Time to make seder in the house,
then to set the table.
Have a great Pesach!
There are the old familiar images for Passover in Jerusalem, Israel,
garbage bins are overflowing, even though there are extra pick-ups;
shopping carts are overflowing;
and lots of large pots of water are boiling with steam rising.
But always there is something new.
Spring wildflowers have grown in the weeds,
a site where last year a brush fire left only scorched earth.
New warning signs at some major street crossings were painted on side walks.
But as most everything in Jerusalem, Israel, there was a bit of contention,
a corner near the Old City had the words only in Arabic,
but was painted over yesterday in Hebrew before I got there.
Then there are those construction cranes popping up like weeds
and many new luxury buildings.
But with any new construction
are the findings from ancient times that were hidden under the streets.
This Passover one very hot spot to visit is
the new Cinema City complex.
More than just movie theaters,
you can find all kinds of food,
and I assume plenty of it will be kosher for Passover.
For Passover and all year round, there is Moses,
not crossing the Red Sea, but with 10 commandments.
And posted all over are the new holiday signs,
happy holiday of spring in Jerusalem, Israel.
Have a great Passover all,
I really must get back to my cleaning.
There seems to be a constant stream of festivals in Jerusalem, Israel,
and this week is the annual music festival, Sounds of the Old City.
Nighttime music festivals are not the best ops for photos,
but some of these backdrops and stages are indeed spectacular.
Starting outside of Jaffa Gate,
the Na’am Ensemble was the opening act,
followed by a performance by Gole Anar.
Most of the names of the folk singers are not familiar to Anglo audiences.
On the stage next to The Tower of David, the Alaev Family
included family members dressed in colorful Bukharan clothing.
There were over 11 mapped out performance locations,
the Dilijan Ensemble was #4 along the route.
A few locations were standouts,
like #3, down in the Tower of David moat!
The show with the music of Taverna band, hosted by Shimon Parnas,
was almost secondary to the site.
Built for protection so many years ago, who could imagine this musical scene?
Ketem Paz, a group of religious and secular artists,
who sing Yemenite melodies from traditional texts,
performed in the Open Cardo as the opening act.
What a stage!
Also, students from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance
were playing along the route.
Signs showed the way through the Muslim Quarter
and the shuk, market,
but as usual I got lost.
They need more and better signs.
By a photo in the free information booklet (available in English, Hebrew and Arabic)
it seems that I saw Lelot HaMizrach and not the Sahara trio.
Finally, I ended up in Muristan Square where
the Hebrews of Dimona were belting out
some old US favorites from the Four Seasons that even got the attention of even the very young.
Not everyone out at night was interested in live music,
and some were shopping in Mamilla Mall.
Thousands and thousands of people,
from around the world were on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.
But if there is no violence, just sounds of music, then it is not news.
Be warned though, that not only is the Old City closed to vehicles,
but some streets in Old City were even blocked for pedestrians,
like the street by the new still not quite open Waldorf-Astoria.
Sounds of the Old City runs from March 31 – April 3, 7-11:00 pm.
The Palestine Symphony was founded in 1936,
and its first performances were in Tel Aviv.
These days there are plenty of cultural events in Jerusalem, Israel,
sometimes too many: I could be busy day and night.
Two Jerusalem women’s groups
joined together to sponsor a movie night as a fund raiser
for the educational institutions of AMIT and Emunah.
This year the movie was Orchestra of Exiles,
and it was so popular that there was an encore showing.
The Jews of Palestine in 1936 were thirsty for culture.
The PA money machines are churning out cutsie videos
to rebrand Palestine and make up a cultural narrative.
The goal of The Real Jerusalem Streets is
to be family friendly and apolitical.
But it is important to know history.
The Palestine Symphony musicians were all Jewish,
and was founded while the local Arabs were rioting from 1936-1939.
The Truth about Palestine needs to be shared,
not a narrative from a cleverly crafted script.
In 1948 the Palestine Symphony became known as
the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra.
If you want the full story, see the film–
it was so fascinating that I watched it a second time.
And next week, another music festival is opening in the Old City.
The sun was shining for the 4th International Jerusalem Marathon,
as 26,000 runners raced through the Jerusalem, Israel streets,
and the winner came in with a record-breaking time.
Streets were closed,
so everyone had to walk to get to check in and the starting line.
Once a year the graffiti is white-washed away and
a new banner is hung near the full marathon finish line.
Besides the full and half marathons there are other popular races.
Thousands lined up at the starting line for the 10 kilometer run.
The young and not so young, most dressed in colorful shirts,
and their enthusiasm off the start was contagious.
Entertainers on stilts were dressed in flag-colored costumes,
near a special course for shorter races for the young and disabled.
Supporters lined the streets watching and waiting.
Along the routes were
It was hard to get through the crowd in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park
at the start of the 10 K race.
With so many events running at once, it was hard to find family members,
but we did see the winner of the women’s full marathon.
Over 50 countries were represented, and many religions,
but we only saw one runner from Brazil kiss the finish line.
Separate awards for Israeli winners were presented for best times.
Loud music pumped through the park, which could be heard kilometers away.
The runners at the end of their races and arriving for medals,
were separated by fences from the crowds of spectators.
But some proud grandmothers knew how to get around barriers for a special hug.
And then there was the walk home.
The sun was hot.
Some runners were still approaching the finish line,
even as the streets were opened to traffic at one o’clock.
Thousands of shekels were raised for charity.
Everyone who participated was a winner.
Many have been inspired to try next year,
to enter or to train for a longer race.
The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook
Jerusalem Marathon album has many more photos HERE.
I wonder how many faces you will recognize?
Remember last year? If not see: