A friend made heart-shaped challot and arranged flowers
for special Shabbat,
Last night as the sun was setting,
traffic around the Old City was heavy and slow.
Mamilla Mall was crowded with people.
The usually deserted Artists’ Colony was alive for
Hutzot Hayotzer, the annual international arts festival.
Security was tight for this mega rip-off, but hugely popular
international fair of merchandise and food.
This man was taking advantage of the crowds,
hoping to raise money for sick people.
I walked through Teddy Park,
across from the Walls of the Old City, this former No Man’s Land,
packed with people.
I imagine the designer of the special water fountain
thought of it as a place where people would come together,
but this corner as a place for afternoon prayer services?
Jaffa Gate was unusually quiet, the Arab vendors were not around,
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,
like the beauty of Hurva Synagogue as the sun sets,
the Old City views,
and seeing the majesty of the Kotel, the Western Wall, up close.
But my favorite scene was nearby on the Kotel plaza.
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.
All was calm.
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.
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?
Another crazy week trying to keep everything going.
Signs supporting Golani soldiers are appearing
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.
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.
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.
If only they cared for their children as much as we do.
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.
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,
so the daily routine like hanging the washing goes on.
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.
But people are still eating falafel on King George Street.
Jaffa Road towards the Old City,
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,
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.
Jerusalem Cinema City is one popular option for an outing,
being that most of it is safely underground.
But the Bloomfield Science Museum and
Israel Museum also provide fun and educational activities.
And in this crazy upside down time,
last week as planes flew over head in Abu Gosh,
a caterer held a tasting for a dozen August weddings.
We ate it all and keep planning the wedding.
At the same time it is hard to not think about
and thank all our Israeli soldiers,
as friends went to Ashkelon to be with their wounded son,
and another funeral begins.
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.
At a special day camp at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence;
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.
Sorry Hamas, but these ladies do not look afraid of you,
they were looking for shelter from the sun.
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.
This woman went to the grocery store and returned with her cart full.
And this visiting family said they were concerned,
but not so afraid to be here now,
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.)
This woman had her own transportation,
with an Israeli flag and עם ישראל חי sign.
A woman wearing a hijab crossed Azza Street
while at midday two friends met nearby.
Some cafes were almost empty,
but that was because it was a fast day.
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!
בואו נפיץ קצת פרגון! יום פרגון שמח