Ready for Hanukkah or Chanukah in Jerusalem

What a week this has been.

From as far away as Sydney, Australia,

we hear that an armed man “claiming political motivations”

took hostages,

sometimes

image clouds

 something as simple as the cloud formations

against a blue sky can be appreciated.

Last Friday, coming from the Gush to Jerusalem, Israel,

we stopped for a traffic light.

The same as we have done many times.

That signal was installed after many traffic accidents.

image security

We saw this police vehicle blocking our view,

and we heard a man scream, then he was down on the road.

Israeli soldiers

As the security forces arrived in force,

it was clear this was no simple accident.

Acid (yes, vinegar is an acid!) was splashed on Israelis

by a terrorist and he had run to this spot.

I had been looking for cars involved,

but it was stopped a few meters away.

We got through quickly,

as the traffic in the other direcion stopped and backed up.

 I sit here now,

watching a live news feed of a cafe in Australia,

under threat by a person with an ISIS flag.

We cannot be sure when or what will happen next!

Meanwhile,

חנוכה

menorah

Hanukkah is coming.

After finally deciding to spell it as spell check goes,

the Government Press Office is using Chanukah this year.

Oh well, people are getting their chanukiot, menorahs

ready to light.

Chanukaih, street lights Jeryusalem

As always I love the streets lights,

and signs filling the streets.

banner in Hebrew for Hanukkah

“A Great miracle happened here.”

The school holiday is shortened this year,

but the school extravaganza productions

are bigger and better and longer than ever.

donuts

Suffganiot, millions of all types of donuts and

fried foods will be consumed over the eight nights.

strawberries

But also strawberry season has begun

and the markets are filled with the sweet red berries.

Happy Hanukkah,

image hanukah semach on bus, picture Hanukkah in Israel, , photo egged bus sign for holiday

Chanukah sameach

however you spell it,

the first candle is tomorrow night.

Shabbat Shalom

Instead of a new photo for Shabbat Shalom greeting,

this one goes back to summer of 1965.

old view of Jerusalem Shabbat shalom poster

At that time under rule of Jordan,

Jews could only look from afar,

over a ‘No Man’s Land’ at

 The Old City and the Temple Mount.

Now much of the world is calling to go back,

to a time when The Kotel, Western Wall

was Judenrein,

a time of complete separation and

a truly divided

Jerusalem, Israel.

But today, the rain has finally stopped,

the sun is shining and sky blue,

time to get outside and enjoy the clean warm air.

שבת שלום

Shabbat shalom.

Thankful for the Rain

Yesterday the sun was shining,

image flowers on street

and even though the sky was not blue,

these gates were very blue.

photo street scene Yemin Moshe

Yemin Moshe was picture perfect,

only the streets were empty,

and much too quiet without the usual tourists.

photo sign colorful

 I was looking at the new signs for Hamshushalayim,

an annual Jerusalem tourist weekend discount offer,

and I wondered how it would do with so many people staying away,

image people walking near streets

and just then a group of tourists walked by.

Things have been slower this week,

but work has gone on.

photo construction workers

 The Isrotel luxury hotel construction is finally above ground.

In the US as people prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday,

in Israel, thankfully it has started to rain,

woman crossing street in rain

and rain.

image rain in Jerusalem, Israel

We are thankful for rain for it is an answer to our prayers,

wet streets and splashing cars

but one which involves flooded streets

traffic accident near light rail

and accidents galore.

However,

Jerusalem Israel bus banner from Berman Hebrew Academy

 rain or shine,

sleet or snow,

or terror threat,

the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy High School from Rockville, Maryland,

is in Israel again for their Israel mission.

Every four years the entire high school gets a trip to Israel

over the Thanksgiving holiday week.

It can be a life changing experience to see

the real Jerusalem, Israel, streets, even in the wet and rain.

 And

 a group of 1000 pilgrims is on their way from Lagos, Nigeria,

so things go on.

I just hope I do not rust.

Shabat Shalom: Bitter and Sweet

Recently on Fridays,

there has been a simple Shabat Shalom poster,

but this was not a simple week,

this was a difficult week.

Har Nof

The walls in Har Nof were plastered with mourning posters.

On Thursday the streets were mostly empty and quiet,

the air was so clean, but it felt heavy.

image Har Nof

Cars filled the street in front of the synagogue,

where five men were murdered.

The shiva houses were overflowing, with standing room only.

Those paying sympathy could only walk by the mourners,

and some who knew the families said a word or two.

Many who came did not know either victim or their family personally.

I could not look at the couch filled with young boys

who had just lost their father in such a horrific way.

Instead of revenge one widow told me,

“we cannot change the Arabs,

but we have to change ourselves.”

They want unity of the Jewish people

and an end of sinat chinum.

Then,

Sigd 018b

as we drove home past Gan Sacher, Sacher Park,

image Jerusalem Park

we saw a large group of young people who were enjoying a sports day.

image Jerusalem part

The weather was perfect for a family outing.

New security in Jerusalem, Israel after Arab murders

A balloon hovered above the Begin Center,

where Yehudah Glick was recently shot,

as segway riders went by on their tour,

image segway

and the next tour was getting ready in First Station.

image Hebrew sign

  A new sign announced an organic food market to open in the tourist location,

image First Station

but First Station was deserted at lunch time,

a sad sign of the events of this week.

But,

banner of Sigd celebration on Tayelet

at the same time on Haas Promenade in Armon Hanaziv

tens of thousands of Ethiopians gathered for

their Sigd Holiday celebration.

Sigd 102b

Old

image man with Old City in background

and young

Ethiopian girls in IDF unifroms

and many more each year wearing IDF uniforms.

tayelet for Sigd

They enjoyed the weather and the day on the Tayelet.

 A beautiful day

image Sigd

for many family reunions,

Ethiopian family at Sigd

food and photos.

image Israel flag

Thousands celebrated just being in Jerusalem, Israel.

To end this crazy week,

we were at a simhat bat brunch today,

to celebrate birth of a new baby girl.

Besorot tovot were everyone’s parting words.

שבת שלום

Shabbat shalom.

Jerusalem Terror Too Close to Home

Monday it was raining and pouring 

and puddles of dirty water filled the streets.

image rain and baby in stroller

The stormy weather kept many people inside.

Where is the one place to find a crowd

no matter what the weather?

A synagogue in a religious neighborhood at morning prayers:

 it is a sure thing.

Third intifada or not,

Tuesday’s pools of blood from the horrific murders

filled a Jerusalem, Israel, synagogue, spilling into the streets.

I will refrain from sharing those photos,

as my friend Varda wrote on that topic.

 I posted in Israellycool yesterday,

the extended family of Rav Moshe Twersky z”l has been important

image Rabbi Moshe Twersky murdered by terroists

to us for more years than I want to count.

I prefer to share photos of victims we want to remember.

After I wrote that,

we found out yet another connection to the victims.

Looking through mainstream media accounts,

one sees photos of the butchering murderers,

but not even the names of the victims.

Sometimes it feels as though there are no degrees of separation.

We had the privilege of being present

at the engagement and wedding,

of Rav Kalman Levine’s z”l daughter.

image kalman levine

And in the same building where he was murdered,

Rav Kalman Levine z”l had the joy of celebrating

the brit milah of a grandson in May 2012.

Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky z”l was originally from Detroit,

and moved to Har Nof from Kiryat Arba many years ago.

Avraham Shmuel Goldberg z”l was originally from Liverpool.

Today there was news of a fifth fatality,

the Israeli policeman who was first to arrive at the crime scene,

Zidan Sayif, who was a member of the Druze community

and also a young father.

Howie Rothman, originally from Canada,

is in a coma, having barely survived an ax attack to his head.

The family of Shmuel Yerucham ben Baila asked for Tehillim,

prayers for his recovery and the other victims.

Not all is good on the real streets.

image restaurant that was bombed

A new security guard stands alert at the entrance

to this popular cafe spot, next to the sign

marking the spot where these people were killed by a suicide bomber.

image of Hebrew sign

 The celebration for new Olim was held,

sorry I was not able to attend and share it with you.

However, today a new group of 58 immigrants

arrived from the United States.

These olim have chosen to make Israel,

 their new home.

They can join us in offering the traditional words

of comfort to mourners:

המקום  ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים

Besorot tovot

is a popular expression heard this week,

with everyone looking for good news.

But when will Arab media stop inciting violence?

Shabbat Shalom

This week in the Old City at the Tower of David,

Museum of the History of Jerusalem,

the Kishle and Moat

were opened to the public for the first time,

more on that amazing opening soon,

but for now from the bottom of Moat,

image Shabat shalom

שבת שלום

Shabbat Shalom

Highs and Lows Felt in Jerusalem

Last week was a week of good and bad news,

now it looks like this is one of highs and lows.

Real Jerusalem Streets is not just about the good stuff,

but what is really happening.

On days like this it is hard to know where to start

and what to post, there is so much to say.

Arab media has been inciting with scare headlines

like “Settlers are Storming Al-Aqsa” for months.

First of all no one is “storming”

if anything a few are walking slowly and under threat.

 Jews have to be careful how they move their lips,

as no Jewish prayer is allowed.

image MK Shul Mualem

MK Shuli Mualem went on the Temple Mount and was assaulted.

Today there was a deadly attack against people waiting for the light rail.

The border police officer murdered in the terror attack in Jerusalem

was named Chief Inspector Jidaan Asad,

he was 38 years old and had a young son.

The terrorist who drove the van into the crowd had published posts

glorifying previous attacks against Jews on his Facebook page.

There was to be a day of rage on Friday,

but the heavy rain this week has kept many inside.

On Shabbat afternoon a huge rainbow arched over the Old City.

Stone-throwing children have been a problem for months,

maybe now police will try and put and end to it.

image protest Israel

There were new protest signs this week.

But the Mayor would rather you hear about

sign for cultural event

the many artistic and cultural events,

iamge Azza street

including another Einstein on AZZA this Friday.

Streets will be shut for university lecturers to hold forth to the public – for free.

But my  high of the week was the Masa Israel Journey Mega-event,

in the Jerusalem Convention Center’s main auditorium.

image Israeli Prime Ministeri on stage

Certainly it also was a high for the Prime Minister.

Thousands of young people from around the world,

image crowd of young people

 some dancing in the aisles,

image people happy to be in israel

excited and happy

image crowd of young people

 to be in Israel for a year volunteering.

image Jerusalem crowd

School trips to Jerusalem from around Israel have been canceled,

but if you want to end on a high note,

check out this post from Israellycool

earlier in the week and watch the short video at the end,

עם ישראל חי

Am Yisrael Chai