Colors, Lights, and Highlights it’s Hanukkah Time in Jerusalem

The holiday of Hanukkah is a celebration of miracles and light over darkness.

How does one celebrate a joyous holiday under the cloud of a war when there are too many funerals?

Enjoying the colors in the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens this time of year was a good way to start the week.

The lion on the nearby Jerusalem street was also looking bright and colorful.

The decorative holiday street lights were turned back on.

Posters for holiday events went up along the Jerusalem streets. Notice though it’s Jewish Film Week, the term festival is not used, as it seemed inappropriate in wartime.

Many activities for children are still being offered in the various museums and theaters.

Despite the war, the Sam Spiegel Incubator for International Cinema is to open on December 11, 2023.

It is located in the Beit Ha’am Complex off of Bezalel Street in Jerusalem, not far from Sacher Park.

This is the entrance to the Sam Spiegel building

across the plaza from the Ha’mal Otaf Salon for clothing.

Beautifully displayed clothing of all sizes, donated to be given for free, to any of the people displaced from their homes in the southern Israeli towns, who are being housed in Jerusalem, in private homes of strangers, and 70 Jerusalem hotels.

Volunteers work to make sure everything is organized and presented attractively.

Plus a special children’s corner has games, toys, and books in time for Hanukkah.

Walking by the Jewish Agency building I noticed for the first time that the menorah on the roof is for seven candles, not eight for Hanukkah.

However, there was a Hanukkah menorah, hanukia, outside Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence.

The attached sign explains that this is the hanukia of the Kibbutz Nir Oz dining hall.

Hanukkah at night–these lights inside highlight the numerous decorations on the window.

Jerusalem restaurants often have a hanukia in the window,

as does this beauty shop

and this store in Mamilla Mall.

The big hanukia of Chabad of Talbiya was back in Mamilla Mall with live music planned for each night.

After the hanukia was lit, the lively music was accompanied by singing and dancing.

With a smaller crowd than in past years, sufganiyot, traditional jelly donuts were plentiful.

You did not have to be Jewish to participate, these volunteers came from the US on a mission.

Two men came from Tel Aviv and were having a great time. They were sympathetic when I bit into a donut and realized it was a yucky chocolate in the center, not the anticipated jelly sufgania.

Here was a hanukia in a dreidel, not easy to photograph without reflections of the store signs. It was good to see people enjoying Hanukkah in one of Jerusalem’s tourist attractions.

The walls of the Old City were illuminated with a light projection near Jaffa Gate.

The plaza outside Jaffa Gate was sadly empty for a Hanukkah night. However, it was easier to get a clear shot of the new ‘I love Jerusalem’ hanukia.

Notice the Muslim woman out with her young children in Mamilla Mall. There are fewer Arab shoppers than usual, but even during this wartime, they still come, even after dark at night.

The Michael Levin Base was back at StandWithUs with the Solomon Brothers entertaining the lone soldiers and bnei sherut volunteers with their lively repertoire. Holidays for those without family in Israel can be difficult and being with a group is very important.

The special guest of the evening was Colonel Richard Kemp. If you do not know him, I am a long-time fan, take the time to look him up.

On the way home, I went to check out the lights at the YMCA. I think there are more this year.

People were out Friday in the warm weather, eating and talking at cafes, and preparing for Shabbat.

A hanukiah on the Chabad cars is a sign of the season, but there are way too many Chabad celebrations to attend them all.

Hanukkah Sameach

There were more parties, Hanukkah events, and musical performances, on the first night and every night.

Ready with the extras for our family Hanukkah party planned for tonight.

Best wishes for miracles and lights for Bringing the hostages home now.

With the courage of a lion, we will win.

Happy Hanukkah!

17 thoughts on “Colors, Lights, and Highlights it’s Hanukkah Time in Jerusalem

  • December 10, 2023 at 2:07 pm

    Thank you for this light and hope in the midst of heart break, Sharon…am yisroel chai…

    • December 10, 2023 at 7:20 pm

      Thanks Hannah!

    • December 10, 2023 at 7:21 pm

      Working on more miracles PO. Chodesh tov!

  • December 10, 2023 at 2:22 pm

    Great reporting, as always. Love the pickle menorah – it was a dilly.

    • December 10, 2023 at 7:23 pm

      Always appreciate your witty comments.

  • December 10, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    So much beautiful light to help dispel the darkness a tad. Thank you
    Chanukah sameach. May we have a נס חנוכה!

    • December 10, 2023 at 7:24 pm

      Small lights can make a big difference in the darkest night. Chodesh tov!

  • December 10, 2023 at 11:00 pm

    Thank you Sharon for bringing holiday lights of Jerusalem into our homes. We too celebrated a family Bar Mitzvah last week, a Thursday morning one, in beautiful Medellin Colombia. Plenty of photos. A few hundred Jewish families remain in a city of four million. Now, back in Boca Raton with our immediate family. Chanukah sameach.

    • December 11, 2023 at 5:32 am

      Thank you!
      Mazel tov!
      Thanks for sharing.
      Chanukkah sameach and chodesh tov.

  • December 12, 2023 at 4:22 am

    Sharon, thank you so very much for this – and all – your posts.
    It’s amazing to see how the Israelis are enjoying and celebrating Chanukah despite the war.
    What an amazing people we Jews are! What a resilient population!
    I wish you and your family a safe and Freilichen Chanukah.

    • December 12, 2023 at 5:38 am

      Thank you Ruth – Hanuka Sameach and Hodesh Tov

  • December 15, 2023 at 5:55 am

    “Lights, Camera, and Action!” in Jerusalem, is comprehensively covered by the eyes and ears of @Sharon

    • December 15, 2023 at 6:06 am

      Thanks Naomi, Shabbat Shalom, no cameras and little action is the plan.


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