Jerusalem Continues in Critical Coronavirus Crisis

What a week it was in Jerusalem, Israel!

Only a week ago it was Purim,  however, it feels like ages ago.

In the past week, couples have gotten married on rooftops and had their wedding photos taken in supermarkets.

The courtyard outside Mercaz Harav Yeshiva was scene of a wedding ceremony with two young men on each balcony watching, singing, and dancing, to keep within the limits of “social distancing.”

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion offered his office as a location for weddings as wedding halls were closed. Two couples took advantage last night, and received free canapes as a bonus.

With the canceling of educational programs, thousands of overseas students are being evicted from their dorm rooms and searching for the fastest flight home.

Meanwhile, olim, new Israeli residents are still arriving daily. They are going from the airport into 14 days of self-isolation, as are all overseas arrivals.

Western Wall Heritage Foundation image of Kotel with separation between people during coronavirus

One of the most popular images this week was sent out by the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, of morning prayers at the Kotel, where social distancing was enforced. Later that day scaled-down Bar Mitzvah celebrations were held.

Babies are being born. People are dying. Life is proceeding at a much slower pace in Jerusalem and around the world.

Cable TV offered suggestions on what to watch and what NOT to watch during COVID-19.

After days of cold rain and fog, on Monday the sun came out in Jerusalem, Israel.

People walking on Valley of Cross path in Jerusalem Israel

After days indoors, I thought I would take a short walk in the sunshine.

In Israel Sunday is a regular workday, and for a change it felt like a Sunday elsewhere.

My usual empty nature paths were not empty, so I took a different path.

Corona but runners out on Jerusalem Israel street

The Jerusalem Marathon was postponed until November, but my friends I see every year were out running.

Sign in Jerusalem to keep the streets clean

Keep Jerusalem clean signs have taken the place of upcoming events announcements, all canceled or postponed.

Valley of Cross park in Jerusalem in spring

But on Monday, families enjoyed nature walks,

Father and son riding bicycles

and cyclists had clear footpaths to ride on.

School closed for coronavirus in Jerusalem

Schools were closed. “I’m studying” advertises for an alcohol-free drink – at home.

Valley of Cross in Jerusalem walking path

Whoever thought Monday-felt-like-Sunday days would continue was disappointed with the latest announcement from the Prime Minister.

“I ask you not to leave your homes and stay inside as much as possible. At the moment, I say this as a recommendation. It is still not a directive but that can change. What I am asking you today is to reduce your going out to what is essential. I assume that you are familiar with the English saying ‘My home is my castle.’ I ask that you adopt exactly this. Your homes are your castles for protection against the Coronavirus, on condition that you also act responsibly at home. Then stay home.”

Jerusalem woman wearing gloves as she sits and read the paper at Gan Sacher

On Monday,  this woman was wearing gloves while reading the paper outdoors.

Projection of Italian flag on Old City Walls Jerusalem is with Italy, screen shot from Twitter Yuval Rotem

Jerusalem Old City walls were lit with a message for Italians.

Albert Einstein Square in Jerusalem Israel

I think most people overlooked Pi Day this year, celebrated on March 14th, also Albert Einstein’s birth date in 1879. I did not go to Albert Einstein Square this year but posted an old photograph.

Mezuzah on door of plant nursery connected to new restaurant at Jerusalem Botanical Gardens

There is a new restaurant near the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens.

Nursery for plants in Jerusalem

Next to it is a plant nursery, so glad we went before all the restaurants were forced to close this week and only offer takeout or delivery.

Jerusalem Israel Hebrew poster for Arts and Brain Festival at Cinematheque

Big signs have been posted, but theaters are closed, so the annual Art and Brain Week March 21-28 at Cinematheque with Hebrew University Brain Studies will not be presented as usual.

French Film Festival and Art and Brain week at Jerusalem Cinematheque

The French Film Festival was also at the Cinematheque.

Yad Vashem and Jerusalem’s museums are closed.

Structure for Yom Haatzmaut at Har Herzl seen at night

Memorial ceremonies in April, at the Kotel and Har Herzl, will not proceed with the large audiences. We saw the event set-up already under construction. Last week we wondered how families would get to graves as usual on Yom HaZikaron, Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror, as the cemetery was undergoing a major renovation. Now this annual huge gathering was announced not to happen.

Jerusalem Israel Valley of Cross

The hills and valleys of Jerusalem were alive with the sounds of children’s voices.

Jerusalem Israel fog thick no visibility

Now the stormy weather and increased measures will keep children inside.

Plus increased warnings will keep children also away from older relatives.

Israelis who were at the AIPAC conference in the US came home to isolation.

But Israelis show remarkable resilience – one example:  HERE

And, I want to leave you with a positive image.

Flowers from rock in Jerusalem

As every year, the flowers have burst forth through the ancient Jerusalem stones.

Construction work has not halted.

Work is set to continue under new regulations.

Much more will be happening on the Jerusalem streets.

17 thoughts on “Jerusalem Continues in Critical Coronavirus Crisis

  • March 18, 2020 at 10:40 am

    What a wonderful post.. Thank you!

    • March 18, 2020 at 11:03 am

      Thank you, your positive comment is greatly appreciated!

  • March 18, 2020 at 10:53 am

    thank You Sharon for sharing some much needed sunshine!!!!

    • March 18, 2020 at 11:03 am

      Thanks, I think it is time to use the Aquarium photos next week?

    • March 19, 2020 at 9:21 am

      Yes, thousands, off the record impressive 5 digit number, were given special work permits. You will see photos with big bags crossing. They are employers responsibility to house for 2 months or more depending on situation of border closures. I had construction photos but did not post this time.

  • March 18, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    Thank you SHARON. We’re all getting back to basics, home and family. And we are all in Hashems hands, now and always.

    • March 19, 2020 at 9:22 am

      Stay safe and healthy. Shabbat shalom

  • March 18, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    Thank you , Sharon, for being our eyes and ears in Jerusalem..always, but especially now.

    • March 19, 2020 at 9:22 am

      Thank you, Audrey,encouragement is always welcome!

  • March 18, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    Beautiful, upbeat, hopeful post. Thank you!

    • March 19, 2020 at 9:23 am

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. Hope we can meet up for coffee, tea or soup soon. Shabbat Shalom

  • March 18, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    The photo of social distancing at the Kotel really got me. We’re all in this together, Sharon. Davening for you there as you daven for us here, please!

  • March 24, 2020 at 6:35 am

    Beautiful, beautiful post!

    • March 24, 2020 at 6:39 am

      Thank you. Thank you.


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