Looking To September

While Hurricane Irene soaked the eastern United States last weekend,

it will be some time before there is a threat of rain in Jerusalem.

Seems the only ‘rain’ here are the missiles, grads and rockets from Gaza,

which continue to fall in southern Israel in spite of a Hamas call for a truce.

All was quiet this morning, but last night

  loud music and the sounds of teenagers laughing ended near midnight,

possibly neighborhood complaints of noise were all that dampened

 the end of summer party for a Jerusalem Israeli scout troop.

It was quite a contrast to the terror attack the night before in Tel Aviv.

A man from Nablus carjacked a taxi at knife point, cutting the driver,

 then rammed the stolen vehicle into a police barrier that

 was erected to protect a dance club teenage end of summer party.

Eight people were stabbed as the terrorist yelled “Allah is Great”

August coincided with the Muslim Ramadan holiday this year.

The Eid Al-Fitr, end of month celebrations silence the jack hammers in Jerusalem

and the construction cranes stop flying, while in Syria more people were killed.

In the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan

the colored lights at night were bright

as were the ones in the Old City.

Colored lights were strung at Jaffa Gate,

 Damascus Gate,

and Herod’s Gate.

Late at night, young men came to sell food and merchandise

and women sat to enjoy the cool night air.

Even young children would be out late at night during the month of celebration.

As the sun set, smoke

and more smoke from the food being cooked to break the day’s fasting

 filled Gan Ha’pa’amon, the Liberty Bell Park .

There is often a rise in violence after this month devoted to Koran study.

A molotov cocktail was thrown at an Israeli ambulance this week,

no one thought to bother this PA ambulance.

As we look to September, security is again heightened near Eilat

and security precautions are in the news.

Hype about a PA statehood vote in September at the UN  is gaining steam,

while the PA and Hamas cannot even agree on one time zone.

As for the real streets, everyone is looking anxiously to September,

  September 1 is the first day of school.

The last week of August there is no regular day care,

  every grandparent, friend and neighbor is called on to help out hassled parents.

Who is the most excited for the first day of school?

The sound of the shofar this morning announced the Hebrew month of Elul,

 Chodesh  tov…

here’s hoping and praying for a good month 

and

looking to a peaceful September!

Restoring Courage

Thousands of people from all around the world

came together on the afternoon of August 23, 2011 to support  Israel

with Glen Beck’s “Restoring Courage” mega-event.

The main event was held at the Southern Wall excavation site

near the Kotel, Western Wall in the Old City, with entry for ticket holders only.

In addition, the event and the warm-up show were broadcast on a large screen

 to a large crowd in Safra Square in Jerusalem at no charge.

The tourists seated in a reserved front section received bottles of water,

when the screen showed the audience at the Davidson Center in the hot summer sun,

the regular seating in the shade at Safra Square seemed much more comfortable.

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin began the program,

and was followed by Dudu Fisher who led in the singing of Hatikva.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat spoke next.

 The event was also broadcast live around the world to gatherings of supporters,

like this one in Charleston, South Carolina in the United States.

Glen Beck spoke passionately of his support for Israel

and the need for good to triumph over evil.

Outside Safra Square there were people waiting for the light-rail trains to arrive

or others just shooting the breeze;

but for many, this was an important, even a patriotic event.

Love him or hate him, understand him or not,

Glen Beck brought thousands of visitors to Israel

and the dire ‘end of days’ predictions did not come about.

  Jerusalem may have been quiet,

but another 20 rockets were fired overnight from Gaza

 aimed at the 1,000,000 people living in southern Israel and a baby was injured.

Israel responded by targeting a weapons factory in Gaza.

Israel needs not only courage,

 but the right to live without the constant threat of terror.