Too much sadness this week
From Jerusalem will come forth light,
it is an old, if not ancient theme.
However, this week we saw some unique lights.
Those red, white and blue lights on the Walls of the Old City
and on the Knesset building, where the Israeli flag flew at half mast.
After Shabbat, the flag was lowered
to symbolize the link with France after the terror attack in Paris.
Israeli flags over Beit Hanasi were lowered as well,
while French flags were unfurled over major Jerusalem streets.
I found it ironic that new signs were posted
for a new App for Jerusalem night life–
who knows what will happen next?
When I see new signs like this one,
I snap photos of them,
only after did I realize, it was posted for the filming of a TV movie.
Make sure you know whether what you see is real or not.
The Jerusalem municipality posted hundreds of large and small signs
asking MK Kahlon “Do not forsake Jerusalem”
in the new budget in the Knesset.
This week in Jerusalem, while the weather is cool,
the roses are blooming
and the oranges are ripening.
However, I want to share
one other very special light coming out of the darkness.
My friend Varda wrote of the horrific terror attack last erev Shabbat.
We know the Rav of Meitar and his family,
and we have many friends there and visit occasionally.
We have driven the road from Meitar to Otniel.
to drive to a simcha and get ambushed by murderers.
But, from Jerusalem, came forth light.
On Tuesday night, in the wedding hall,
at the time the wedding of the daughter of the victim was to take place,
an overflow crowd of women and girls
filled the hall with prayer and music, and words of unity.
Tears inside during the sad, slow Shabbat song
and crowds of girls outside.
The Litman-Beigel wedding is rescheduled for next week,
and this time everyone is invited.
If you want to participate, check this out.
To help the Litman family, you can donate here:
Am Yisrael Chai!
May lights continue to come forth from Jerusalem
to shine and inspire the world.
Sigd, the Ethiopian holiday which falls on 29 Heshvan,
50 days after Yom Kippur, was celebrated on the Tayelet.
A spot with the best views of the Old City, but
with heightened security in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood.
Also, somewhat smaller crowds were out on the Haas Promenade.
Buses brought Ethiopian Israelis from all over Israel
to celebrate the annual event, a national holiday since 2008.
I love to see the young men in uniform,
and the girls too.
But, Sigd is not just eating, dancing, and socializing.
Sigd began centuries ago in Ethiopia,
with leaders gathering on a mountaintop and praying to return to Zion.
Today they have returned.
Kessim, religious leaders dressed in white,
were seated at this long dais and more
were in the audience, under their colorful umbrellas.
Prayers and speeches by government officials are part of the day.
After President Reuven Rivlin spoke,
he went down the line and shook hands with the dignitaries.
Only a small part of the crowd of thousands, mostly the elders,
were seated, with politicians and dignitaries in front.
However, one woman caught my attention.
What was she thinking?
Did she remember Sigd from Ethiopia?
What had she gone through to get here?
She stood during the speeches looking towards the Old City,
towards the Temple Mount in the distance.
Sigd has become one of my favorite events.
we were in the midst of “difficult times.”
I must find out what this is hair-like thing is,
I noticed several of them this year.
Sigd, where ancient blends with the modern,
and the very modern customs and practices.
The program ended in the early afternoon.
Shabbat also starts very early
with just a few hours to prepare before it is dark.
Wishing a Shabbat Shalom to all from Jerusalem,
where sometimes dreams do come true.
From 1978 – 1983
Yitzhak Navon z”l was President of Israel.
His official place of honor at Beit Hanasi,
the Israeli President’s residence,
is 5th in the line of nine former presidents.
He passed away on Shabat at the age of 94
and his funeral was held on Sunday.
First his son and daughter arrived at Beit Hanasi,
as the gates were opened to the public to pay their last respects.
President Rivlin came out to await the arrival
of the army hearse carrying the coffin.
This was a state funeral with dress uniforms,
an honor guard,
and a military chaplain quietly reciting tehilim, psalms.
A former president of Israel lying in state,
without the presence of foreign dignitaries.
As the public entered and passed by the casket,
some stopped to offer a prayer.
Some lingered to remember
the first Sephardi president who was born in Jerusalem.
When Navon went to Egypt, he spoke Arabic to the people.
With the changing of the guard,
a new guard stood at attention by the casket.
How sad it is that the a whole younger generation does not remember
this former president who lived quietly and modestly.
Many things happened this week in Jerusalem, Israel,
but we should take time and remember,
Yitzhak Navon z”l who was buried in Har Herzl cemetery
with other leaders of Israel.
Autumn means beautiful photos of fall foliage
from the northeastern United States.
There is nothing like that in Jerusalem, Israel.
This year I found one tree with some fall colors.
But, as those US multi-colored leaves fall to leave bare limbs,
Jerusalem palm trees fill with ripe dates,
and fall flowers burst out over the sidewalks
Flower beds are being planted,
and a new flower bed has been added outside
of Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence.
The fall flowers of Yemin Moshe are always a favorite.
With a sandstorm this week,
the Montefiore Windmill was turning briskly,
but hard to see against the white sky.
Some streets have been too quiet since tourism has been down.
The German Colony is sponsoring special events
every Monday evening in November and December.
Australian tourists were enjoying a free day to see sights.
Not far away a female tour guide was injured in a terror attack.
A friend was out walking a grandchild
with her whistle handy in case of trouble.
People are more wary and careful going about their business.
But oh, those cats,
While I pass women walking with pepper spray
in hand ready for whatever might happen,
Jerusalem cats have a special chutzpah.
Those cats hold their ground no matter what.
And in the fall,
Jerusalem cloud formations,
with the blue and white sky at sunset.
Ten measures of beauty descended to the world;
nine were taken by Jerusalem.
Talmud Kiddushin 49b
Autumn in Jerusalem,
the seasons change.
Days are shorter and cooler,
the dark hours of night longer.
The cycle of life goes on.
Riots in the Old City.
The radio announced riots in the Old City,
and I grabbed my camera and went to see for myself.
That was 6 years ago,
and it became the topic of the first post
of The Real Jerusalem Streets.
Thanks to Facebook for the reminder
and for sharing this photo from 6 years ago.
When I got to the Old City,
if you looked very, very carefully,
on the roof tops security personnel dressed in black were posted all around.
But down below on the streets of the Old City,
there were thousands of tourists who did not listen to
the Hebrew news that morning,
and were enjoying another lovely day of touring.
The scene outside the walls was also calm,
nothing like the media reports.
Now, the Yes Planet cinema complex
fills the construction site of 6 years ago.
Israeli Apartheid? had the best viral days, but
Arab Girls is still going strong on Google search.
Stores in Mamilla Mall have come and gone over 6 years,
but it has become a favorite tourist site.
How many times over 6 years has the “situation”
affected so many people in the former desolate
“No Man’s Land” turned popular shopping location?
Yesterday, it rained…again,
but security was out and alert again.
Here watching the Light Rail trains on Jaffa Road,
and looking and checking near buildings and buses in town.
6 years ago, the welcome banner
for the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency
was hung outside of the hotel where their meetings were held.
This week the meetings went on again,
but for the last few years
the welcome banners have only been hung on the inside.
A memorial to Yitzhak Rabin was on display on the landing
on the way down to meetings in the hotel ballroom.
On the 20th anniversary of Rabin’s death,
there are many official memorials being held this week.
6 Years, always something new, at first it was shocking
to see this planned project for Jerusalem, Israel’s
green and famed Gan Sacher, Sacher Park.
But on closer look at fine print at the bottom,
these are art posters popping up around town.
578 RJS posts and 299 on Israellycool,
who would imagine that 6 years ago?
After the rain the clouds part, with a blue sky and cleaner air.
Stabbings, car rammings, “random” murders, BDS,
government leaders from India, Panama, Croatia and Honduras
are here this week, plus an impressive
German cooperation with the Israel Museum.
As always, so much more than “conflict”
is happening on the Jerusalem streets.
There is always more