Back from the Cold

 New York City and Jerusalem are both very popular tourist destinations.

In New York this week the fountain is frozen,

while the fountain in Paris Square is surrounded by flowers.

 A dog wears a sweater to go outside in Manhattan,

while a man wears shorts to the the Kotel, the Western Wall.

The horse and rider statue in Central Park is covered with snow,

but not the bull in Mamilla Mall.

Workers at Lincoln Square clean away the snow,

but if the temperature is 16 degrees Fahrenheit ( – 9 C) people will not be sitting outside,

 like the groups in the Old City where the temperature is 16 degrees Centigrade (61 F).

In January heavy blankets of white snow fell in the New York area,

but  in Jerusalem even with so little rain the green is starting to show.

Compared to the ice and salt on the steps and streets in New York City,

the Jerusalem stone steps

and streets

seem a good choice for tourists.

Glad to return to from the cold and be back on the Jerusalem streets!

 

Tu B’Shvat

Recent rains have not produced any rainbows to photograph,

but in honor of the holiday of Tu B’Shvat, the fifteen day of the month Shevat,

 the New Year of  Trees…

 we present a rainbow of colors in Jerusalem.

Red,

bird of paradise image, garden of Christian Embassy in Jerusalem

orange,

lemons on tree image

yellow,

 

green,

blue sky Jerusalem image

blue,

berries image

indigo,

violet,

flowers image  , Jerusalem

 purple,

more purple,

so many shades of purple–

Jerusalem garden image,

all can be found on the streets of Jerusalem.

 May it be a good year for the trees and for all.

Happy Tu B’shvat!

New IDF Soldiers

With the start of 2011, the frequency of

 kassams, missiles and kaytushas coming from Gaza is increasing;

ten fell in the first week of the new year, with more each day.

There have been injuries and one Israeli soldier was killed.

As many Israelis do not visit Jerusalem,

after induction into the army new recruits are brought to the Old City

and to the Kotel, the Western Wall

which has been so important to the Jewish people for centuries.

For some, it is a time to pray;

for others, a time to write a note.

They learn about their history,

  visit the sites,

IDF women soldiers

female soldiers , IDF photos

Kossel, Wailing Wall

Hundreds of young women,

armed with a rifle,

or at rest

are proud to be Israeli soldiers.

Recently three women completed their pilot training

and were qualified as pilots in the Air Force.

It was announced that religious women with children are to be drafted.

From now on, it will be even harder to stereotype the new IDF soldier.

 

Real Danger

A young woman lies in a medically induced coma following surgery.

Last week she was injured by a speeding car, hit and thrown so hard her aorta was ruptured.

She is not a famous professor, so as long as she lives… it is not ‘news’.

Driving in Jerusalem

is not easy.

 

Car accidents are daily occurrences, drivers trading information at a “fender bender” is a common sight.

Even in well-marked cross walks, danger lurks every time one tries to cross a street,

 many cars do not stop for pedestrians.

This driver sped through too fast to take a good photograph.

The traffic situation in Jerusalem is a serious problem.

Student crossing guards are on duty during the time children come and go from school.

 

The sign at this corner had to be replaced, as it was hit so many times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illegal parking often creates an obstacle for pedestrians.

 The  speed limit is posted on Chaim Hazaz Boulevard, but when traffic is light

 many cars slow down only after they see their excessive speeds displayed.

These new bollards are already smashed–it takes a lot of force to cause this much damage.

And soon the traffic situation in the city center is going to get much worse.

Many bus routes go through the city center on Jaffa Street.

For trial runs of the the light rail system, Jaffa Street is to be closed to bus traffic.

Those large buses and thousands of passengers will be diverted to adjacent streets,

such as Hanevim Street, recently the scene of a deadly accident.

As the UN Global Plan for Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 begins,

we could benefit from improved road safety.

 Meanwhile, it seems all we can do is be careful out there

and pray for Royza Mindel Bas Rochel

who met with the real danger of the Jerusalem streets.