After Fasting and Praying for Rain, Shabbat Shalom

The tenth day of tenth Hebrew month,

Asara B’Tevet is a fast day.

It marks the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem

which culminated in the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE

and the exile to Babylon.

Beit Hamikdash model at Israel Museum

This model of the Holy Temple sits outside the Israel Museum

Corner stone from Beit Hamikdash in Israel Museum

and this inscribed corner stone from the Second Temple is on display inside.

Jerusalem Israel Old City model to Second Temple on roof of Aish Hatorah overlooking Dome of Rock

Another model sits on the roof of the Aish HaTorah Center in the Old City,

with the Dome of the Rock showing in the background.

Thousands of people attended

special prayers for rain held yesterday at the Kotel,

the Western Wall, as Asara b’Tevet was coming to an end.

Farmers are complaining of poor growing conditions

because of the lack of rain and the warm weather.

But the weather was good for weddings this week.

Jewish wedding ceremony

So many weddings,

and each night the blessings ended with

 “Soon, Lord our God, may there be heard in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem,

the sounds of joy and gladness,

the sounds of the bridegroom and bride…”

The sun set, and the fast was over.

Time to prepare for Shabbat.

Poster Shabbat Shalom on Jewish Temple model at Israel Museum

From the days of old

to the present,

may there always be singing

in the streets of Jerusalem.

Shabbat Shalom.

View of Western Wall, Kotel, Shabbat shalom poster

שבת שלום

15 Jerusalem Street Scenes at Year End

15 Jerusalem Street Scenes at Year End

In Jerusalem, Israel,

every year after the holiday season,

I wait for things to quiet down.

However, it never seems to happen.

This year after the Trump Jerusalem announcement,

 the mainstream media reports spewed forth about imminent unrest.

US flag on City Hall in Kikar Safra

But the streets have remained “normal,”

as a huge US flag hangs on the Municipal building

together with flag of Jerusalem and the 50-year anniversary banner.

Before the recent drenching rains,

the weather was warm, almost like summer.

Friday morning, on a photo walk to Yemin Moshe,

Yemin Moshe stairs

there were so many photographers out

it was hard to get an empty street view.

Yemin Moshe view of house

Though weather had been dry for weeks,

the private gardens were beautiful,

with citrus fruit drooping from full trees.

Yemin Moshe shul, birds outside of window

Birds were perched above the synagogue door,

Bird in tree Jerusalem, Israel

and on the bare branches in Teddy Park.

Colorful leaves in Jerusalem, Israel

Fall colors are not easy to find in Israel,

but during a stroll through these Yemin Moshe lanes

you can find a bit of most anything.

But not all is a stroll through the park around here.

Much touted before it opened,

Alma Cafe shut and empty in Jerusalem Israel public park

the cafe in Gan Haatzmaut, Independence Park,

is now an empty shell.

Access ramp to bank on Azza Street in Jerusalem Israel

This new access ramp for the bank was just completed.

Now, after weeks of work,

one can enter without going up steps.

But so much for optimism about progress,

New ramp on Azza in front of bank removed

yesterday it was ripped out.

I have no idea why,

or how long will it take to rebuild.

Poster of things to be built in Jerusalem at City Hall

At Municipal Hall there are large posters of photos

displaying future building projects in Jerusalem.

Any bets when they will be completed?

Walking yesterday I saw

Walls of Old City, man sitting in sun reading

a man sitting and reading,

against the walls of the Old City.

Outside cafe along light rail line on Jaffa Road on sunny day

While along Jaffa Road,

people were sitting outside in cafes.

For winter, it was not such a bad day,

even though I was wearing a winter coat and boots.

Two men on Jaffa Street, one in shorts other religious musician

This bloke in shorts said he was from Australia.

Well, it is summer there.

metal sculpture near Mamilla Mall

No time to fiddle away,

this was part of an art piece at Mamilla Mall.

There last week, but gone yesterday.

Public square piano with man and little girl Jerusalem, Israel

This large piano is still outside in Zion Square,

for the use of young and old.

It is still December,

Jerusalem Marathon sign for March 2018, near walls of Old City Tzahal Square

but large signs are already up, this one  in Tzahal Square,

near the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel.

The Jerusalem Marathon is set for March 9, 2018,

and tens of thousands from near and far,

young and not so young, are getting ready

to again enjoy and race through the Jerusalem streets.

Hanukkah Highlights From Jerusalem

Hanukkah Highlights From Jerusalem

Hanukkah highlights.

It is both easy and hard to write this post every year.

Finding something new?

That is easy.

 Unusual menorah in Jerusalem Israel on Hanukkah

Look up and see a lit hanukia, Hanukkah menorah,

in a new and unusual location.

This year there were flags

 Beit Hanasi ready for Hanukah and US VP Pence

flying high above the hanukia outside Beit Hanasi,

the Israeli President’s Residence.

US flags were hung along with the hanukia street decorations,

United States, Israel and Jerusalem flags near Israel President residence

ready for the visit of US Vice-President Pence.

The visit was postponed until next month,

and those extra flags were removed.

God Bless Trump posters in Jerusalem Israel

Dozens of these blue signs remained.

Plus, there is a full-size bus covered with this message,

but I’m sorry, it went by so fast I missed the photo.

Trump’s speech on Jerusalem was a distraction for some,

but for most, the eight days of Hanukkah

Chanukia for seventh night

involved lighting a personal hanukia at home.

On the last night of Hanukkah,

 tens of thousands arrived in the Old City

Performer with fir torches on Hanukkah at Jaffa Gate

to see performers with torches on fire

Jaffa Gate on Hanukkah in Old City Jerusalem Israel

and special lights at Jaffa Gate.

Hanukkah dreydels as decoration in Old City

Spinning dreydels were a favorite new decoration.

Hundreds of tour groups worked their way slowly through

the narrow alleyways of the Old City.

Jerusalem Israel Hanukkah lights on street

A photo-op of a man sitting by his candles

Chanukiot in window in Old City

or windows up above the streets,

caused the crowds to slow to a standstill.

Lights on Hurva Synagogue on Hanukkah night Jerusalem

In the Jewish Quarter, the Hurva Synagogue was lit up.

A constant flow of people came and went

Kossel on Hanukka 5778

to and from the Kotel,

the Western Wall Plaza, during holidays.

Jerusalem, Israel on Hanukkah 5778

As every year the large hanukia,

 is a photo highlight.

Old City lighting of menorah in costume as Jewish Temple priests

This was one photo I was not anticipating,

a re-enactment of the Jewish Temple priests lighting the Temple menorah.

Chanuka candles, oil menorahs for Hanukka

At classic spots, it was hard to get a clear shot,

as cell phone cameras were in use by the thousands.

Wall in Old City with light projection with Macabbe features

One wall had a projection of the Macabees in days of old.

Mamilla Mall Hanukkah ceremony

The crowds at Mamilla Mall for lighting were impressive.

Hundreds came each night,

 the recent warnings of danger did not affect enthusiasm.

Tourists from near and far gathered to celebrate

the last night of Hanukkah.

Only the warm weather seemed out of the ordinary.

Parade of Habad hanukiot in Jerusalem Israel

These Habad vans were part of a convoy,

pulling large electric hanukiot.

Too bad I did not get a good position for a video,

large colorful chanukia in Jerusalem part of Chabad show

they changed colors as the music blasted.

Habad has brought the lights of Hanukkah

out to main streets all around the world.

But in Jerusalem, and around Israel,

there is more than candles and oil lights.

Special suffganiot, those fried decorated donuts

Hanukka donuts in store window in Old City

filled store window displays,

and were consumed by the millions.

See that little hand reaching for one more?

For one last time until next year,

Hebrew sign on bus in Jerusalem Israel Old City

Happy Hanukkah.