60 countries,
in many various races, many streets were closed to traffic.
This year I tried to take fewer photos,
and ended up with over 300.
Then I hated trying to get down to just a few to share.
You see how long it took to publish this post.
Now I hope you will enjoy a few favorites.
My favorite selfie was of these two men
whose finish time was not as important as their photo.
There were many good causes that raised money,
but Shalva was the first.
Shalva took part in the half-marathons before there was a full marathon.
Walking with children of ALEH were uniformed police.
ALEH was first at the starting line for a special “race.”
Please take a minute to look and appreciate
the police officer and child on the left.
I am so proud to know the woman whose
design made it possible for that child to “walk in a marathon”
I hate that there were too many great causes
and charities, and I had to cut out many pictures.
Chai Lifeline had a large group with bunches of balloons,
lots of walkers and great spirit.
One Family’s red shirts could also be seen everywhere.
Karen Or was walking again this year.
These girls got my attention,
they seemed to be having a great time,
I am not sure which group they were with,
but photos of them are going viral.
The crowd in the park was so large
and colorful, but it was hard to get a good photograph.
So many people.
So many came from around the world.
The media was interested in the half-marathon winner.
But my favorites visiting runners were
this man and his wife from Philadelphia, PA.
They came with 6 family members,
just to run in Jerusalem marathon races,
to raise funds for lone soldiers,
and to celebrate his 80th birthday this week.
Thousands of runners passed the finish line,
and entered the Gan Sacher lined with water bottles.
In the park there were teams of supporters;
the Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin,
and Yachad were just a few of dozens.
While the marathon winners were popular with the news crews,
there was more going on.
The annual hand bike race, for example,
and exercises and music and of course – food.
Two finish lines were confusing to new comers.
The finish line for only the full marathon was at one end of the park,
lined with supporters,
here as the third and four place Israeli winners came in.
The men’s full marathon winners had their moment of glory
and got trophies from Mayor Nir Barkat.
The 10K and 5K runners were coming
up the hill to the finish line,
with the Knesset in view in the background
in crowds of thousands.
I did not find all of my family members,
and I did not see friends from near and far who ran
for the first time,
yet this one man I had seen at the start,
there he was again as he came into the home stretch.
“If you can dream it, you can do it”
seemed like a perfect motto to start this day
and this smile a good one to end with.
Photos had to be cut to keep this from becoming another marathon.
If you want to see more of Jerusalem Marathon 2015,
additional pictures are posted on RJS Facebook page.
It poured overnight, but the skies are slowly clearing,
and those who prepared early are very happy,
Tomorrow is the big day,
this has to be drier that the first rain soaked Jerusalem marathon.
The Jerusalem Marathon is hard to miss,
and just like last year’s run,
a finish line has been up and ready
across a major street for a couple of weeks.
These huge signs are displayed in multiple locations.
Not only will the races close
many Jerusalem, Israel streets all Friday morning,
but there is also a Sports Expo
in the Jerusalem International Conference Center.
Runners have three days to come and get their kits,
with their official shirts and numbers.
Entering the Convention Center lobby
it is all about marathons.
But inside the large halls,
it is all about sportswear marketing.
Aleh is one of the many organizations with teams of runners
who will raise thousands of dollars for charity.
The full marathon attracts runners from around the world.
Gan Sacher, Sacher Park is the main venue.
The times for the different runs are posted here.
With those early morning start times
it is good that the synagogue is easy to find.
The serious marathon runners will race up and down
the hilly Jerusalem streets in amazing times,
with the first awards ceremony set to start before 9:00 am.
The finish line for the full marathon is in the park,
each year it gets a little better organized,
the large park is filled with runners and supporters.
With major roads closed to traffic,
many residents do not like this sports event
that shuts down the city.
But maybe the music and street theater
on Emek Refaim Street this year
will keep some of those not running and cheering
in a better mood.
What a difference a few years makes:
who even remembers those half marathon runs?
The annual Sounds in the Old City,
music festival is going on this week.
Signs are posted leading the way
from outside the Jaffa Gate,
and inside, with stages set up
for musicians to perform.
Down in the moat of the Tower of David,
there were music, tables and chairs and food.
These lights were on the way to the Jewish Quarter,
where again this year the Cardo provided a dramatic venue.
inspired some little dancers,
in the Rova, the square of the Jewish Quarter,
by the Hurva Synagogue.
I almost went out the wrong way.
Thousands came to the Old City,
and the route I wanted was closed off.
Good thing, or I would have missed the “fiddler on the roof,”
near Muristan Square.
Not all the music was great, though it was all loud.
The festival will run until the end of the week.
Then Friday am bright and early,
it will be the time for the running of the Jerusalem Marathon.