Even after a really busy day, I could not pass up a chance to attend
the opening of a new exhibit at the Tower of David Museum.
Summer of Inspiration: “Threads” exhibit is now on view
down inside the ancient fortress of the Tower of David.
Ten Israeli fashion designers have created
original costumes around the theme of ’Women of Jerusalem’.
There are dresses for Queen Helena
and the Queen of Sheba.
Want to try to guess who inspired this red number?
This is an outfit for Salome Alexandra
and this one for Shira.
This black and white outfit is very prim & proper
as is the dress for Hemda Ben-Yeuhda.
But this one for Melisende
and this one for Roxelana are as unusual as the names of the women.
No matter what you think of these designer fashions and the show,
I think we might all agree,
that while it is impressive by day,
as the sun sets and the lights go on,
the Tower of David is even more magnificent!
These one-of-a-kind fashions and their photographs
will be on display in the museum until October.
New threads in an ancient fortress,
where else could this be happening,
but in Jerusalem, Israel?
While President Shimon Peres visits Jordan,
there was an ad in Israeli Hebrew newspapers.
I added a few words of translation on the top,
and ask an important question of the Home Front Command
on the bottom.
They really have confidence in the health and fitness
of the Israeli population.
Looks like the safest place to be is in the desert in the Negev,
a whole 3 minutes to find shelter..
The Shavuot holiday as celebrated in Jerusalem, Israel,
is so different from anywhere else in the world.
Tens of thousands of people went to the Kotel, the Western Wall,
to pray at sunrise, after a night-long marathon
of classes, lectures and programs that were
truly amazing and mind-boggling.
These posted ads are for only a few such learning events.
There was one thing very different this year - it rained at 8:30 am!
There have been protests against the new budget,
and new taxes have made for some very angry citizens.
New social protest signs can still be found in the city center
after last weekend’s demonstrations.
The Israeli Prime Minister is back from China
and a very quick visit to Russia to meet with Mr. Putin.
And I assume that most people have no idea that
the Foreign Minister of Finland Erkki Tuomioja and
Foreign Minister of Lithuania Lianas Linkevicius are in Jerusalem.
Also, who heard that at the Hebrew University
there is a conference being held called
Canada and Israel in a Changing World, New Trends and Directions?
When the Shavuot holiday is over,
on the real streets, it is wedding season.
Brides posing in parks for photos and decorated rental cars
are normal sights, though it will be hard to come close
Wonder if any of their international guests will go into town?
If they do, they would see,
there is a sign for traffic changes on King George Street.
One big surprise, I found a moment with no buses or taxis.
For years, this large mural on Jaffa Street showed
Well the future is now,
and the train is running and people are returning to the city center.
The media always reports Arab and Haredi riots in great detail.
But there was no sign of trouble today or any sign of Apartheid
as this Muslim woman and Haredi Israeli man crossed Jaffa street,
and these women were sitting off Ben Yehuda Street in the afternoon sun.
Summer is finally here,
and it is time to head outside and to the parks.
It is also the time for the month-long Israel Festival Jerusalem,
with so many cultural programs, some in new exciting venues,
enough to keep everyone busy.
And my favorite festival, Light in Jerusalem is coming soon.
There is so much to see and do in Jerusalem,
but what did you hear about?
Rosh Chodesh Sivan at the Kotel, the Western Wall,
was not just any old prayer time for the new month.
The Women of the Wall were coming to pray at the Kotel.
Until Friday, I had stayed away from this monthly event,
figuring that there was enough publicity without me.
This time I had to see for myself what was really happening.
Arriving at 6:30 am,
the size of the huge crowd and the press were overwhelming.
The press has covered the dreadful behavior of Haredi men.
Most were young boys, but there are no excuses for their acting like animals.
The shouting, pushing, and deafening whistles were so upsetting,
the experience is impossible to express adequately in words.
What in the world did they think they were accomplishing?
How could any rabbi condone this?
Throwing of a bag full of sewer water was most shocking,
its stench lasted all morning.
Police grabbed the suspect immediately, however.
I wonder if the two girls on the right
will ever forget being in the middle of such a distressing scene?
Here one woman is being pulled back by security.
There were several incidents of Women of Wall supporters
going over toward barriers to provoke the men.
The media that gathered around the Women of the Wall
at times outnumbered the number of women inside the police circle.
Security people certainly outnumbered the WOW supporters,
and were everywhere recording the events.
Were there any empty spaces for watching the scenes unfold?
Rabbi of the Kotel Shmuel Rabinovitch,
Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Yitzchak Pindrus,
and other officials were present for some of the time.
Security did a great job to keep control of the mob-like crowd,
and kept them away from the Women of the Wall in the plaza.
I was able to fill an entire photo album called Bad Boys - Wall of Shame,
though of course, not all present were abusive or involved directly.
But as usual, there was more happening than the press showed.
There were those who were actually trying to pray at The Kotel
for the morning service for Rosh Chodesh.
And there were thousands and thousands of women and girls,
who came to support a new group called Women for the Wall.
That beautiful scene at the Kotel did not make the news,
even though their numbers were by far the greatest.
As we enter the Shavuot holiday, a time of beginnings,
a time to remember acts of goodness,
it is acts of goodness that will bring our salvation,
not acts of provocation or baseless hatred.
More photos from WOW and W4W
In most of the world you would be lucky to find people
celebrating or even remembering Jerusalem Day.
But here in Jerusalem, the celebrations,
events and ceremonies are too many to list, everything
from Mayor Nir Barkat and Rav Shear Yashuv Cohen
speaking on Shabbat at the Great Synagogue,
to a rock concert in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park,
attended by hundreds with the music going all night until 7:00 am.
Took too many photos again this week, so for now I will
share a few favorites from Yom Yerushalayim,
Jerusalem Day, in Jerusalem, Israel.
Kotel Man? What a great costume on this actor,
who was standing at the entrance of
the Tower of David Museum, which was open and free to the public.
Mayor Nir Barkat and his wife Beverly, greeted people and posed
for photos, and I recognized this couple from the neighborhood.
One family presented the mayor with a gift.
I wonder where this will hang?
Then they posed for a photo.
As every year,
prizes were given here at night to special Jerusalem residents.
Of course, flags lined the Jerusalem streets,
and covered countless shoulders.
These boys posed outside the entrance to the Kotel, the Western Wall,
after asking me to take their picture.
On such a busy day, at least one girl was able to find a quiet spot.
Closed to traffic, Agron Street was anything but quiet.
A group of boys were jumping and waving flags on top of this van,
as others danced wildly to gang-man style blasting music in Hebrew.
Tens of thousands of people,
boys and young men,
father and sons,
and of all ages,
packed King George Street in front of the Great Synagogue.
Girls trying to pass by had to hold on not to get lost in the crowd.
Then Rabbi Chaim Druckman arrived,
as the Flag Parade was ready to dance and march its way to
the Kotel, the Western Wall, for hours more of celebrating,
46 years of reunification of Jerusalem.
If you have any doubts about why this day is significant,
checkout a special post in IsraellyCool
and for more photos of Jerusalem Day, click HERE.