Jerusalem Celebrates Israel’s 64th

This week was a roller coaster ride of emotions,

going from mourning on Yom Hazikaron, Remembrance Day,

to the joyous celebrations for Yom Ha’atzmaut, Independence Day.

On Thursday night fireworks displays lit up the sky over Jerusalem,

"picture Israeli flag", "photo Jerusalem", "image flags"

to celebrate Israel at 64.

In Jerusalem on Yom Ha’azmaut

"picture hammer","photo hammer", "image hammer"

the hammers were bigger, but softer.

"picture people looking up". "photo people looking up", "image Jerusalem"

These people were watching the Air Force fly over, 

but by their expressions I assume they missed my blog post.

The annual International Bible Contest was held in the morning 

and the Israel Prizes were presented in the evening,

"picture grilling", "photo Jerusalem", "image cooking meat"

but most people spent much of the day at a mangal, a BBQ, grilling meat.

"picture Gan Sacker", image sacker park", "Photo picnic"

Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, was the site of many family reunions,

"picture Israeli soldiers", "photo picnic', "image BBQ"

but I spent most of the day in Gan Sacher with 400 lone soldiers.

The Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin’s mangal

served 60 kilo of meat to  young people from around the world and Israel,

who do not have families here with whom to celebrate. 

See more  photos of the event on the Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook page.

"picture Sacher park", "image park", "photo kids playing"

Gan Sacher did not seem as crowded as usual,

as there were plenty of open spaces for a “foam fight”

"picture Jerusalem", "Israel image", "photo Independence Day"

and there was plenty of the foam for sale.

I was impressed that in such a relaxed atmosphere, people made time for 

"picture Sackr park". "photo men praying", "image prayer service outside"

this impromptu mincha, afternoon prayer, one of many that took place.

"grilling photo", "picture smoke from cooking", "Image smoky BBQ"

Smoke filled the sky all day,

"picture Gan Sacher", "photo Sacker Park" ,"image park Jerusalem"

while the weather was perfect.

"picture Gan Sackr", "photo picnic" "image Jerusalem party"

 Tons of equipment were schlepped and food consumed… and beer.

"picture small flag", "photo Israeli flag", "image small flag'

Israel at 64 was celebrated in Jerusalem in a big way.

Why do Israelis get so hung up about their Independence Day?

We will keep looking for answers to the question.

Yom Hazikaron in Jerusalem

 Wednesday was Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Remembrance Day

for those killed in war and by terror attacks.

 It was observed in many ways. Some do not observe it at all.

I was at two major traffic locations when the memorial sirens sounded.

At night on Derech Hevron, Hebron Road, near the walls of the Old City,

 cars kept moving and a large truck tried to pass against traffic.

On the Begin Highway some drivers got out of their cars before the 

11:00am siren and stood silently, but as the siren began I was very surprised

to see many cars zooming around the stopped vehicles.

I decided not to show those disappointing video scenes,

but rather to share a few more positive photos.

The official government ceremony was held at the Kotel,

the Western Wall, on Tuesday night,

"picture Wailing Wall", "image Israeli soldiers", "photo memorial flame"

where an honor guard stood by the memorial flame.

"picture Old city street", "image Old City street", "photo night in Old City"

The food court of the Rova, the Jewish Quarter of the Old City was closed.

"picture Old City","photo Jerusalem Old City", image Old City night

Many parts of the Old City were dark and quiet.

"picture concert", "photo Sultan Pool", "image Jerusalem"

At The Sultan’s Pool,  a huge stage was built and thousands gathered

for a musical presentation sponsored by the Jerusalem Municipality.

There were hundreds of young people,

but you could hear a pin drop during the siren and no one moved.

All over Jerusalem the next day,

"photo Jerusalem", Picture Jerusalem", image memorial wreath"

 fresh flowers could be found at memorial locations,

"picture Jerusalem","photo memorial wreath", "image Jerusalem"

marking the memory of dear ones lost.

"picture Jerusalem traffic", "photo traffic", "image cars Jerusalem"

The Begin Highway looked like a parking lot,

as many people drove to the Har Herzl Military cemetery 

to attend the official ceremony and to visit graves.

"picture traffic Jerusalem", "photo Jerusalem traffic', "image Jerusalem"

This speed sign showed that no one was driving too fast.

"picture flag half mast", "photo Israel flag", "image flame"

Red memorial flames were displayed, while Israeli flags flew at half-mast.

"picture Israeli flags", "image flags", "photo Israeli flags"

This year there seemed to be many more 

"photo Israeli flags", "image flag", "picture Israel flag"

flags than usual.

"picture Israeli flag", "image flags", "photo flags"

I found a flag flying on top of this phone booth…

yes, there are still are a few phone booths.

"picture flags", "Image Israeli flags","photo children flags"

Israeli flags were displayed with pride this year.

"picture Yom Hazikron", ""image children", "photo ceremony"

 I watched the young children at one memorial event 

 and thought of all the lives lost. 

"picture Israel soldiers", "photo Israel flag", "image Old City Walls"

Are there really any Israelis who do not want peace

in the future for their children?

 Shabbat shalom.

Ready to Celebrate Israel’s 64th Independence Day

If you are not in Jerusalem this week

you are missing out on a very special time,

as Jerusalem gets ready for Yom Ha’atzmaut, Independence Day.

The weather has been cool and sunny during the day, with clear blue  skies,

"picture for Israel Independence Day","image Israeli bopper", "photo blue and white"

as the streets fill with blue and white Israeli flags.

"picture selling flags", "image Israeli flag", "photo Israeli flag"

At major intersections someone is usually selling flags for car windows.

Even Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu stopped his motorcade to buy a flag.

It is reported that he gave the seller a 5 shekel tip.

I wonder how you report that for taxes?

"picture Israeli flag", " Photo Israel flag", "image flag of Israel"

 As you can see,

in some neighborhoods business has been very good this year.

"picture flag on car, "Image of flag on car","photo Israeli flag on car"

This flag  was one I had not seen before. It reads “God, He is King.”

"picture Israeli flag", "Israeli flag photo", "image Israeli flag"

The long Israeli flags are flying and ready for Independence Day,

but yesterday I was lucky to see…

"photo planes flying over", "picture celebrate Independence Day"

the dress rehearsal of planes as they flew over

"picture Jerusalem", "Photo Jerusalem","image Jerusalem"

the Knesset Building

"picture Jerusalem", "Jerusalem photo", "image Jerusalem museum'

and the Israel Museum.

"photo Jerusalem", "picture Jerusalem", "image Jerusalem"

They were fast, loud and high in the sky as they flew away from Jerusalem.

"picture  planes ", "photos planes", "image planes"

There was time for one photo as they were coming towards me, 

just before they split from their perfect formation.

This morning, the sad music on the radio has begun…

"Israel flag and flame photo","picture of flame and flag", "image of Israel flag and flame"

for first we will experience the flames  and tears of Yom Hazikaron,

Remembrance Day for the fallen soldiers and victims of terror.

After remembering those lost in war and to terror attacks,

then it will be time to celebrate Israel’s 64th Independence Day.

Google Maps Jerusalem

Google cars were in Jerusalem in November 2011,

"picture Google car", "photo Google car Jerusalem", "image Google car"

   they were easy to recognize going up and down the streets.

Now Google Street Views of Israel are going on-line

and everyone can find their favorite Jerusalem street.

"sign for Yizkor, "poster remembrance day"

You will still see signs for Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

However,

"Israeli flags photo", "picture Israel flags", "image Israel Flag"

 this time of year you will see Israeli flags lining the streets,

"picture Israeli flags", "photo Israel flags"

hanging in store windows,

"photo Jerusalem street","picture Heichel Sholmo", "Image Israel flag"

and flying along many major roads.

"photo sign Yom Haatzmaut", "photo Israel Independence Day", "image Jerusalem"

The signs are out, Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day, is next week.

What a perfect time for Google to show the Jerusalem streets

turning blue & white for Israel’s 64th birthday celebrations!

I wrote about a special Yom Hashoah event for The Times of Israel,

please check it out and comment.

Passover Leftovers

Passover has ended.

I used 150 eggs, large quantities of potatoes, onions,

sugar and chocolate this week,

and not one cookie or crumb of cake is left in the house. 

However, there are still a few holiday leftovers that I would like to share.

'flag picture", "image of highway", "photo flag", "picture road Israel"

Flags lined Israel Highway #6 for millions of people on their holiday trips,

"picture dancing", "photo Breslovers dancing" ,"image men dancing"

while in Jerusalem you could find dancing on the streets

"Israeli girls", "photo girls", "image little girls"

and families dressed in their holiday finest.

"picutre SAcher Park", "image park, "photo picnic"

Crowds filled Gan Sacher, Sacher Park.

"picutre tents" , "image park", "photo picnic"

At times there seemed to be more tents than during “The Occupy Protest”

"picture of Sacher Park", "Picnic in the park photo", "Image of cooking"

and so much smoke that I made the mistake of calling it “Gan Smoker.”

"grilling meat picture", "photo picnic", "image BBQ in park"

  Gan Sacher is big enough, though, to find a quiet spot 

for conversation, grilled meat and a bottle wine.

 No need to go hungry in Jerusalem for lack of Passover food,

"image matzah sandwich", "picture of matzah sandwich", "photo Passover food"

these matzah sandwiches were for sale across from the Central Bus station,

"picture Israel flag", "photos of Israeli flag", "image Passover sign"

where “Happy Holiday of Freedom” signs and Israeli flags flew above.

 I wrote the last post about the Aleh Jerusalem March

(make sure you haven’t missed it)

"picture Aleh march", "image Aleh volunteers", "photo girls"

 and the impressive young volunteers,

"picture little boys", "image sharing" , "photo kids sharing"

 but these two children sharing a bag of potato chips were my favorite.

Those are a few favorite Passover leftovers, so that’s it…

"picture Israel bus", "photo bus sign Passover", "image bus Israel Passover"

 until next year, when the buses again say,

” Kosher and Happy Passover.”

Four Ways to Celebrate Passover

Millions of people visit nature sites in Israel over Passover. 

Tens of thousands attend Birchat Kohanim, the Priestly Blessing

"Al-Quds image", "picture Wailing Wall", "photo The Wailing Wall"

prayer service at the Kotel, the Western Wall, each year.

In Jerusalem’s Gan Sacher, Sacher Park,

"picture of picnic', "image of park", "photo of picnic in Jerusalem"

  thousands of people gather for picnic outings.

 I want to share with you a special event

"photo children with balloons", "picture Aleh school", "image Aleh Jerusalem"

in Jerusalem at Aleh, a very special home and school

"picture wheel chair", "photo Jerusalem"

for children with special educational needs.

The weather was perfect 

"photo Aleh March", 'image wheel chair", "picture Aleh parade"

for the annual Aleh Jerusalem March as it left the school grounds.

"picture parade" ,  "Jerusalem streets photo", "image Jerusalem "

Participating were many of the dedicated staff members and their families,

(full disclosure, my daughter-in-law is a teacher at Aleh

and we are very proud of her work)

"picture Aleh March'

dozens of young volunteers,

"Arab woman in Jerusalem picture", "photo Muslim woman", "image nurse"

along with lots of balloons and a nurse on duty.

"picture Aleh March", "photo traffic stopped"

Streets were closed to traffic as the Aleh Jerusalem March moved

"picture bridge Jerusalem", "photo Jerusalem bridge"

toward the new Gesher HaMeitarim, the Chord or String Bridge.

"photo Jerusalem bridge", "picture releasing balloons"

After waiting for everyone to arrive on the bridge,

'"String Bridge photo","picture of Jerusalem bridge"

hundreds of balloons were released over the city of Jerusalem.

"picture Jerusalem bridge", "Jerusalem bridge photo'

Then everyone crossed the bridge

"picture dancing","photo Jerusalem traffic"

and the celebration continued with live music and dancing.

In a country where on chol hamoed traffic is heavy and people creep along,

this crowd was really moving.

"picture wheel chair'

I can share a few scenes of the tremendous care,

affection, 

"picture dancing'

and attention given to the students who participated,

but for reasons of privacy I cannot share their radiant smiles.

"picutre De Aryeh Eldar"

This was an event short on publicity and politicians,

only MK Aryeh Eldar said a few words.

But it was big on love and full of holiday spirit.

"picture bus sign for holiday" "photo of bus holiday sign"

A very happy Passover!

 If you found an Aleh balloon…I would love to hear how far they flew.

Many more photos on The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook page .

9 Photos Jerusalem Prepares for Passover

 Passover time in Jerusalem:

"photo Jerusalem", "Jerusalem sky photo"

the purple flowers against the blue sky make a beautiful picture

"Jerusalem flower picture'

 and the aloe flowers are in full bloom.

"Office Depot store"

The office supply store did not have the notebook I needed,

but had plenty of Passover food gift baskets.

"sushi rechavia"

The sushi store was closed for day to get ready to serve food on Passover.

"photo boiling water","picture man kashering"

Massive pots of boiling water 

"kashering photo"

and blow torches to get rid of that last bit of bread or chametz 

can be found on many streets.

"photo flowers", "picture bouquet" , "image rose"

Flowers for holiday table centerpieces are abundant,

"picture matzah"

as is matzah and more matzah.

Finally, to the many people

"picture matzah",

 travelling for the holiday, welcome to Jerusalem

and where ever you are we hope it is a healthy and safe

Chag Kasher v’sameach!

Happy Passover!

Happy Easter to all our many Christian friends!