Museum for Islamic Art: Old and New

 I have walked by the L.A. Mayer Museum for Islamic Art thousands of times,

located near the Jerusalem Theater and Beit Hanasi, 

the Israeli President’s residence.

I was always curious to see what was inside,

but until now I never went in to see.

L.A. has nothing to do with the city in California,

but is short for Leon Aryeh Mayer,

the mentor of museum’s founder, Vera Bryce Salomons,

who wanted to “promote with the Israeli public an interest,

appreciation and understanding of the cultural heritage

and artistic achievements of the Islamic peoples.”

islamic museum

Information on Muhammud’s life, 570 C. E. – 632,

picture of mohamad

and yes,

there were pictures from days long before Charlie.

text museum

Also on display are basic information,

ancient text

 old manuscripts,

book in Islamic Museum

and ancient maps.

This one, much to the delight of a tour group from Indonesia,

was open to a map of Indonesia.

The museum is also home to the

Sir David Salomons Collection of Watches and Clocks.

Sir David was the father of museum founder Vera Salomons.

The fascinating story of the watches being stolen and returned,

and now deposited in a safe room in the Islamic Museum,

 unfolded over decades.

Breguet watch for Marie Antoinette

This is perhaps the most expensive watch in the world,

made by a master craftsman, Abraham-Louis Breguer,

for Queen Marie Antoinette.

It is displayed along with the other clocks and unusual watches.

watchfan

The delicate time piece in this ornate fan,

is the dark rectangle located near the base.

There is also a  room for temporary exhibits,

Islamic Museum

which are often advertised on side of the museum.

donkey exhibit at Islamic museum

Recently it was the “Diary of a Donkey,”

and at present, a different and unusual one,

called “Threatened Beauty.”

Collages by Andi Arnovitz, a Jerusalem artist born in the US,

combine old magazine cut-outs with ancient Persian designs

and watercolors to make her statement.

For example,

Islamic Museum art exhibit

 Arnovitz here explains

“8000 Books,” her new work on the right.

After ISIS destroyed so many valuable old

and irreplaceable manuscripts in Mosul,

she felt compelled to express her distress.

art in Islamic museum

Another example of her art form is “13 Boys.”

13 teenage boys in Mosul, Iraq,

who were murdered by ISIS for the crime of

watching a soccer game between Iraq and Jordan,

thus the soccer ball with red as splashed with their blood.

This exhibit is to stay until the middle of May.

The Islamic Museum has a new director,

which explains the recent expanded publicity.

Though it has been more popular with Arab tourists,

students from Muslim schools,

and second-time Israel visitors,

it is a valuable resource

as it expands its reach in the future.

9 Favorites of Israel Independence Day

Yom Haatzmaut 5775, Israel Independence Day 2015

will be remembered for its wild weather.

It was stormy and windy, rainy and cold in Jerusalem, Israel.

But the favorite flyovers starting

helicopter

with large helicopters flew in spite of the dark clouds,

flyover

while these planes found a time with some blue sky.

smoke from grill

Before noon, smoke rose from the mangals (grills).

blue and white for Israel independence day

A few adventurous families arrived at Gan Sacher, Sacher Park,

prepared with large blue and white plastic hammers and more.

volunteers on Yom Haatzmaut

One family came all the way from New Jersey to

help out with a mangal for the

Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin.

independence day Israel

With fewer people in the park this year,

these sellers of foam spray had to use it up themselves.

blue and white for Yom Haazmaut

Dark clouds were not going to keep these girls away,

gan sacher yom haatzmaut

nor those with the lone soldiers group.

Yom Haatzmaut 5775 100b

Their Israeli flag was easy to find,

lone soldier mangal

along with lots of good food.

What a little rain?

There was no questionn but to go ahead and celebrate.

air show

The afternoon flyovers added to the fun.

Gans sacher on Independence day

There were tall people with kites,

yom haatzmaut

little people with bubbles and flags,

couple in blue and white

and lots of blue and white.

And if not that was enough,

Nachman truck on streets

these vans going around with music blasting

would stop and share their music and dance.

But then,

just as people were groaning that they ate too much,

and getting around to cleaning up,

a rocket was launched from Gaza landing in southern Israel

and exploded.

 Friday morning in Jerusalem,

the lines in supermarkets are long

and supplies of chicken are short.

They keep trying to kill us.

They fail,

We eat.

שבת שלום

Shabbat Shalom.

New for Yom Ha’atzmaut and Yom HaZikaron

“As long as in the heart, within,

A Jewish soul still yearns,

And onward, towards the ends of the east,

An eye still gazes toward Zion.

Our hope is not yet lost,

The hope of two thousand years,

To be a free people in our land,

The land of Zion and Jerusalem.”

On the eve of Yom Hazikaron,

On Israel’s Remembrance Day for Soldiers and Victims of Terror

flame for memorial days Israel

flames are placed high above on many buildings.

It is a Day to Remember  every year.

military grave

 the young lives lost in too many wars.

There will be 23,320 Israeli flags placed,

one for each of those graves in cemeteries

located throughout Israel.

This past year 116 people were added to the list.

 Year after year much is the same,

as the sadness of Yom Hazikaron,

 is then transformed at nightfall into the celebrations of

sign Israel birthday

Israeli Independence Day.

I love the flyovers.

Knesset building with four planes flying near

 Even the dress rehearsal of the planes

woman looking at sky

attracts attention.

But you have to be quick to get a great photo

view of Jerusalem with 4 planes in formation

 and this year a bird got in my way.

Flags and planes are not the only symbols,

as you can see from this large Star of David hanging on the Chord Bridge.

In Israel, and especially in Jerusalem,

where there are so many ceremonies,

it can be hard to decide which one to attend.

 Some are prayer services.

This new Koren Yom Haazma’ut Mahzor,

with over 900 pages

new Koren mahzor

is a far cry from the xeroxed pages that we

used to use for Yom Ha’azmaut services.

This quality volume not only has all the prayer services

with full English translation and explanations,

but also includes services for

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day.

Included in the 248 pages of essays,

are both original writings and some English translations

 of works first published in Hebrew.

The essay “Six Knocks” by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik,

was written for Yom HaAtzmaut 1956,

but all you need to do is change some of the names

and it could have been written today.

This post began with the Koren translation of Hatikva.

It is difficult, even with photos,

to explain,

 year after year,

what happens in Israel on these holidays.

Perhaps this volume will help those in the Anglo world

to better understand the words of Hatikva.

Full disclosure,

I was pleased to see that so many people 

 I know were involved in preparation this book.

חג שמח

Passover in and out of Jerusalem

  Passover time in Jerusalem, Israel,

sees a population exchange.

Many locals rent (or try to rent) their homes

to holiday visitors for large sums,

and go away for the week.

Even more take day or overnight trips

view from park in Zichron

to one of Israel’s amazing nature spots

like this one near Zichron Yaakov in Ramat Hanadiv park.

Estimates were as high as 75,000 people

for Monday morning’s holiday annual

Birchat Kohanim, the Priestly Blessing.

But huge crowds were at

Kotel on Pesach

the Kotel, the Western Wall all day the next day as well.

 Not only were prayer services held at the Kotel and at regular synagogues,

but impromptu minyanim for the afternoon prayers

mincha minyin

sprung up just about everywhere.

people at Tachna

It was good to see First Station busy again,

Luna Park to be built in First Station

but this was the only sign of the new Luna Park.

parking lot Tachanah

The free shuttle bus service was finally being used,

with a full size buse to accommodate the crowds,

in addition to the special vans.

The route was different and it went to a different Old City Gate.

While walking to Kotel, you could see

Silwan

people on top of the Walls looking down at Silwan below.

Street blocked in Old City

Streets were closed and blocked to cars,

 while some places were even blocked to pedestrians.

police block way in Old City

I was not allowed to walk up this alley,

but the guy in white shirt was allowed to smoke.

The closings caused a lot of extra walking for people.

Pesach 5775

This little girl is watching a man from an Arabic tour,

who is taking a video of the hasid, religious Jewish man,

while I was taking photos of the Arabic writing on the back of his vest.

Warm, clear weather was perfect for

crowd Passover Jerusalem

 the large and diverse crowds,

Jaffa Gate plaza view of Tower of DAvid

and for photos in Jerusalem on Passover.

Maimilla Mall on Passover

Mamilla Mall had extra balloon people

and we hear they did a great business.

And of course, there was food.

Parks were filled with picnics and BBQ grills,

and the sky filled with smoke.

Many food places were closed for the holiday.

The ones that were open did just about anything with potatoes.

Peasch Potato Pizza

 However,

this pizza did not seem to be too popular

with one young family.

But, always popular

is the holiday greeting on Jerusalem buses,

Happy and Kosher passover

Happy and Kosher Passover.

New Color in Jerusalem

Passover preparations and Israeli children

  being out of school on vacation all week,

plus the arrival of holiday visitors,

are keeping people very busy.

The 120 members of the 20th Israeli Knesset

were sworn in yesterday,

and then they all went on a month long recess.

There were two special ribbon cutting events

that I want to make sure you know about.

Sunday was the special launch of an

 environmental program called the “Green Knesset.”

The dairy cafeteria inside the Knesset building has

image Knesset inside

 large windows to let sun in to heat the room and floor,

and special shading to keep heat from sun out in summer.

But now the “Green Knesset” has added

image bins to recycle bottles

special bins for recycling,

and at meetings water will no longer be served in bottles,

 saving 60,000 plastic bottles per year.

Water, paper and electricity are to be conserved.

No more large mountains of paper for the budget,

as each member will get a disk on key instead.

Those responsible for the first stage of the

 sustainability project gathered together on the Knesset roof.

image Yuli Edelstiein and other dignitaries at Kneset

 Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein, smiling on the left side,

was the featured speaker

Israel Knesset building

and was honored to cut the ribbon on the roof

roof of Israel Knesset solar panel field

in the middle of the 1,406 solar panel field.

The next day a very different green project was opened,

the Jerusalem, Israel, nature reserve – the Gazelle Park.

opening Gazelle Valley nature park

The area where gazelles had roamed free,

did not go to real estate developers,

Jerusalem, Israel new park large water area

but back to nature and the people.

On opening day, thousands of all ages attended,

walking trail in Deer Valley Park

 walking nature trails,

Jerusalem Israel park

and listening to stories near the restored Orchard site.

sign in Valley of Gazelle water system

The water system is designed to sustain the plant and animal life.

Green spot in Jerusalem, Israel

In Israel, the end of winter means green grass,

dotted with colored wild flowers.

gazelle puppet on opening day of Gazelle Park

This was the only gazelle I saw on opening day,

but real ones are to have an area in which to roam free once again.

Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat smiling with children taking photos

Mayor Nir Barkat was smiling and posing for photos,

Nechama Rivlin cuts ribbon at Gazelle Park

and the ribbon was cut by First Lady Nechama Rivlin.

large nature park in Jerusalem, Israel

This Passover one does not have to drive or sit in car for hours to visit a park,

as the nature reserve is large, free to the public,

and open from 7:00 am to dark, 7 days a week.

Gazelle Valley 302b

Happy Spring Holiday.

פסח שמח

Happy Passover!

Israeli Opera in Jerusalem Shuk

When Shakespeare wrote

that ‘the whole world is a stage,’

Israel opera singer at cheese shop in shuk

somehow I do not think a cheese shop

opera singer

or fruit and vegetable stand was what he had in mind.

However, the Israeli Opera had

Israel opera singers

performers in Machane Yehuda Market,

the shuk on Monday singing arias.

picture nut selling stall in shuk

The man selling nuts was smiling,

vegetables in market

as was the green grocer across the way.

So was I after they found my cell phone.

Trying to get a good shot with so many photographers

pushing in the crowded and narrow alleyways,

I almost lost my phone there.

Israel opera singer

There was more than one place used as a stage,

performance Israel opera in shuk

 some shoppers were determined to keep going,

man in shuk who sang for the Israeli opera singers

while others in the market became part of the show.

Israel opera couple perform in shuk

“L’elisir d’amore” by Gaetnao Donizetti

is to be performed in the Sultan’s Pool the end of June,

and some Jerusalem shoppers got a preview.

As cameras rolled,

image Israel opera singer uses girl in crowd in act

one girl in the crowd was serenaded to by this opera singer,

but after an hour the surprise show was over,

fresh garlic piled high in the shuk

and it was back to time for holiday preparations.

people shopping for fresh garlic

Mountains of fresh garlic have arrived in the shuk

shuk vegetable display

and piles of fresh fruits and vegetable are ready,

fresh fish stall in market

and one fresh fish store was really popular.

I loved this sign,

ready for Passover in machane yehuda

this store is ready for Passover and

NO ONE is to bring in anything that is not for Passover.

Now if only my house was nearly as ready.