Our Heritage is to Live

Last week began with a big disappointment,

as the predicted and much-hyped snow never happened.

It is a shame as Jerusalem in the snow makes for great pictures

Jerusalem street in the rain, man sleeping on sidewalk

while the hard rains do not make for pretty scenes.

But when the sun came out, there were puddles of water and birds, 

Anemones. red flowers in Jerusalem

 green grasses and red anemones. 

In 2000, Herman Wouk published a book titled,

“The Will to Live On, This is our Heritage.”

I thought of it not only for the weather conditions,

but also for the stormy situation in the Middle East and around the world.

In Israel there is no official Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.

children sitting and singing

 Family Day is celebrated on Rosh Chodesh Adar, the first day of Adar.

At one Family Day celebration children sang and danced,

parents sitting with chlidren

while the big people got to sit on little chairs 

grandmother and child light candles

and help light the candles at a Shabbat party.

Shabbat candles, Shabat candles, Shabat party in school

It is these lights of Jewish heritage and values that burn in Israel.

children singing in classroom

Songs of a Shabbat shalom, a peaceful sabbath…

not of war or hate.

“This is our heritage” as Wouk said, “the will to live on.’

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if these children had peaceful neighbors?

Mamilla Mall

While Mamilla Mall was under construction

Mamilla Mall  "Gap store sign" image of mall

there were many who doubted its potential.

It was a convenient route to the Jaffa Gate and the Old City,

but who would shop in the expensive stores along Mamilla Avenue?

"closed shoe store" image

Stores have closed,

Coffee store image

 but new businesses open immediately.

"Mamilla Mall shoppers"  "BDS" image , "apartheid image"

The crowds keep coming…Israelis, both Jewish and Arab, and lots of tourists.

"bride image"  "white wedding dress" image

Brides favor the location for wedding photos.

"mime" image, Mime as a tree image

Street actors and mimes often perform on the avenue

Balloon sculptures image, "balloon" hats

and colorful balloons are a common sight.

Mamilla Mall lit at night image, mall at night

Every night as the lights go on, it is the place to visit.

"Musical art image"  , "piano" image

Often tourists can be found posing with the works of art on display.

art sculpture image

Music is the current theme of the art exhibitions

image "Holocaust art" "Arbeit" signimage

and the pieces are varied.  

"violin image"  numbered stones of wall image

The original stones were numbered, taken apart, and put back up.

The results can be seen behind this piece of art.

"cafe" image, outdoor cafe image, Mamilla Mall image

And people come to eat…

often there are lines to get in to the most popular places.

united Jerusalem image

Most days you will find the “United Jerusalem” guy,

but you will not find any signs of BDS: boycott, divest and sanction

Palestinian boys in Jerusalem image, Arab teens image

or Israeli apartheid in Mamilla Mall,

 located in Jerusalem,

 next to the walls of the Old City.

Jerusalem Marathon 2012 is Coming

The Jerusalem Marathon is coming.

 Jerusalem marathon sign image

Signs announcing the March 16th event seem to be everywhere.

For months now, the grounds near Gan Sacher, Sacher Park ,

Jerusalem marathon route image

both along the marathon route around the park 

and in the park have been improved.

Roads leading into the park have new bollards installed.

While around the world “Occupy” tent cities have been emptied, 

often by police on horseback in riot gear,

Gan Sacher park image, Jerusalem marathon image

the tents near the main entrance of Gan Sacher

occupy tent image, Jerusalem tent city

 are still occupied.

occupy tent image.Jerusalem tent city image

In spite of a rainy and cold winter,

Gan Sacher tent city image

families live in the makeshift dwellings.

tent city school trip image, Gan Sacher tent image

These young people may be on the ultimate social justice field trip,

occupy tent image , Jerusalem tent city image

 wanting to interview people who have refused offers of temporary housing.

With thousands of people expected in Jerusalem for the marathon,

it is hard to imagine that this scene

occupy tent image , "Jerusalem tent city"

and these structures will still be here next month

when the Second Jerusalem Marathon is run.

If you missed the marathon last year, be sure and see:

The 2011 Jerusalem Marathon

Cat Power

Female singer Cat Power is not coming to Israel to perform,

she says because of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

However, in Jerusalem,

black cat image

one

thing

we  

have

plenty

of  

is

two cats on a car image

cats,  

and

more cats!

Your loss Cat Power, hope you feel better soon.

We have plenty of powerful cats on the streets of Jerusalem

and as the garbage piles up during this strike…

they are very happy cats now also.

Update:

garbage in strike in Jerusalem image

Strike is over, but the mess may be around for awhile.

Tu B’Shevat in Jerusalem

School children all over Israel learn by song that

on the holiday of Tu B’Shevat, the new year of trees, 

almond tree in bloom image ,

“Shkadea Porachat,”  the almond trees are blooming.

In Jerusalem,

 it is much easier to find roses blooming than almond trees.

The fifteen day of the Hebrew month of Shevat is also

dried fruit image, mall image

the holiday when dried fruit displays fill the shopping malls.

Machane Yehuda market, the shuk, always a source of dried fruit and nuts, 

machane yehuda market image, image of the shuk in Jerusalem

has even more piles and varieties on sale this time of year.

dried chilli image

The dried chillies in the shuk yesterday

regulach image, rows of little cakes image

and these little rogalach seemed really special too.

Generations of American Jews 

associate Tu B’Shevat with “bokser” or dried carob pods.

lemons on tree image

However, I prefer our lemon tree full of fruit as a symbol

of the start of the growing season.

Many people will attend a special Tu B’Shevat seder at night at a

table set with red and white wine and dried fruit and special prayers. 

But some stores have been ready for a while with costumes and props,

and for some… it is never too soon to get ready for Purim.

Happy Tu B’Shevat where ever you are!

See Tu B’Shvat from  last year for a rainbow of beauty in Jerusalem:

http://rjstreets.com/2011/01/19/tu-bshvat/

Finds in The Old City

After weeks of record rain in Jerusalem,

 the sun was shining again on Friday morning.

It was perfect weather to walk to the Old City 

and take pictures.

Jaffa Gate image, picture of Jaffa plaza

The trees in the plaza by Jaffa Gate were still bare,

Arab man carrying bread on his head image

but inside the walls there was fresh bread

and cool drinks for sale,

and more photographers…as usual.

tourist and taxis image, Armenian Quarter image

Tourists went by foot and by car through the Armenian Quarter.

Arab women image. Arab women in Jerusalem

Arab women were walking in the Rova, the Jewish Quarter.

ceramic sign in old city image

Following the ceramic arrow, 

Bloggers Jerusalem Scavenger Hunt image

I found the meeting place of my group of bloggers 

Photographer image

and photographer… all ready for our Jerusalem Scavenger Hunt.

Our group read, listened and learned 

about some of the locations in the Rova, the Jewish Quarter,

that were captured and destroyed in 1948 by the Jordanian Legion.

"narrow streets of Old City" image

As we walked through the narrow rebuilt streets of the Rova,

"orange tree" image , Tu Bishvat , TU Beshvat image

and we found our “tree” … full of oranges, ready for Tu Beshvat.

"courtyard" image in Old City

But also we found large groups of tourists in the courtyards 

and in the Cardo of the Old City.

We found beautiful children getting out of school,

but we never did find what was so interesting down there.

"Israeli soldiers' image in Old City

It seems we were not the only scavenger hunters on Friday in the Old City, 

there was also a group of Israeli soldiers with a paper map and questions.

We found fun and new friends on the Jerusalem Scavenger Hunt.

Wondered what these young soldiers will find?

For more on the Jerusalem Scavenger Hunt see:

http://jerusalemdiaries.blogspot.com/