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.

 

Jerusalem Preparing for New Year

Jerusalem Preparing for New Year

The Jewish holidays fall early this year.

Upon turning the calendar page to September, one finds that Rosh Hashana is only a week way.

Not sure where the summer went or how the time flew so fast.

Children are back in school and holiday preparations have begun.

Gan Sacher new area with cafe and landscaping.

Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, is getting a major make-over.

The new cafe should be finished for holiday crowds.

Emek Refaim Shir Chadash pre-Selihot music Yehudah Katz

Music is filling the streets and concert halls.

Shir Chadash Synagogue on Emek Refaim sponsored a musical performance by Yehuda Katz.

Listen to a minute from the after-Shabbat performance in this video.

Night time in Yemin Moshe stairs

The streets of Yemin Moshe were quiet at night.

But inside the Yemin Moshe synagogue, the Solomon Brothers were leading selichot, the pre-Rosh Hashana prayers.

Newly painted lions before holidays in Jerusalem Israel

The twin lions in the Jewish Quarter near the steps to the Kotel, Western Wall, got a new coat of paint before the holidays. The next day, the eyes and detailing were added.

New elevator at Western Wall, steps blocked.

With construction for a new elevator access, the regular steps are blocked.

They had better work fast here before the holiday crowds arrive.

Night at Kotel, before Rosh Hashana night of selihos

The moon was a brilliant orange color in the sky over the Kotel.

A bit of the sounds of the night. Amazing how fast the moon had moved, I tried to get in in the video and did not succeed.

Though it was approaching midnight, people were coming and going, but there were no overflow crowds.

Night time at Western Wall Kotel, egalitarian area Robinson's Arch empty

The Robinson’s Arch area was empty as usual when I went to check.

Heichel Shlomo crowd on night of selichot

However, at Heichal Shlomo, the overflow crowd was also at the back door trying to get inside.

The Old City and the Great Synagogue were not where the crowds were for the first night of these selichot prayers. They were at First Station.

Takana Rishona at night

Walking past the vendor stands and restaurants of First Station, in the Hangar

Selihot in Jerusalem Israel with Yitzhak Meir at Takana Rishona

Yitzhak Meir was leading a musical selichot service.

His following has grown over the past few years, with a larger venue each year.

Crowd at First Station for Selichot

Thousands attended in the Hangar as he sang with musical accompaniment.

This was not your grandfather’s service, mumbling the words after midnight in a small shul.

Jerusalem Mayoral candidates dancing at Selihot

You may not see this again, but approaching the New Year, Jerusalem mayoral candidates danced together at the conclusion of selichot. 

Jerusalem mayor candidates holding hands

The race could get nasty after the holidays, but at least for one night, the candidates joined hands and were singing and dancing together. These photos are screen shots from You Tube video.

Politicians were out the first day of school to be photographed with children going back to class.

Rosh Hashana sign near Old City

Summer is over. Shana tova signs are up.

Second hand sale Yad2Fair in Jerusalem

It’s buying and selling season in stores, at second hand fairs on Jerusalem, Israel streets,

Man selling linen on Jerusalem Israel street before holiday

and from pop-up vendors of all sort of housewares for preparing for holidays.

Jerusalem street sign from FoZ for shana tova

From huge holiday wishes from Friends of Zion,

Rosh Hashana gift basket

to the Shana Tova gift basket I found at my door,

Sign for erev Rosh Hashana at Takana Rishona

and another evening of selihot and prayers at First Station, many are the signs of Jerusalem preparing for New Year.

Jerusalem Israel sukkah on porch

And yes already a week before Rosh Hashana, the first sukka was spotted.

Up on this porch, a family is prepared and ready in Mea Shearim,

Shana tova שנה טובה on side of building in Jerusalem Israel

At least for now, the faces of candidates for mayor are down, and holiday greetings are up.

Wishing all a successful school year and a very good New Year 5779.

שנה טובה וכתיבה וחתימה טובה