Imagine the sun shining this morning over the Jerusalem streets.
After a gloomy Shabbat with grey Jerusalem skies and light rain in the afternoon, with flooding in parts of Israel, the warmth and light and blue sky were most welcome.
No matter how fleeting, and now back to grey and cold.
The clouds were reflected in the Israeli Museum’s “Upside Down World.”
The Israel Museum opened up – again – as coronavirus restrictions changed and allowed small groups inside the museum gates.
The nature trails near the Israel Museum have turned lush and green.
This scene is not the Jerusalem Forest, but minutes below the Israel Museum above the Valley of the Cross.
As the nature trails have become more popular, it was time to return to the Jerusalem streets to see what was happening.
A favorite sign of Hanukkah in Jerusalem are the lights over the streets.
These new ones line Herzog Street, but I have yet to find them lit at night.
It is interesting that the Jerusalem street lights along King David Street are different than others.
The holiday decorations were up at the YMCA on King David Street as usual.
It was sad to see so many of the stores on the street empty and for rent.
Maybe not such a bad time to close King David Street for repairs. Signs are up notifying the public–for the next year King David Street will be closed and buses will be rerouted.
At least drivers on King David Street have been given notice, smaller Jerusalem streets under construction are just blocked.
Cars enter, and have to turn around and try another way.
The Jerusalem Theater is still closed with all performances online, but outside there’s social distanced seating available on the plaza.
The 29th Jerusalem Puppet Festival is to be held online December 13-17 and in the Liberty Bell Park Train Theater.
However, the new theater did not look ready for performances last week.
Signs were up for the 37th Jerusalem Film Festival to run from December 10-20 online. In days of live events, this festival was held in the summer.
The Cinematheque near the elevator access was quiet on Friday.
This is a favorite view of the Old City over the Sultan’s Pool that I like to share with visitors to Jerusalem. The scene was as impressive as ever.
President Rivlin is to participate in the Jerusalem Film Festival opening ceremony to be held with limited numbers at the Jerusalem Cinematheque and broadcast online.
In the past, the big opening event was held in the Sultan’s Pool with international celebrities attending and an Israeli audience in the huge stories-high viewing stands.
There were changing colors in The Hinon Valley below the Cinematheque, but very few people were there even in the pleasant weather.
With few, if any live events, the advertising boards have been empty of new ads for several weeks. Life cycle events of weddings and funerals have been live-streamed due to the coronavirus, but for families with new babies born, there were ads for special birth rooms for the new mothers.
Then this week, new signs were posted.
Jerusalem municipal elections are to be held on December 22, 2020, postponed from November, and only five years late, in eight community councils: Homat Shmuel, Gonenim, Ginot Ha’ir, Baka, Beit Safafa, Pisgat Ze’ev, Bayit Vegan, and Eshkolot.
November 30, was the chosen date to remember the Jews forced from Arab lands. One interesting lesser-known Jerusalem museum, the Worldwide North Africa Jewish Heritage Center, is closed now but was an interesting venue last year for the Jerusalem Biennale. Last year? Feels so long ago!
The art, culture, and music festivals have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. But the protesters near the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem have made themselves at home along the street for months.
Paris Square has new signs and is quieter during the day. The Kings Hotel and other Jerusalem hotels are closed. Sad to see those balcony flower pots with dead plants instead of filled with bright red flowers to welcome guests.
Going past the Netanyahu family home, a new security watch box has been built. Looks like Prime Minister might be planning to relocate to a different Jerusalem street in the future.
I doubt whether they will have the same front porch garden, but a bit of colorful corona humor, a masked garden gnome.
Who would have imagined any of this last year Hanukkah time?
So back to nature, to leave you with the impressive changing Jerusalem skyline, under a pastel sky,
and white billowing clouds against a bright blue December sky.
It’s been a great time to be able to get out and walk in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, and on the Jerusalem streets before the winter rains.
Hard to believe Hanukkah starts on Thursday night.
Take care and stay well.
Let’s hope we can all celebrate holidays together next year in Jerusalem.