What a busy two weeks have passed!
If we can still find a rocket left over from President Obama’s visit
in a Sderot school yard, then it seems not too late
to post a few favorite photos of the presidential visit
to Jerusalem, Israel just before Passover.
People waited on the roof tops to get a view
of the presidential motorcade as it arrived in the city.
Agippas Street, like so many other places, had lots of extra security,
and a lot less traffic for a day so close to a major holiday –
or any day.
No danger of getting hit crossing usually busy Ramban Street,
NO cars were allowed.
If you could walk there, then
it was a perfect time to go to the shuk, the Machane Yehuda Market,
which as always is a colorful place to shop.
Passover is such a busy time as there is so much happening,
especially this year with the Barak Obama visit.
As helicopters whirled overhead,
this cat really had the best idea, to crawl up in corner and hide.
President Barak Obama gave his speech at Jerusalem Convention Center.
One stand out moment,
was after a heckling Arab student from Haifa University shouted out,
secret service agents on both sides of the stage emerged from the flags.
This was a serious public event with serious camera lenses,
and many smiling faces,
but more about Barak Obama’s speech another time.
Such an Only in Israel moment occurred
as Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren left the speech
on his way to the State Dinner at Beit Hanasi, the President’s House.
While standing on the street corner waiting to cross, no one recognized him.
Oh, when they opened those streets that night was there traffic!
Passover night arrived,
and the family Seder was the main event for millions of people.
Israelis love to go to nature spots when there is a holiday.
Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, was almost empty
the week before Passover because of the Obama security,
but on Passover it was filled with thousands of families dressed up for
their holiday outings. This Minnie Mouse bag seemed photo worthy.
Again a very special favorite,
as last year Aleh Jerusalem crossed the Bridge of Strings,
on their annual March to raise funds and awareness for the very
special education they provide severely disabled children.
It was a traffic and heart stopper,
as hundreds of green and purple balloons were released.
Students, their families and dozens of young enthusiastic volunteers
brought a woman I spoke with to tears.
Sorry that it loses much in the translation, but
she slowly shook her head back and forth, repeating “Really something!”
The Old City was busy and crowded.
The crowds at the Kotel, Western Wall, were big, really huge,
with the Ethiopian leaders under their colorful umbrellas
arriving at the end of Birkat Cohanim, the Priestly Blessing.
They managed to slowly move through the crowd as they do every year.
Centuries ago when crowds came to the Temple in Jerusalem on Passover,
how did they manage without kosher for Passover pizza,
super kosher hot French fries, known as chips,
and plenty of ice cream for sale like there are now?
Passover was a great holiday time.
People were smiling in Mamilla Mall and taking photos every day.
a terrible sandstorm came in the last afternoon of Passover.
This was no April Fool’s joke, that is what the Knesset looked like.
The air quality made breathing outside difficult.
Winds blew away most of the sand the next day,
and as the rest of world celebrated an eighth day of Passover.
In Israel, Passover was official over, but still a school holiday.
The Moroccan custom of Mimouna has become increasingly popular,
so again Gan Sacher was filled with families grilling
and smoke filled the air.
Passover has passed.
Now it is time for the Mangal or BBQ season.
Since I started working on this, yesterday and today
there have been several more rockets
and new “projectiles” fired from Gaza into southern Israel.
Hamas starts firing just as children return to classrooms.
It looks as if things are heating up down there again,
For more ALEH photos, please click HERE.