In Jerusalem, Life After All

Some weeks are easier than others to find good news to share from the Jerusalem streets.

Within 1000 steps from where I live in Jerusalem, Israel, four families have lost their sons in battle since October 7. This week another 15 young men lost their lives fighting for Israel.

The reclaimed President’s Hotel has regular dance classes. The music can be heard in the evening.

Inside there were few people, but the art exhibit, “Life, After All,” lined the walls.

At Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence, the Jerusalem Unity Prize awards were presented

The Jerusalem Prize for the Unity of Israel was initiated by the Yifrach, Shaer, and Fraenkel families with former Jerusalem Mayor MK Nir Barkat, stemming from the deep sense of unity felt throughout Israeli society and the Jewish Diaspora following the kidnapping and murder of their sons Eyal, Gil-Ad, and Naftali in the summer of 2014.

Ten years have passed, and the families have pursued life after their tragedy.

Knesset members were in attendance, even though they were not called to speak.

On most occasions in Jerusalem, a yellow chair stands empty ready for hostages to return.

In time for Shavuot, the Chabad House of Rechavia led by Rabbi Yisroel Goldberg celebrated their new location, with Rabbi Meir Goldwicht as guest speaker.

On Shavuot night, the list of locations and speakers all night long was way too long to list.

Then at dawn, tens of thousands of people walked to the Kotel, Western Wall, to pray.

The Jewish Agency Building was lit with a special Happy Holiday Shavuot message.

Signs are up for the annual June Shavuah Hasafer, Hebrew Book Week.

The Eid al-Adha the Muslim holiday, “Feast of Sacrifice” is on Sunday through Thursday, June 19, 2024.

The government announced an extension for residents who have been evacuated from their homes, in the hotels and temporary housing solutions, financed by the state, until 15 August 2024.

As life goes on, even as the war in Gaza goes on, the northern front continues to escalate and businesses have suffered greatly. The OU Israel hosted a successful fair for businesses before Shavuot.

Israeli Lebanese border wall section painted

With the attacks by Hezbollah from Lebanon increasing, it seemed like a good time to go back and look at a trip to the northern border 4 years ago, Israel’s Northern Exposure. The only thing that has changed is that those tens of thousands of residents have been out of their homes for over 8 months.

Man on Lebanese border with Israel

Oh, and missiles, rockets, and deadly drones are being shot at Israelis rather than photographs.

The funeral of Eliyahu Moshe Shlomo Zimbalist לוויה של אליהו משה שלמה was on one of the hottest days of the year. Har Herzl has seen too many fallen soldiers whose families will have the task of going on after the loss of the finest these past months.

May their memories be a blessing

May we see joy, music, and life return to the Jerusalem streets.

10 thoughts on “In Jerusalem, Life After All

  • June 16, 2024 at 12:12 pm

    Our granddaughter received her siddur this week at Maamad Harova in Jerusalem.

    Hopefully going up to Har Sinai on Shavuous (my husband Nehemia Polen, was guest lecturer at the Caelebach shul for Shavuous) and singing spiritually uplifting niggunim with Chazzan Yehuda Green coupled with my granddaughter davening for peace from her new siddur and the priestly blessing we read about in Naso this last Shabbos will help Israel be victorious against its enemies very soon without losing any more of our finest soldiers.

    We hope to be in Jerusalem June 24th.

    • June 16, 2024 at 3:38 pm

      Beautiful comment-thank you. Yes, I saw photos from your husband’s book launch this week, as one of the old photos that came with the new ones.

  • June 16, 2024 at 4:11 pm

    יום הולדת שמח

    wishes for comfort for you, Sharon, your husband and family and your friends…your losses are great…it is very sad times…may a true and lasting peace come soon…

    • June 16, 2024 at 6:01 pm

      Thank you Hannah, your support means more than you know.

  • June 17, 2024 at 12:37 am

    Thank you, Sharon. Very powerful photos and comments.

    • June 17, 2024 at 3:35 am

      Thanks Nancy

  • June 17, 2024 at 11:22 pm

    Belated birthday wishes, Sharon. May next year’s (and every one after) be all happiness and B’surot Tovot.

    • June 18, 2024 at 3:58 am

      Thank you,

  • July 1, 2024 at 1:49 pm

    Very beatiful pictures!

    • July 2, 2024 at 8:12 am

      Thank you Ralph


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