Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem

I am on an overcrowded El Al plane.

People are standing in the aisles.

The man next to me asks me to change my aisle seat

with his male friend to middle one in next row.

I laugh and say no way.

We leave two hours late,

no ultra-Orthodox Jews involved.

End of story.

image unusual sunset

From 37,000 feet, we could see clouds and sunset,

 now back in Jerusalem, Israel,

more clouds and rain before Shabbat.

שבת שלום

Good News – Bad News from Jerusalem

Good News – Bad News from Jerusalem

  Good news first.

I was in the US for birth of a grandchild,

baby photo

his name is Yisroel Tzvi,

and he already is trying to figure out this world.

In the last two weeks I’ve had no computer time,

no down time and little sleep.

I hope you missed the updates from RJS these past two weeks?

image of sky from El Al plane

As always it is an adventure to fly El Al

and arrive back to Jerusalem, Israel.

But as I arrived home I heard terrible news:

Rabbi Yehuda Glick had been shot

and seriously injured

in an assassination attempt.

I posted on Israellycool  asap,

and you can see the background story and updates

HERE

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In June at the Begin Center,

Yehuda Glick sponsored his first LIBA conference,

where I was shocked to learn that Jews are allowed

only 20 hours a week on the Temple Mount,

while Muslims have almost free access.

Today access to the Muslim masses was limited,

though tomorrow restrictions are to be lifted.

Helicopters are flying overhead,

and in Jerusalem that usually means trouble.

Much has been written about “Price Tag” attacks,

today there was graffiti painted near a church.

price tag in Jerusalem

 Months ago this photo was taken across from the Begin Center.

It did not fit the media spin of “Price Tag”

so it was never reported.

On my next photo walk in the area

I saw that it was whitewashed.

Abu Mazen is spinning the story of one of his followers

shooting a man in cold blood

into “Israel is bad,”

 another thread in his narrative;

while Yehuda Glick, a great guy with wonderful sense of humor,

is hanging on to life by a thread.

Join in praying for the recovery of

יהודה יהושע בן רבקה איטה ברנדה

Will this world be easier to understand when Yisroel Tzvi is older?

Best of Sukkot in Jerusalem

Every year around the Sukkot holiday things are very hectic,

with thousands of visitors, lots of guests and crazy traffic.

More than once I saw a taxi or car on the road stop short,

and someone inside yells out greetings to old friend.

Then when the cars behind start honking too loudly they drive away.

One of the largest crowds every year is for the Birkat Kohanim,

the Priestly Blessing at the Kotel, the Western Wall.

sukkot kotel 5775 092b

This year, though it seemed less crowded,

it was still hard to get good photos of the prayers

as security would not allow anyone to stand on the steps in back.

Afterwards there was some singing and dancing,

sukkot kotel 5775 110b

and some blew the large shofar the man dressed in white was holding.

Rivlin - Ban Moon 002b

The Sukkah Open House at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence,

drew large crowds again.

Rivlin - Moon 2 002b

Colorful exhibits lined the grounds,

Rivlin - Moon 2 004b

with this “recycle elephant” really popular for photos.

Rivlin - Moon 2 012b

The public could walk through the large sukkah 

to the grounds for the entertainment.

Rivlin - Moon 2 009b

At end of the day one man was taking a ‘selfie’ on the stage.

But one of my favorite sukkot this year,

Tekoa 007b

was in a new gas station.

This one, privately owned, is closed on Shabbat and had a sukkah.

Many events that were postponed from the summer took place this week,

which meant that there were dozens of things happening.

Besides the Formula Cars,

there was the annual Israel Museum Kite Festival,

sukkot 4 14 005b

and street festivals.

sukkot kotel 5775 166b

The music has begun in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, for the Jerusalem March,

which is the colorful parade held every year

and many more things than I can mention.

Tekoa 041b

Roads in and out of Jerusalem, Israel, are full of cars and buses,

I loved the long lines of cars parked on the road to Herodian!

sukkot 4 14 004

People are trying to celebrate as much as possible in a few days,

in and around Jerusalem!

חג שמח

Favorite New and Old Sukkot for 5775

The holiday of Sukkot,

image for sukkos

involves intense preparation,

image luvav

and checking of many specific details.

As soon as Yom Kippur is over,

image sukka on sidewalk

sukkot seem to pop up all over.

Thousands of tourists arrive in Jerusalem, Israel,

many want to sleep in a sukka and many more to eat in one.

image round sukka

At the Kings Hotel the familiar sukka is up on the roof

image plain sukkah on roof

and a simple wooden sukka cna be seen at the King Solomon Hotel.

image sukka on roof Inbal Hotel

At the Inbal Hotel, look up for the fancy private sukkot.

This year due to the Formula Road Show,

iamge security

outside the King David Hotel had a different look,

image large sukka construcition

but the large porch out back was getting ready as usual to be a sukka.

image new sukkahs this year.

New buildings near the YMCA

have sukkot up on porches and down in the courtyards,

image sukkah

and new Touro restaurant at the Jerusalem Press Club is ready to use.

But also new this year is the Waldorf Astoria Hotel,

photo flowers Jerusalem Israel

where I still have trouble getting past the gorgeous flowers,

image Waldorf AStoria Jerusalem special lobby

and the birds and fountain below.

Their sukka,

image sukka in atrium of Waldorf Astoria

in the Atrium

image special sukka

is the new wow must see sukka this season.

I must get to working on holiday details here,

time to clean and decorate our sukka!

I’ll end with two old favorites,

our sukka on a camel photo was posted by Times of Israel on Facebook,

Sukka photo, Image unusual sukkah

it received so much attention that here it is again.

image Hebrew sign on Bus

RJS along with the buses

wishing all a happy holiday.

Jerusalem Formula Road Show

For two days the Jerusalem Formula 2014 Road Show

Formula 2014 181

shut down some Jerusalem, Israel streets.

Naftali Bennett

 Naftali Bennett advised a group of visiting Vietnamese government officials,

if there are two Jews, there will be three opinions,

and for this event there certainly were different opinions.

image Tower of David at start of Road Show

The weather was warm and sky clear,

as the opening stretched an hour over scheduled time.

There is no special track in Israel for racing

and knowledge of race cars is limited,

image race car Jerusalem

Many do not know a Blu blue car

image Jerusalem formula car

from another blue car.

But for the second year,

image race car

beautiful fast machines

image cars Jerusalem Formula at Tower of David

were out near the Old City to impressive.

The track was not a loop like last  year,

so it was easy at Tower of David

where cars turned around to take photos.

image race car moving.

But I did get this car speeding up.

A big difference this year was that several young Israelis were featured:

image Roy Nissany and his car

one was Roy Nissany.

image race car Israeli flag

More Israeli flags were out this year.

image hot rod car

Terry Grant not only smoked up the street with his spinning Hot Rod,

but got out, walked away, and then got back in the moving vehicle,

all without wearing a helmet.

image motorcycle in Formula

And then there were the motorcycles,

image stunt motorcycle

flying over the streets

image Jerusalem motorcycle stunt at formula

upside down

image motorcycle stunt

and sideways,

image motorcycle stunt

with riders doing amazing stunts,

image Jerusalem crowd

as crowds lined the show areas.

image end of road show Jerusalem

Do we need to shut down streets before a holiday

(a summer event had to be postponed)

or any time for this spectacle?

I heard an American tourist say,

“Seems to me to be a lot of money and noise for not so much.”

As we walked the long way around because of barriers on the track,

she added that she was 66 years old,

and does not think the same way she did when she was 16.

Young people were excited and came out to see the cars,

 thousands were out to see,

 what was happening on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

image Jerusalem mayor

Mayor Nir Barkat and Eugene Kaspersky think motorsport history has been made in Jerusalem

and that it is great and an investment for the future,,

but many others disagree.

Now enough with cars,

it is time to prepare for Sukkot,

but if you want to see more of that crazy motorcycle show,

please click HERE.