Jerusalem, Israel, for Hanukkah is a very special place.
This year, more than in past years, there were more tourists and more things to do.
New events were planned, though some got rained out.
As the eighth-day ebbs, here are some favorites of the biggest and best Jerusalem happenings.
Jerusalem paper goods stores were ready long before Hanukkah, with all you needed for your table and parties.
Jerusalem bakeries had sufganiyot, donuts rising by the tens of thousands.
Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence had a large hanukkiah, Hanukkah menorah, ready outside for all to see.
There were dozens of hanukkiot, Hanukkah menorahs. placed on street corners.
Around Jerusalem and the world, Lubavitch-Habad emissaries put a hanukkiah in public squares.
This one near Beit Hanasi was at Schneurshohn Square on the third night of Hanukkah.
These Hanukkah menorahs come in all sorts of styles and shapes now, but this style hanukkiah was preferred by the late Lubavitcher Rebbe.
At Jerusalem’s Mamilla Mall a large one has been lit for the past eight years.
Huge crowds come to Jerusalem for the lighting and live music and free sufganiyot.
Jerusalem’s Mamilla Mall was full of tourists and holiday celebrants most nights.
Musicians, in more than one location, even a woman with a hand puppet making a video were entertaining holiday-goers in Mamilla Mall.
With tens of thousands of people crowding, pushing, standing in line to buy sufganiyot, these Arab women found a quiet table in a Mamilla cafe.
Jerusalem’s Old City is an annual best-of Hanukkah. Near Jaffa Gate, the signs were up for special events.
Light projections of a hanukkiah were screened on the wall of the Tower of David.
In the Old City at night, hanukkiot both large
of more modest size are lit outside of homes. These four were in special boxes mounted on the stone wall.
This large hanukkiah was again placed next to the Kotel, the Western Wall.
I tried to get a clear view, but men and boys were posing continuously for photos.
The crowds on the Kotel Plaza, both by day and by night, were impressive.
But crowded or not, wedding photos were taken. Many weddings were held during the busy holiday time, to be celebrated with international guests.
One way to get a view of the Kotel and area is from the Aish HaTorah building. This Happy Chanukah Bear was at the entrance to the rooftop observation deck.
On a street in the Jewish Quarter, there was even a hanukkiah on a bicycle.
If you looked carefully, there was another one on top of the Old City tourist train.
That train cost money to ride, but the shuttle vans from First Station to Old City are free.
They could be the only thing in Jerusalem that runs on time, on the hour, and every 20 minutes.
But they do not make stops, and they go from First Station straight to the gate nearest the Kotel.
Oh, I felt sorry for the tourists from England who found out too late and were taken far away from where they wanted to be.
At First Station, there is a new attraction. Jump Up opened before the holiday season.
With rainy, rainy days of Hanuka and holiday from school, Jump Up should have been really jumping.
The big excitement this Hanuka! Another miracle. The fast train from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was running. It took over 10 years. But the ride was 32 minutes!
Another excitement for Jerusalem residents, one-hour free parking! This sign was posted on the main municipal building below the Mayor’s office.
Perhaps free parking is not the first thing this car owner thinks of?
This orange Lembourgini matched nicely with the graffiti art.
Could it be the priciest Hanukkah gift of all?
Big signs for a new Hanukkah Festival of Lights were displayed around the center of town.
This festival light projection was shining on the yet to open Museum of Tolerance.
Across the way was a new larger than life hanukkiah with music.
A more modest hanukkiah in the Machane Yehudah Market shop had candles burning.
Outside, the rain had kept away the crowds and dampened the streets.
But inside the restaurant was full and candle lighting added to the warm party atmosphere.
At Jerusalem gatherings of all sorts, as this dedication of Studio of Her Own, a women’s art center, candles were lit.
Ah, that first bite on the first night,
or the first light on the first night.
The Greeks are long gone.
The Romans of the Cardo are long gone.
But the Jerusalem streets and crowds at Mamilla Mall on Hanukkah were going strong.
Much more was happening over Hanukkah on the Jerusalem streets.
I hope you enjoyed a few highlights and this the biggest of Jerusalem Holiday of Lights.
Remember last year’s favorites?
Many are the same, to see you can click HERE