In Jerusalem, February got off to a Busy Start

What a week, this was an unusual week!

The weather went from sunny and spring-like to cold, wet, and rainy. Here are a few highlights for you of what happened on the Jerusalem streets as January ended and February began.

Monday

Monday at the Knesset there were clouds gathering – weather-wise.

Inside the Negev Meeting Room, a meeting was held to discuss the hot issue of the government report on antisemitism that was released to the public.

Convened by the Israeli Minister for Diaspora Affairs and Social Equality Amichai Chikli, the meeting included leaders of organizations involved in the field and personalities active in social media.

Various Members of Knesset arrived, spoke, and left. It was a busy day with meetings throughout the building. I liked seeing one tour for individuals in wheelchairs and another for young mothers with babies in strollers.

The bottom line, antisemitic attacks have increased.

Outside the Knesset orange tulips were open in the sunlight in Jerusalem.

But at night the rain began as we attended a wedding in Beit Shemesh.

Tuesday

The Montefiore Windmill was lit at night on my way to Yemin Moshe.

An interesting evening in Mishkenot Sha’ananim hosted by the Jerusalem Press Club was in memory of Yossi Nesher z”l. An Israel radio Arabic-language broadcaster, he spoke to the new immigrants from Arabic-speaking countries in a language they could understand.

Glad I took an umbrella. I walked home in the rain, pouring rain.

My boots were finally dry enough to wear again by Friday afternoon.

With the rain pouring down, it was a good time to stay home and zoom.

Wednesday

A CAMERA webinar highlighted a serious issue in US public education.

Ethnic study activists are promoting courses that are anti-Israel and support BDS, through Teacher Development training, community groups, and classroom materials. With no standards and no transparency, political activism is getting into schools. Too many are unaware that these courses vilify Jews and are meant to turn children against Israel.

Thursday

On Groundhog Day 2023 – Punxsutawney Phil predicted 6 more weeks of winter in the US, but in Jerusalem, Israel we had a little sunshine.

Here’s a view from a sixth-floor window at Hadassah Hospital on Mt Scopus in the late afternoon.

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How sad to see the memorials inside of Eli and Natali Mizrahi z”l, who were murdered in Neveh Yakov by a terrorist the week before. She had worked at the hospital.

Friday

On Friday I noticed this sign near the exit to the “Founders whose great generosity has made them Partners of Hadassah in Mount Scopus reborn.” Remember this Jewish hospital was not accessible from 1947-1967.

And sitting near the sign was an elderly Arab man in a Yad Sarah wheelchair. Oh, the not-so-simple Jerusalem streets!

Shabbat

The flowers were so colorful – perfect for a simple Shabbat greeting.

Tu Bishvat

It’s that fun time of year again! The almond trees bloomed early.

Almonds on display in Jerusalem Machane Yehudah Market before Tu Bishvat

Remember it was all almonds last year? Now off to find something new to share next time from the multiple Tu Bishvat events.

February has only begun, just another week in Jerusalem with so much more happening soon! Come and see for yourself or host an online tour.

15 New Things Above and Below the Jerusalem Streets

It was another roller-coaster week on the Jerusalem streets.

The sounds of children playing and birds chirping resonated from the Jerusalem parks as one walked by on the spring-like Shabbat morning.

It was only at night, after Shabbat ended, that we heard the devastating news of death and terror not so far away from our tranquil neighborhood.

However, I have decided to focus on what you did not hear about, not the “conflict” which garners international media attention, but what’s new.

My week started at the Kotel, Western Wall, where as usual, various groups of people of all ages from around the world were gathered.

One Jerusalem scene was perfect for black and white.

This colorful group of international Lutheran clergy was entering the Old City by Jaffa Gate to attend the ordination of the first Arab woman. Notice the international media reported that it took place in Jerusalem, with no mention of Israel?

Media reports called her a “Palestinian,” but did not note how the numbers of Christians in the Palestinian-controlled territories have plummeted under PA rule, whereas they have increased in Israel.

Work on the Tower of David is still not completed.

Some of the Old City streets were still quiet in the morning hours though the tourists are noticeable back on the Jerusalem streets.

The work on the restoration of the Tiferet Israel Synagogue is covered up but rises tall above the street in the Jewish Quarter. The construction to replace the structure that was destroyed by the Jordanian Legions in 1948 has taken years to complete.

Here is a reminder of how it looked for decades before work began.

Finally, the work on the Kotel Plaza elevator was underway. Those steps never were convenient for disabled individuals or strollers, or anyone.

The Kotel Plaza is being dug up (again) for new infrastructure work.

This is how the work looks from above in the Western Wall Heritage Center.

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The work beneath the new Center building is not completed but is still an impressive look back centuries in time.

We were on our way to hear from the Rabbi of the Western Wall  Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch. He gives his interviews in Hebrew and has them translated into English.

However, outside another famous rabbi not usually in the area was spotted. Rav Reuven Feinstein was leaving with a group as we arrived.

Also impressive is the newly enclosed Kotel Plaza area for women to pray quietly away from the elements. I have been watching the space for years and wondering what they were doing.

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But the main part of this visit was to see what was new under the Plaza.

Remember that I reported on a tour of Hanukkah 2021, that this area was not open to the public. Well, now it is, though excavation work is not ever complete, there is always something new to find going down.

Here’s a short video – with 4,000 years condensed into under 4 minutes.

It is not easy to condense so much history in a sound bite.

Sharing a few new images of the ancient space under the Kotel Plaza,

on the new Western Wall Heritage Great Bridge Tour.

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The ancient amphitheater that was never completed is now exposed.

The tour ends with the model of the Second Temple and the view of the Wall’s large stones under street level in the distance.

One photo of the new synagogue at the Western Wall, but there was so much more at the Kotel perhaps for another time.

Hard to miss it, Gan Sacher, Sacher Park is getting a big makeover.

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The signs are up for registration for the Jerusalem Marathon in March.

It’s only weeks away and Gan Sacher is the starting point and finish line.

Jerusalem gets discovered below the streets, and buildings rise above.

Things are not black and white, not just conflict, much more is happening on the Jerusalem streets.

And with the warm winter weather, color, lots of colors as flowers are blooming early before Tu Bishvat this year.

When are you coming to see on a Jerusalem Photo walk?

From Jerusalem Stones -Wishing All Shabbat Shalom

The United Nations has marked January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Home and belonging and ordinary people are the themes this year, in 2023.

The 27th falls on a Friday. Therefore, along with remembering, also, wishing all a Shabbat Shalom.

This section of the Western Wall of the Temple Mount Compound was underground, excavated, and soon to be opened to the public on the new Western Wall Tour.

שבת שלום