The week of preparations for Rosh Hashanah in Jerusalem, Israel,
begins with a very late Saturday night.
Hundreds tried to pack into Ohel Nechama Synagogue
for special musical selichot service at 11:30 pm.
It was too crowded and hot for me,
so I went to the Great Synagogue,
where over a thousand people,
came to hear the Chazan who always draws a large crowd.
Then on to the Old City and the Kotel, Western Wall,
where groups of men gathered to read the Selihot prayers.
Thousands of people were there.
Remember this is already after 1:00 am,
and people were still arriving as I left.
But walking through the Rova, the Jewish Quarter,
I heard singing and music.
I followed the sounds to a small synagogue where another
Carlebach-style minyan was going on and on.
There were other large crowds
on the Jerusalem, Israel streets this week,
but you probably did not hear about them.
This bus blocked Emek Refaim Street,
for a neighborhood street fair sponsored
by Yad2, a second-hand selling group.
Huge crowds turned out and the streets were full.
Young and old were able to stroll and shop,
to the music of many different musicians playing along the street.
A man inside this inflated costume performed all kinds of contortions
as a Klezmer Band played in the background.
This puppeteer had an impressive collection of puppets
and put on a show that involved children in the audience.
Many street entertainers performed,
it was a colorful event that went on for hours,
but I had to leave.
I was walking over to Hansen House
for a special event.
A much smaller crowd gathered in the courtyard,
of the Old Leper Hospital,
under renovation as a cultural and tech center.
Six impressive Israeli StartUps presented.
Lishtot, a way to test water quality in two seconds,
won the StartUp Open 2015 competition
of the Global Entrepreneurship Network.
Lishtot will represent Israel in the global contest to be held in November.
the skies filled with dirt,
with particles too small to be called a sandstorm,
but a miserable haze,
where the Old City Walls were difficult to see.
Hot and dirty air is keeping me off the streets today.
But, before Rosh Hashannah I would rather go
back to photos from earlier in the week to end,
on a much more pleasant note.
Happy New Year.
Statue of musicians in Mamilla Mall not enough,
here are links for two short videos
of Old City selihot.
Chziki Sofer not only sings Carlebach, he sounds like Reb Shlomo.