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.