Beautiful Jerusalem Scenes then Rocket Siren

Last night as the sun was setting,

traffic around the Old City was heavy and slow.

image of crowd at Mamilla Mall

Mamilla Mall was crowded with people.

image Jerusalem toursists

The usually deserted Artists’ Colony was alive for

   Hutzot Hayotzer, the annual international arts festival.

016b Teddy Park

Security was tight for this mega rip-off, but hugely popular

image International arts fair

international fair of merchandise and food.

020b fund raising by sitting on street

This man was taking advantage of the crowds,

hoping to raise money for sick people.

 I walked through Teddy Park,

image Teddy Park Jerusalem

across from the Walls of the Old City, this former No Man’s Land,

image Jerusalem Park

 packed with people.

I imagine the designer of the special water fountain

036b  Water fountain at Teddy Park

thought of it as  a place where people would come together,

image mincha outside

but this corner as a place for afternoon prayer services?

image Jaffa GAte

Jaffa Gate was unusually quiet, the Arab vendors were not around,

image Arab market

and one of the major gifts shops was closed.

Israelis were out to enjoy the last of summer evenings,

but tourists have been scared away this summer.

Too bad they are missing the sights,

image Dome of Hurva Synagogue

like the beauty of  Hurva Synagogue as the sun sets,

Jerusalem at sunset

the Old City views,

image Kosel, photo Western WAll, picture Kossel

and seeing the majesty of the Kotel, the Western Wall, up close.

But my favorite scene was nearby on the Kotel plaza.

image Israeli soldier at western wall

A soldier just back from reserve duty, still wearing his gun,

had come to the Kotel with his young family.

He was surrounded by young admirers.

Perfect weather.

All was calm.

But,

Hamas broke a cease-fire for the 11th time,

and for the second day in a row southern Israel

was pounded by rockets and mortars from Gaza.

Then,

last night the warning siren went off

as we were on way home from the Old City.

We had to get out of  the car

and run to stand near a wall with no glass windows.

We then heard a boom in the distance.

It was a quiet street, with nothing special to photograph.

But the family members who were at the Kotel,

had to first go up against the wall,

then were sent into the tunnels to wait out the ten minutes.

Hamas was trying to hit Jerusalem, Israel,

with their rockets…again.

100 rockets launched at southern Israel since midnight

and 30 targets attacked in Strip overnight,

for way too many sleepless nights.

Rocket sirens now in Beer Sheva,

too many places to list.

How did so many thousands of rockets get into Gaza?

How did so little else get accomplished by Hamas?

Week 3: Crazy Times of War and Weddings

   Another crazy week trying to keep everything going.

image Golani soldier support

Signs supporting Golani soldiers are appearing

image Israeli flag

and Israeli flags are flying, with more out every day.

Israel is under threat.

Those tunnels from Gaza into Israel have proven deadly,

and last night five young soldiers were killed in Israel

by terrorists emerging from the ground near a kibbutz.

The tunnels have to be destroyed.

Meanwhile, countless missions, private and public,

are driving south to give food and personal items to

reserve soldiers who are on duty.

Family members have gone to visit my son-in-law more than once.

Even an unexpected call from a soldier can take a few minutes to appreciate,

after the ‘what is wrong’  feeling is over.

Everyone wants to do something, give money, bake, cook,

but there was one unusual “war effort” I had to go check out and share.

story teller

Morah Roc is a professional story teller.

She offered to entertain children one afternoon,

with all the donations going to a good cause

to support those affected by the situation.

image sign in Hebrew

Signs are up for the annual International Puppet Festival in August

and we continue to plan for our August wedding.

This evening there is a funeral at Mount Herzl Military Cemetery

for a soldier from our synagogue,

and at the same time, the Great Synagogue is holding

the shloshim (30 days of mourning) observance for Eyal, Gilad and Naftali.

At this roller coaster time, we often think of  words of Golda Meir.

image child sitting on floor

If only they cared for their children as much as we do.

Embedded image permalink

Two soldiers on reserve duty get engaged,

and there is another wedding to plan.

It’s good to have good news to share,

even as more rockets are fired at southern civilians.

Shabbat Shalom

Quietly the 10th President of Israel was sworn in July 24, 2014.

Flying outside Beit Hanasi, the official President’s residence,

the new home of Reuven Rivlin,

along with Israeli and Jerusalem flags, are those of Zahal,

the Israel Defense force of Israel.

image IDF flag handing in Jerusalem, Israel

 Wishing all a Shabbat shalom.

12 Jerusalem Scenes with Israel Under Fire

Israel is under fire.

Southern Israel has been getting hit for over 10 years

and people always said “wait till the rockets hit Tel Aviv!”

Well, rockets from Gaza have hit Tel Aviv.

Again and again people run to bomb shelters after the sirens.

 Operation Protective Edge is going into a third week.

In Jerusalem, Israel we have had “only” a few sirens,

image washing hanging out

so the daily routine like hanging the washing goes on.

image getting ready for school

Fall school supplies are ready in shops, though there are very few shopping for the fall.

Some tourists are cancelling their trips,

 ElAl has room to spread out on their flights and thanks those who fly with them.

people eating out doors

But people are still eating falafel on King George Street.

image light rail and Jaffa Street

 Jaffa Road towards the Old City,

image Jaffa Road

and towards Machane Yehuda Market, the shuk,

looks the same minus lots of Arab women shopping,

but it is the month of Ramadan and they are fasting month and it is hot.

 I did spot one interesting couple,

image Arab girl, photo Muslim couple Palestine

I had to get a good photo of those shoes.

Everyone knows someone who has been called up for duty,

and my son-in-law has been on the Egyptian border

on reserve duty for over two weeks.

Like so many other young mothers, my daughter is trying to manage

with her children out of school, work and appointments…

and how to get to them all to a bomb shelter

when there is a siren warning of incoming rockets.

inside Jerusalem Cinema City

Jerusalem Cinema City is one popular option for an outing,

being that most of it is safely underground.

children doing water play

But the Bloomfield Science Museum and

Israel Museum

 Israel Museum also provide fun and educational activities.

And in this crazy upside down time,

image outdoor party

last week as planes flew over head in Abu Gosh,

a caterer held a tasting for a dozen August weddings.

image party over

We ate it all and keep planning the wedding.

At the same time it is hard to not think about

image Israeli soldiers

and thank all our Israeli soldiers,

as friends went to Ashkelon to be with their wounded son,

and another funeral begins.

Ceasefire? #Firgun Day from Jerusalem

Cease fire?

Israel ceases.

Hamas keeps firing.

Firing so many rockets,

it was impossible to catch all the names of the locations.

Israel was still under fire,

50 rockets in 6 hours to which Israel did NOT respond.

The photos posted by Arab propaganda have featured

wailing women and blood covered babies.

Of course many of them are from Syria.

There’s one with a baby in a wool winter hat and a heavy sweater,

in the heat of this past week a baby dressed like that

would have died from heat stroke.

Not gory enough? Now they are using

scenes from Hollywood horror movies.

While damage has been limited, all of Israel has been affected.

Thousands of children were brought to Jerusalem from southern Israel for fun days,

and large groups were hosted at the Knesset and Israel Museum.

image children running

 At a special day camp at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence;

Shimon Peres with children in Beit Hanasi

President Shimon Peres sat with a group from Kibbutz Saad.

I went to see what was really happening on the Jerusalem, Israel streets,

instead of staying in and listening to all the alerts today.

image women sitting in shade

Sorry Hamas, but these ladies do not look afraid of you,

image two women sitting on bench in jerusalem

they were looking for shelter from the sun.

two women sitting in shade in Jerusalem, israel

As were my friends who were sitting and talking near a main street.

The big trend on the Jerusalem, Israel streets was staying in the shade.

Not so great for photos, but the cool breeze was nice.

image Jerusalem Street scene

This woman went to the grocery store and returned with her cart full.

image young family in Jerusalem

And this visiting family said they were concerned,

but not so afraid to be here now,

image Jerusalem, Israel taxi

their taxi arrived and they were off for a fun day.

What a different perspective one has when you arer here,

than that of concerned parents watching from overseas.

(I did love finding out that her family were our old neighbors.)

image transportation Jerusalem

This woman had her own transportation,

with an Israeli flag and עם ישראל חי sign.

Arab woman Jerusalem,

A woman wearing a hijab crossed Azza Street

image two friends meeting.

 while at midday two friends met nearby.

Some cafes were almost empty,

but that was because it was a fast day.

image woman walking with cane, photo Jerusalem street scene

Just another ol’ day on the Jerusalem, Israel streets,

not newsworthy with no violence,

after the sirens and rockets of last week, we hope it stays that way.

The Hamas rockets have hit Arab houses in Hebron,

injured Bedouin girls near Beer Sheva,

and knocked out their own electricity.

Each rocket aimed at civilians is a war crime.

All of this must stop.

But as always there is something more…

coming from Jerusalem, Israel.

(please let me know if you hear it here first.)

The International #FirgunDay is on July 17th,

and you are invited to join from anywhere in the world!

Firgun (pronounced FEER-GOON, פרגון)

is a Hebrew word that means a compliment

or act of kindness performed solely to make another person feel good

and without any intention to get something in return.

What do you do on #FirgunDay?

 Pick a person or organization which you find inspiring and worth a “Firgun.”

Post on Facebook, twitter, instagram, or any other social media

 and explain why that was your choice.

Don’t forget to add the #FirgunDay hashtag!

 Help spread the #FirgunDay love and share with your friends,

so they can post there own #Firgun, making another person happy!

Happy #FirgunDay!

בואו נפיץ קצת פרגון! יום פרגון שמח