Jerusalem Hanukkah New Favorites in 24 Photos

Jerusalem Hanukkah New Favorites in 24 Photos

Hanukkah.

Eight days of Hanukkah in Jerusalem, Israel, are not enough.

With so many things happening, one has to make a list and organize the time carefully.

Lighting the large hanukkiah by the Kotel, the Western Wall, is a popular annual evening event.

New this year, the Prime Minister and US Ambassador conducted a special lighting ceremony,

but it was a very private event on a different hanukkiah, shielded from the heavy rain and curious spectators.

As usual, a large electric hanukkiah was lit each night of Hanukkah over the Knesset.

Hanukia on top of Hadar Mall for sixth night of Hanukkah

New this year was the hanukkiah erected on top of the Hadar Mall in Talpiot.

Advertised as one of the world’s biggest Hanukkah menorahs, it measured 11 meters tall and 56 meters wide.

Man lighting candles at home photo projected on Old City Wall in Jerusalem Israel for Hanukkah

But Hanukkah candles are best lit in the home, as illustrated in this new projection on the Old City walls near Jaffa Gate.

German Menorah from famous photo in Nazi Germany at Yad Vashem in jerusalem

One of the most famous of photos of a Hanukkah menorah hangs on the wall at Yad Vashem, next to the real one displayed in a glass case. It shows a hanukkiah in the city of Kiel, Germany in 1932, with the Nazi flag flying across the street. This hanukkiah is lit each year by members of the family that owned it, its lights burning on after the fall of Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

Jerusalem street Hanukkah menorahs for sale

Before Hanukkah shops featured selections to satisfy every fashion and taste.

Hanukia outside lit for fourth night

On Jerusalem streets one could find a lone hanukkiah lit outside a home,

Yeshiva in Jerusalem with Hanukkah menorahs lit outside

or dozens shining brightly outside a yeshiva dormitory.

Jerusalem Old City man sitting watching Hanukkah lights

The idea is to show, share, and enjoy the lights in celebration of the miracle of Hanukkah.

Hanukkah menorah lit on last night

With a simple hanukkiah at home,

Hanukia at Beit Hanasi preparing for lighting

or a large hanukkiah at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence, Hanukkah was a special time.

The President hosted multiple groups over Hanukkah, morning and night, to join in lighting ceremonies, including groups of Holocaust survivors and children.

Paralympics at Beit Hanasi for Hanukkah ceremony 50 years since Tel Aviv

This Paralympic athlete who was honored to light at one ceremony had a favorite smile.

Jerusalem Israel Yehudah HaMaccabi Street

Did you know Jerusalem has a street named for Judah the Maccabee?

Number 7 Yehuda Hamacabi Street in Jerusalem Israel

On the building at #7 Judah Maccabee Street was this holiday themed graffiti.

Chabad menorah in Mamilla Mall with music and dancing and donuts

Large crowds were found in Mamilla Mall for candle lighting, with music, singing and dancing.

Lighting a large menorah on last night of Chanuka in Jerusalem Israel

The last night of Hanukkah there was a glorious sky at sunset. You see a glimpse of it to the left. We were on our way to one last Hanukkah party in heavy traffic, and slowed to take this photo. Seems like this cyclist stopped as well, along with the cars slowing to watch.

Michael Oren Hanukkah candlelight at Hub Etzion

Missed a great sunset photo, but in spite of traffic made it to Hub Etzion in time for Michael Oren to light the hanukkiah and celebrate at the last Hanukkah party for this year.

Jerusalem Israel Old City walls lit for Hanukkah

In recent years the walls of the Old City were lit up with projections for Hanukkah.

Hanukkah greetings projected on Jerusalem Old City Walls for Hanukkah

This year again a favorite with Hanukkah greetings in multiple languages.

Wall decorated for Hanukkah in Old City near Jaffa Gate jerusalem Israel

Inside the walls by Jaffa Gate, the Old City was the site of a Hanukkalayim Festival.

Hanukkah night festival in Old City

Live performances, music and more lights for Hanukkah.

Glad I went on Wednesday night.

On Thursday it started raining, pouring, and raining some more.

The Bloomfield Science Museum had special Hanukkah fire exhibits and was packed.

Other museums were filled as a day at the zoo was not good option.

Israel Museum with ancient menorahs from synagogues

Going to the Israel Museum had been our original plan.  Viewing menorahs from 4th – 5th century CE in Tiberias, from the Susiya synagogue in the Hebron hills. and from Beit Shean in 5th – 7th century CE, our visit fit the Hanukkah spirit perfectly.

Float in Jerusalem Hanukkah parade with basketball players

Thankfully the weather was perfect for the first Jerusalem Hanukkah Together Parade as it went down King David Street.

Famous balloons did not include Spider-Man, Kung Fu Panda, Anna and Elsa from “Frozen,” Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, and Pokemons, but included “others” and Jerusalem basketball players.

Dreydl played by tow boys on the floor on Hanukkah

Rain was no problem for a serious game of Hanukkah dreidel.

Donuts for Hanukkah

Tons of suffganiot were consumed.

Donuts for Hanukkah in bright colors

These colorful ones were not a favorite, I prefer a fresh, simple glazed donut.

Pomegranate open in Jerusalem market

For those wanting a healthier Hanukkah option, there were these any time favorite pomegranates in Machane Yehuda Market, the shuk.

The hanukkiah on top of Hadar Mall, changed colors in this short video.

The projections on the walls of Old City near Jaffa Gate also need a video presentation to appreciate why it was favorite.

Hanukkah menorah made out of Gaza missiles which land in Sderot on roof of Yeshiva

 

A final favorite hanukkiah is found on top of the Sderot Yeshivat Hesder.

This hanukkiah is made of projectiles fired from Gaza into southern Israel.

Hanukkah lights shone in the dark, from Sderot, from Jerusalem, from Israel,

tens of thousands of burning, shining lights in the night.

Jerusalem Hanukkah Together Parade

Jerusalem Hanukkah Together Parade

I love this time of year in Jerusalem, Israel.

The Hanukkah season.

When the ground turns green with new growth, though the days are noticeably shorter and nights so much longer and colder.

Jerusalem street signs for Hanukkah city of light

New signs pop up and line Jerusalem streets, as these for events in the Old City, City of Lights.

Jerusalem street signs for Hanukkah

For eight days, from December 2-10, Jerusalem is the place to be to celebrate Hanukkah.

Jerusalem street lights with hanukiot lit up for chanuka

This year joining those those familiar street decorations, the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs sponsored something new.

Originally they said it was going to be “like a Macy’s parade.”

Big balloons, big bands, thousands of people marching through the Jerusalem streets, just like down 5th Avenue every Thanksgiving in NYC?

I went early to check out the first ever Jerusalem Hanukkah ‘Together Parade with the Jewish Diaspora’  in the Liberty Bell Park where the parade was to start.

Parade in Jerusalem on Hanukkah preparation

So happy I came in through the parking lot side, as there the balloons were getting pumped up and ready to fly through the sky.

Liberty Bell parking lot before Hanukkah parade

The parking lot was not accessible for vehicles, but perfect for sitting in the pleasant sunshine to enjoy the pre-show prep.

Dave was person who brought balloons to Israel

Dave came from the US, to oversee the technical aspects of his big balloons.

Small world.

Dave and Matt had arrived from their last parade held on Broad Street, in Richmond, VA.

Balloon at start of parade on Hanukkah

These were not the balloons from the Macy’s Parade, but the big ones were indeed big.

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade marchers before walking near First Station

Thousands of students came from around Israel to march in the parade, and were waiting at the start line near First Station.

The problem was that the other people at First Station who were not marching could not get close enough to be spectators.

Ulpan group marching in Jerusalem Hanukkah parade

This parade was for togetherness, Israel and Diaspora, so what better than to have new immigrants who were learning Hebrew in Ulpan participate.

Teveria Ulpan was ready to go and honored to be the first group.

Liberty Bell park scene of Jerusalem Israel Hanukkah parade

Major roads were closed off to vehicles and pedestrians.

Not a good way to make Jerusalem residents feel love for anyone or anything.

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade balloons

Lined up and ready to roll along the Liberty Bell Park, at the 2:00 pm announced starting time.

Grandmaster of Jerusalem Israel first ever Hanukkah parade

US Ambassador David Friedman and Naftali Bennett spoke briefly.

I think Naftali Bennett had the best time, except maybe this young man in the video from Chile and his friends.

A loud popping noise, and blue and white streamers filled the sky.

Bennett and the Friedmans led the way along King David Street as Grand Marshalls.

A video is needed here to share the scene, not exactly 5th Avenue precision.

This together parade was more Israeli style than Macy’s.

Jerusalem basketball players on first float in jerusalem Hanukkah parade

But there was music and a float with Jerusalem basketball stars, including Amar’e Carsares Stoudemire.

Balloon smurf in Jerusalem Israel Hanukkah parade

I kept saying Snoopy by mistake, but I did like this giant smiling smurf.

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade Golden Dragon

The Golden Dragon was  protected and held down by dozens of IDF soldiers.

Jerusalem Israel Hanukkah parade with Muppet Animal

The Muppets Animal was another big balloon held by uniformed soldiers.

No Sesame Street characters did I see in this parade.

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade float

Near the end of the parade was a train engine pulled by a truck with musical performers on top.

Jerusalem Israel Hanukkah parade marchers dressed as clowns giving out candy

My parade favorites were these young people in colorful dress handing out candy,

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade balloons with Israel theme

this tattooed guy, though I have no idea what to call him,

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade balloons

these cute little balloons,

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade balloon of IDF soldier in paratrooper boot making a peace sign

and an IDF soldier in a paratrooper boot making a peace sign.

For a first ever attempt, it was fun bit of time spent on Hanukkah.

The weather in Jerusalem, Israel, was way better for a parade than New York City!

However, the parade was held when most children were in school and couldn’t come to watch.

Here is a short piece near the end of the marchers, oops, the music stopped.

Rather than being for the spectators, this event was more for those participating.

After walking the route to the Sultan’s Pool,

participants were treated to a free performance by Matisyahu.

At least I was able to hand over some candy I received from those clowns to a family arriving after it was all over to sweeten their visit to Jerusalem.

We will have to wait and see if this is to become an annual event.

Happy Hanukkah from Real Jerusalem Streets

There are so very many things happening on the Jerusalem streets on Hanukkah, will share favorites next time.

תנוכה שמח

Happy Hanukkah!

 

Another Round from Gaza

Another Round from Gaza

Jerusalem, Israel, has been under siege the last two weeks, with a battle between Moshe Lion and Ofer Berkovitch for the position of Mayor of Jerusalem.

As of now it appears Moshe Lion has won the election.

A very different battle has been going on in Israel’s south along the Gaza border.

Southern Israel students hold protest near Knesset after walk from Sderot

Hundreds of students from Sderot led the way on a journey to the Rose Garden, across from the Knesset, to protest growing up on the front line of a war zone, and declared: “Let Us Grow Up in Quiet.”

As I wrote last week for 17 years southern Israel has been under attack. 

Ashkelon building hit by rocket where man was killed

After Israel allowed the transfer of $15 million to Hamas from Qatar, a barrage of 500 rockets fell on southern Israel in one day.

This building in Ashkelon took a direct hit.

One man was killed and one woman seriously injured.

Micky Rosenfeld talking to media near building damaged by Hamas rocket

At the site, police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld held interview after interview with the media.

Ashkelon rocket damaged building next to synagogue

But did you see that the building across the way had shrapnel marks?

Damage from rocket in Ashkelon

The heavily damaged building is next door to a synagogue, which like many synagogues in southern Israel is located inside a bomb shelter.

During the barrage of rockets from Gaza, most Israelis huddled in bomb shelters.

Damage in apartment of many killed in Ashkelon by Hamas rocket

This view of the apartment where the man was killed shows part of the destruction.

Damaged building in Ashkelon where man was killed by rocket from Gaza

The kitchen reminded me of the home in Kiryat Malachi in 2012, where 3 people were killed by a Hamas rocket that hit their building during Operation Pillar of Defense. 

Damaged apartment of man killed by rocket hit in Ashkelon

While the apartment in Ashkelon was destroyed, the fish bowl that sat on a shelf and the flat screen TV next to it were unscratched.

Room of Apartment in building damaged by rocket in Ashkelon

Besides the apartment of the dead man, other families in the building were severely affected.

Damage of home ruined by Hamas rocket in Ashkelon

The property loss to the apartments on the side of building that was hit was extensive.

Ashkelon shopping strip near damaged building.

Though restaurants in Sderot without bomb shelters were forced to close, these stores next to the damaged building in Ashkelon were open for business as politicians arrived all day to make statements to the media eager for a story.

The building which took a direct hit with a fatality got a bit of coverage and media interest.

But Ashkelon, a city of 150,000, suffered more damage. After a sleepless night with repeated warnings of incoming rockets, many properties were damaged.

Safe room in Ashkelon home damaged because of Gaza rocket

This safe room saved a family from harm.

They were not directly hit, but a rocket that hit the roof of the building next door caused their windows to shatter.

Take a few minutes and hear a father explain his pain.

Playground in Sderot empty on day of from school because of rocket attack from Gaza

There was no school in the south, but there were no children playing on this Sderot playground.

With the constant rocket barrage, staying in or near a bomb shelter was the only wise thing to do.

MDA in Sderot ready during crisis

Across the street, Yonatan Yagodovsky of MDA first gave us instructions where to go for a red alert. Only afterwards did he describe the work and dedication of MDA over the years, and especially during the last few days.

Scene of fire from gas explosion at Sderot bakery

Sderot took direct hits from from rockets this time. Thanks to the Iron Dome not all rockets from Gaza cause damage.

However, a piece of shrapnel that fell caused a fire at this bakery.

Fire in gas tanks hit by rocket shot down by Iron dome

Deputy Mayor Elad Kalimi told how three gas tanks behind him exploded and destroyed the bakery. It took hours to control the fire.

Kissufim road empty during crisis in southern Israel 500 missiles in one day

Next stop was Kissufim, note how empty the roads were in middle of the day.

Sorry I missed getting a photo of the MDA ambulances parked next to a bomb shelter at a bus stop.

Ambulances were out on the roads ready to roll in an instant, but I saw no military vehicles.

Rocket from Gaza landed between these homes caused damage to trees and homes

Kissufim is a small community near the Gaza border fence.

Over night, a rocket had fallen between this row of homes.

Glass windows were shattered. Shrapnel marks were evident.

Tree branches scattered all around.

There were no serious physical injuries as all stayed in safe rooms.

Baby seat in back of car damaged by Hamas Rocket on Kissufim

At another site on Kissufim, this car window was damaged and the baby seat exposed. Here damage was from shrapnel of a rocket which landed nearby on a pile of mulch.

kissufim home near Gaza border

This is the home next to the damaged car.

500 rockets. Rockets fell on the beach. Rockets fell between houses.

I kept thinking that it was one mini-miracle after another.

Gaza piles garbage near fence with Kissufim

Our guide at Kissufim made sure to point out the mountain of garbage over the border fence, rising from the former flat fertile fields in Gaza.

Bomb shelter on parking lot at Yad Mordechai "this area is not safe"

“This area is not protected” reads the warning not to stand near the opening in this bomb shelter in parking lot of Yad Mordechai.

We missed a red alert warning which went off before we arrived at Kissufim.

As we were to leave from Yad Mordechai, a red alert went off. Instead of running into this dark shelter alone, I headed to the one inside the restaurant where everyone gathered, waited, and then dispersed.

Residents are tired of living on the front lines of an area where they are not protected.

View of Ashkelon near sunset from moving bus

We drove back to Jerusalem, past Kibbutz Saad, past Ashkelon, as the sun set.

Terror. Anger. Frustration. Miracles. Israel.