Shabbat Shalom

Today the sky is clear and blue,

but there were great wispy clouds earlier this week.

One night on Facebook,

there was photo after photo of pink clouds at sunset.

Missed seeing that,

image of Bridge of Chords in jerusalem

but this view from under the Bridge of Strings,

is special enough for

שבת שלום

Shabbat shalom.

Jerusalem after Rain, Violence, and Politics

First it was the pouring rain that kept people off the streets.

Then the headlines of stabbings and violence

 kept the Jerusalem, Israel, streets quieter.

Yesterday there was a double stabbing in a supermarket,

one in which Arabs work and shop along with Jews every day.

image jerusalem street

But when the heavy rains stopped and skies cleared,

people were still going to Ben Yehudah Mall.

image school Israel

At the gated and guarded campus of the religious college Machon Lev,

young men went to study science and technical courses.

image park

Gan Ha’atzmaut, Independence Park,

was a vision of tranquility.

cleared land for new libraty

And after the rain, green covered the cleared plot of land

for the new National Library building,

with the Knesset in the background across the street.

And a little further down on the side of the busy road,

man next to van putting on tefillin

a man was getting ready to recite his morning prayers.

Begin Highway

 Traffic was light on the Begin Highway,

building

but clouds were heavy in sky above.

Not all was violent on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

However, going back to biblical times,

there have been stories of abuse and violence,

even within the Jewish community.

This week over three very full days,

hotel lobby

an International Conference was held dealing with those issues.

Hopefully this gathering of professionals and rabbis,

will be an important step on the way to reducing abuse and violence,

at least in some Jewish communities.

Hebrew sign

Meanwhile, a new music festival is planned on Gaza,

Azza Street that is.

It is called Go to Azza,

with music and arts for young people.

Now that should be something to see.

And remember,

tonight is the start of Hamshushalayim,

photo sign colorful

hundreds of Jerusalem events and locations

over long weekends this month

at reduced prices.

Violence and politics, but much more too.

Hanukkah Lights are Up

  Election politics are filling the airways and newscasts,

Hamukkah in Israel

but the Hanukkah lights

are up along major roads in Jerusalem, Israel,

I think many prefer those lights to new election.

Balancing on a Tightrope

We moved to Jerusalem, Israel in August,

that hot time of year when the windows are open all night.

For weeks, when I heard noises in the night of firecrackers and gun shots,

I would run to the window to see what was happening:

another Arab wedding, another party, another random celebration.

It took awhile, but I eventually stopped listening and looking.

On Friday night there were noises again,

but this time I got up out of bed to look.

I saw nothing, all was quiet.

Around Israel 6 people have been killed in less than a month,

by the terrible “car intifada” and “knife intifada” attacks.

I try not to be political here at RJS,

but incitement has been fueled and fed for a long time.

However,

image sunny day in Jerusalem  Israel

most of Jerusalem is quiet

Yet everyone is watching carefully for what could be next.

image Tzomat Hagush bus stop

This man dressed in white at Tzomet Hagush bus stop

got more than a second glance from a passing police car.

Last Friday Abu Mazen called for a “Day of Rage.”

image men playing music on street

But the music for Einstein on Azza played on,

as hundreds of people listened to university lectures

and gathered in restaurants,

image people at street cafe

including music at this location, 100 meters from the Prime Minister’s residence,

where 11 people were killed and 54 injured

by a suicide bomber in 2002.

image boys window shopping in Mamilla Mall

In Mamilla Mall you could window shop and dream.

image people walking to old city by Jaffa gate

 Jaffa Gate looked the same,

only the beigele sellers were missing.

people walking in old city

Inside Jaffa Gate people were out,

image going into arab shuk

with extra security entering the Arab shuk.

Image western wall plaza entrance

But huge  protests and rage were hard to find,

as this security team was more interested in checking their cell hones.

image Kossel plaza

Certainly police and lots of other security personnel were visible

around the Western Wall plaza.

image women in colorful clothing at kotel

Fewer visitors made it easier to get a place to pray by the Wall.

I heard noises coming from Silwan,

image Arab boy on roof top

and found boys on the roof tops looking for the source:

firecrackers, tear gas shots or real bullets?

But there were no reports of serious incidents there.

Perfect weather in the fall is the time to be outside,

and not inside these old stone buildings that do not warm up.

image Liberty Bell Park

The Liberty Bell Park was empty.

Usually on Fridays the park is filled with Arab families picnicking,

image a bird in empty Gan Paamon playground

and the playground filled with Arab women and children.

They should be raging – that they are stuck inside on a glorious day,

leaving the playground for the birds.

image new Hebrew sign

In Jerusalem, there is a new cinema,

image Jerusalem road

new roads,

image Jerusalem new bridge at Malha Mall

 new walkway to cross from Malha Mall to Teddy Stadium,

image new park in Jerusalem

and new park nearby under construction.

image oud festival

And now is the annual Oud Festival time celebrating Arab music.

Today I followed two young men speaking Arabic.

They went into same building I did, to their bank.

One was wearing an Israeli army backpack.

image of Hebrew sign

Signs celebrating “Aliyah for Everyone ” are up near the Jerusalem Theater.

New immigrants are arriving in November,

to add the the strange mix of old and new that is Jerusalem, Israel.