Yom Kippur in Jerusalem with Avinu Malkeinu

Yom Kippur in Jerusalem with Avinu Malkeinu

Where to go in Jerusalem, Israel for Selihot, special prayers said late at night or early in morning before Yom Kippur, gets to be a bigger problem every year as the number of options goes up.

Tens of thousands as usual gathered at the Kotel, Western WallHowever, true numbers are impossible to calculate, as people were turned away, the area was so crowded.

Hundreds were at First Station for musical Selihot. Even the Israel Museum hosted a special late Thursday night event.

Selichos at Government Square in Jerusalem Israel

From small synagogues, to the huge stage in Kikar Safra, Government Square, the options for Selihot and holiday musical programs seemed endless, religious and secular.

In some locations, weary parents brought their children to school before 6:00 am for special Selihot.

Booklet for Selichot at President House

For the fifth year, President Reuven Rivlin hosted an evening at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence.

Shul of Israel Prescient at Beit Hanasi

The synagogue is located in a corner of the back garden with 12 seats for women in the back of this men’s section.

Garden of Beit Hanasi with young soldiers for selihot

Each year this evening has changed and grown, this year 500 soldiers and post-high school students were invited.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Beit Hanasi Synagogue

The service in the synagogue was recorded on video,

Screen showing selihot service at Beit Hanasi

and projected onto a large screen outside for all to see.

During selihot man taking video at Beit Hanasi

Some of the guests could not resist using phones for their own videos.

President Rivlin with Moshe Louk and David D'Or at selihot at Beit Hanasi in Jerusalem Israel

The President and singers Moshe Louk and David D’Or came outside.

Young man taking selfie at Beit Hanasi with President Rivlin

At least one young man could not resist taking a selfie with them.

Instead of more photos, I thought better to share short video clips,

of David D’Or

and Moshe Louk songs before Selihot,

and one part of Selihot with traditional reading.

I did not get to the Kotel for the huge Selihot, so sharing this photo taken fro a video tweeted by Ari Fuld z”l.

 

Kotel selihot 5779 twitter of Ari Fuld

“The Nation has to bring itself to Israel. That takes moral codes, courage and strength… At the end of the day, success or failure is up to HaKadosh Baruch Hu alone.”

These are some of the last words Ari z”l posted on a Facebook video before Shabbat. On Sunday morning, on his way to the supermarket, Ari  was stabbed in the back by a young Arab. Mortally wounded, he chased after, aimed and shot to neutralize the terrorist.

How can we understand a culture where a 16 or 17-year-old could intentionally murder a stranger, a husband, son, brother and father of four, by stabbing him in the back?

Avinu Malkeinu by David D’Or ended the evening at Beit Hanasi.

Our father our king
our king, inscribe us
in the book of good life, in the book of good life.

Even more meaningful after the devastating news of yesterday.

שנה טובה ומתוקה וגמר חתימה טובה

Shana tova ve’mutuka ve’gmar Hatima tova

Wishes for a good sweet year and to be sealed for good year.

 

Time for Shabbat Shalom

Time for Shabbat Shalom

During the short weeks of Jewish holiday season, it is hard to keep track of time.

 

Birhat Kohanim at Kotel on Pesach 5777

Thousands gather at Kotel, Western Wall to pray, early morning and late into night.

rimon shabbos

It is time of pomegranates bursting on trees lining Jerusalem streets.

Shabbat shalom with flowers

Friday is time for fresh flowers and Shabbat Shalom greetings.

The time between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur,

is time to wish all a good sweet and healthy new year.

שנה טובה ומתוקה וגמר חתימה טובה

Yom Kippur photo, bus with sign for holiday

May you be sealed for a good year.

שבת שלום

Remembering September 11

Remembering September 11

September 11, 2001.

Is there anyone who lived through that day who does not remember where they were on 9/11?

We were living in the Washington, DC, area. The Pentagon was hit. Friends were inside. Who can forget the Twin Towers going down?  A shocked world watched on television as the scene was played over and over.

My son was on a Lufthansa flight scheduled to land at Dulles Airport at 1:30 pm on September 11, 2001. After spending a week in Gander, Newfoundland, he finally made it home for Rosh Hashana, but that is a story for another time.

In 2009, the Blank Family dedicated a special memorial in the hills of Jerusalem, Israel, as a “reminder of shared loss and a call for peace among nations.”

Each year, an US-Israel joint memorial commemoration is held on September 11th.  However, with the second day of Rosh Hashana falling on 9/11, this year the event was held on the Thursday before.

Israeli memorial for victims of September 11

The memorial, located in a JNF-KKL park in the hills of Jerusalem, is the only one outside the United States that lists all the names of victims.

Representatives of different groups are invited each year. This year Sar-El, Muss High School, and Nefesh BeNefesh were among the guests who came on special buses, and passed through layers of special security.

 

Jerusalem 9/11 memorial honor guard

Here the US Honor Guard readies its flags to march in and begin the memorial program.

JNF-KKL memorial outside Jerusalem Israel for victims of 9/11

The Honor Guard and all guests stood for the the US anthem. A special cover was constructed to shield the gathering from the midday sun. This year was not too hot, but plenty of water was provided nonetheless.

View of US and Israeli flags at 9/11 memorial in Jerusalem

From the memorial you can see across Route One to the main Jerusalem cemetery, and in the distance, the  Hadassah Hospital complex in Ein Karem is visible.

US flag shaped as a flame for Israeli September 11 memorial

The main monument depicts an US flag in shape of a flame. The impressive thirty-foot-high bronze sculpture was created by Israeli artist Eliezer Weishoff and landscape architect Yechiel Cohen.

The annual program began with the Kaddish, the prayer recited for the departed, recited by a close relative of a victim, on behalf of all those who fell.

Israeli US memorial for victims of September 11

MK Nachman Shai spoke representing the Israeli government.

Other speakers included diplomatic representatives, JNF-KKL leaders, and family members of victims.

US Ambassador David Friedman at September 11 commemoration in Jerusalem

Ambassador David Friedman was presented with a framed photo of the US flag taken in front of the destroyed NYC building by a witness.

Piece from Twin Towers in monument to victims of September 11

Inside the memorial, partially concealed behind the podium, is a piece of metal salvaged from the site of the destroyed towers.

Military and Fire wreathes for memorial ceremony Jerusalem, Israel

After the speeches. representatives of the military, fire and police assisted with the placing of memorial wreaths.

Amb. David and Tammy Friedman stand after placing a wreathe at Israel-US September 11 memorial

After placing a wreath, Ambassador and Tammy Friedman paused for a moment of silence.

Wreathes at base of September 11 memorial

At the end of the formal program, all the wreaths were placed at the base of the memorial.

United Airline pilots place flowers at memorial for victims of September 11

Flowers were available to place by the names of fallen. These United Airlines pilots stopped to reflect and remember.

Remembrance and Rosh Hashana were significant topics in Ambassador  Friedman’s remarks.

Jerusalem memorial to victims of September 11 flowers placed on names of murdered.

Remembering the victims.

View of fast rain bridge from park near September 11 memorial in hills of Jerusalem Israel

As the bus slowly traveled back up the winding narrow park road, the bridge for the new Jerusalem-Tel Aviv fast train towered overhead.

On the other side of the support pillars, the new Jerusalem highway winds around the mountainside.

People will be able to access the 9/11 memorial more easily in the future, as the park is currently being developed to be more family-friendly.

Wishing all a good new year.

Additional photos post on Facebook HERE