Jerusalem This Summer

It is August, in Jerusalem, Israel,

and it gets hot.

Sure we are in the midst of summer in the Middle East,

cat resting in heat, Jerusalem Israel

but during this past week’s heat wave,

this cat photo sums up how I felt much of the time.

Many Israelis are away.

Overseas visitors have arrived for their Israeli holiday time.

Rush hour like traffic can be any time of day or place.

Not many people noticed,

presenting new credentials

but four new ambassadors to Israel presented their credentials

to President Rivlin at Beit Hanasi, 

the official residence of the Israeli President.

photo 52 Frames

Some will notice that this Katamon street was paved,

but only after the workers checked their messages.

With daytime temperatures so high,

most people come out in the evening,

Mamilla Mall

going to malls,

Jerusalem Israel park Palestinians

and parks all over the Jerusalem area.

Especially on Thursday nights,

there are too many things to do.

I hope to get to the month-long events soon.

 Contact Point at the Israel Museum

last Thursday was unique in so many ways,

besides being from 8:00 pm to 3:00 am.

Pop culture exhibit at Israel Museum

In the Pop Culture gallery, pillows were placed on the floor,

and a microphone was positioned in the center of the room.

On the wall was a projection of a man

who was elsewhere in the museum.

The Man on the Wall talked with the audience,

as people got up to ask him questions at the microphone.

I still cannot get over what a small world it is here.

I saw a woman and her daughters whom I had met a few years ago.

As we spoke near the microphone,

another woman got up and came over to say hello to her.

They had known each other years ago.

People coming together from so many places around the world.

Israel Museum old statures

I almost deleted this photo because of the blue lights.

Later I saw visitors to the Museum standing in line

to have colored lights wrapped around them.

They became one of the unusual exhibits for the evening,

“randomly” lighting up the galleries.

Israel Museum 3D copier

This is one of three 3-D copiers that were on display.

It took me a third look to realize that this one was making a small statue.

Israel Museum outside music and lights on statures

Outside there was live music and

the sculpture garden was lit up with colorful lighting.

Shrine of Book in colored lights

Even the Shrine of Book was a canvas that night,

Israel Museum

as strobes lit up the sky.

The diversity of summer events

can be seen in these signs for big summer festivals,

summer in Jerusalem

with festivals as diverse as International Puppets and Wine.

There are more new signs for Hansen House at night,

the City Center for shopping and a new movie theater complex.

So different are the streets to last summer and bombs from Gaza.

Last summer First Station at night was dark, sad and empty.

Last night cars circled and stalked for a parking spot,

it was full of people and music.

Not far away at the Kotel, Western Wall,

an overflow crowd of thousands gathered,

torah scrolls

for a special dedication of Torah scrolls,

75 of them,

Torah scrolls at Western Wall

 one for each fallen soldier and civilian killed last summer,

in Operation Protective Edge.

So much more is happening in Jerusalem, Israel,

but, it will have to wait for next time.

For many the first day of school

is what they are really looking forward to,

sign welcoming to first grade

and the “Shalom Kita Aleph” posters are up and ready.

Nice to be able to leave you with Torah and education

as important features of this past week.

Jerusalem: Gay Parade Photos You Did Not See

It is hot outside.

It is so very hot that the cold water from the tap needs ice to cool off.

Wild forest fires were burning.

The smell of burnt wood filled the air last night.

Shira Banki, the girl stabbed at the

 Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance died of her wounds.

SIGH.

JustinRoths and now Laura have been writing,

 many more friends are posting on Facebook.

I posted on the parade on Israellycool last week.

However,

I did not do a RJS Shabbat Shalom greeting.

But not to say something, to ignore events turning Jerusalem,

Israel, and Israelis inside out?

Enough.

That fateful Thursday afternoon,

I went to see what was happening,

and I want to share some photos of scenes you did not see.

gay parade

Gan Ha’atzmaut, Independence Park

had a nice size crowd gathered for the start of march,

 rainbow colors were even on cars.

The crowd seemed larger than previous years.

The route was different from last year,

horse and police patrol

 as always the police horses were worthy of a look.

I was on Lincoln Street minutes before the stabber.

wedding carcar decorated for wedding

There was a car decorated for a Tu B’Av wedding,

this is wedding season, heat or no heat wave.

street blocked for gay parade

City buses blocked traffic for the parade,

and some people were held up for two hours.

Jerusalem street photo

Walking was best way to get around.

But, there were so many other things happening too.

networking group

Made in Jerusalem was celebrating

Jerusalem’s ranking as one of the top 50 start-up cities.

People were also gathering near them at First Station

for a Klezmer band to start performing,

part of Klezmer Festival taking place in many venues.

Muslim pcinic

Muslim families were picnicking in this park,

while at Kraft Stadium the annual Woodstock Revival was rocking on.

train that takes tourists around old city

The new tourist train to Old City was running.

elevator

The new elevator at the Cinematheque is coming along,

to provide better access for the disabled.

construction Jerusalem

 Isrotel Hotel across from First Station is going up.

Jerusalem street photo

At least one women on Emek Refaim was using her head,

Jerusalem cafe street photo

while others at this cafe were looking down.

Really big news,

Jerusalem Street photo

 a 5 shekel cafe has opened in the German Colony.

Around the corner,

building Jerusalem photo at night

the Christian Embassy lights go on as it gets dark,

always a beautiful scene.

There are all kinds of jokes and myths about full moons,

but that night was also a ‘Blue Moon’.

Jerusalem sunset

Blue moons are not blue,

they just happen once in awhile.

That night the full, blue moon rose over the Kidron Valley.

As traffic was stopped for emergency crews and police,

 just a few minutes and meters away,

all was so peaceful looking.

Today it was so very hot,

Jerusalem street photo bus stop

as these women were waiting for a bus,

at the stop along the march route,

another day on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

Tisha B’Av Around Jerusalem

Tisha B’Av in Jerusalem, Israel, is unique.

On the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av,

for centuries, Jews around the world

people sitting on stones for Tisha B'Av

 sat on the ground as a sign of mourning for Jerusalem,

and read Eicha, the Book of Lamentations.

 I went to ‘Walk Around the Walls’ again after Shabbat.

Last year Tisha B’Av coincided with Ramadan

and even at midnight there was a huge crowd

at Sha’ar Shechem, Damascus Gate.

Damascus Gate at night

   This year all was quiet,

women in Green walk around walls

as the Israeli-flag waving crowd walked by,

street in East Jerusalem

with only a few Arabs in sight near police barriers.

Tisha B'Av Women in Green

Going past Herod’s Gate,

night in Jerusalem, Israel

the atmosphere was very different

from Tisha B’Av of last year.

Although it was a few days ago,

I still want to share that night,

Jerusalem Israel at night

and the beautiful sites around the Old City Walls.

As Lion’s Gate and midnight approached

Jerusalem Israel walking at night

   we passed this man walking with two young boys.

Jerusalem Israel at night

Spectacular views were of Har Hazetim, Mount of Olives,

Jerusalem Israel at night Old City Walls

across from the Old City Walls,

Jerusalem Israel Old City excavations.

and the impressive major excavations.

But most impressive,

Wailing Wall at night

was the huge crowd at the Kotel, the Western Wall,

where tens of thousands came,

Tisha b'Av in Jerusalem, Israel

some to sit and sing sad songs,

Tisha b'av Jerusalem,Israel

others to pray, or to spend the night.

Jerusalem,Israel at night

People were coming and going all night long

to the Old City of Jerusalem.

But nearby at Sha’ar Yaffo, Jaffa Gate,

Jerusalem,Israel Mamilla Mall at night

 Mamilla Mall was closed and quiet,

as were all entertainment and most food places.

Tisha B’Av in Jerusalem, Israel,

is not like anywhere else in the world.

More photos of Walk on Facebook, HERE.

But,

after the mourning of Tisha B’Av comes

Tu B’Av,

and party time celebrations grow every year,

Tu b'Av

this one is to take place in the Jerusalem Forest.

Israeli Summer Heats Up

As the summer weather heats up, I slow down.

Sipping an ice coffee while walking

has become a routine.

Jerusalem graffiti

It seems I am not alone, this man who

   walked into my new graffiti photo had a drink in hand too.

It took me a couple of weeks to get to Yoel Salomon Street

Jerusalem umbrellas over street

to see the Jerusalem, Israel streets’ hottest summer display,

dozens of colorful umbrellas strung above the narrow lane.

There used to be so many used book stores lining the streets,

Another used book store closes

but another book store is closing,

and these signs were plastered announcing the sales.

At least on the other side of the street there are happier signs

Beit Avi Chai outside building

of summer children’s programs at Beit Avi Chai.

signs hung for summer programs on Jerusalem  streets

Summer festivals will be starting soon,

summer in Kikar Safra

and posters are up for summer events

in Kikar Safra, Government Square.

But this week leading up to Tisha B’Av

is also ten years since the end of Gush Katif.

I wrote about a visit to the new Netzer Hazani four years ago.

Since that time,

photo of Gush katif community before 2005

beautiful communities like in this poster,

are now remembered in Gush Katif Museum in Nitzan.

gush katif museum

In the courtyard the wonderful sand is displayed.

seats in Gush Ktif Museum made form moving boxes

Moving boxes are used as seats for a video in the museum.

The army was organized and provided everyone boxes

to pack up their lives and leave their homes,

then every last one was knocked down

and every last Jew left the Gaza Strip.

rocket fired from Gaza into Gush Katif

All was not ideal in Gush Katif.

Yaakov Gross keeps a Gazan rocket

that fell into his house in Gush Katif

in his still temporary store.

But after leaving Gush Katif, what have we gotten in return?

The government promised peace,

and instead we got ten thousand rockets

and Israelis have suffered through three wars.

bomb shelter next to park

In southern Israel,

an outdoor meeting place has to have a safe area

five seconds away.

inside of pipe used as bomb shelter

And who can forget

 last summer as millions of Israelis had to run to bomb shelters.

Some in the south had to huddle in cement pipes

as protection from hundreds of Hamas rockets

that were fired at Israeli citizens day and night.

Gush Katif new community

People are slowly rebuilding.

After ten years

new house old house Gush katif

some families have nice homes,

while some are still in temporary living conditions.

green around home from new Gush Katif home

One garden stood out in the neighborhood,

newly rebuilt in the sand.

Garden of Gush Katif Museum in Nitzan

The names of the destroyed towns are listed,

and the pain and division of the nation

are symbolized in this monument.

Tens years on that summer still makes no sense.

Hopefully you will remember,

as there are those who are trying to erase history,

and the Jewish connection to this land.

Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov

Rosh Chodesh Av in Jerusalem, Israel,

and the new month feels like summer.

As I begin to melt and slow down in the heat,

these purple flowers are thriving all over.

shabbat shalom

שבת שלום וחודש טוב

Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh tov!