Herzl’s Vision at 120

Herzl’s Vision at 120

As the First Zionist Congress ended on September 3, 1897,

Theodore Herzl wrote in his diary,

“At Basel I founded the Jewish State.

If I said this out loud today,

I would be greeted by universal laughter.

In five years, perhaps,

and certainly in 50 years,

everyone will perceive it.”

Exactly 50 years later, on September 3, 1947,

the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine,

UNSCOP, submitted its report which became the Partition Plan.

Herzl’s vision was on its way to reality

with the UN vote on November 29, 1947,

and on May 14, 1948, the State of Israel was proclaimed.

In 70 years, in spite of wars, terrorist attacks, missiles and boycotts,

things Herzl could never have dreamed have happened.

On the tiny, arid, barren hill that Herzl saw

Knesset at night as seen from the Israel Museum

today sits the Knesset building.

Across the road,

Night lights at Israel Museum

is the Israel Museum,

Dome of Book at Israel Museum at night

with its Shrine of the Book

housing the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls,

Night time view at Israel Museum

and a host of sculptures on the grounds outside.

For the visit of UN Sec-Gen Antonio Guterres

a special presentation was held at the museum

near the Archaeological Wing,

featuring five Israeli Start-Ups.

HomeBioGas uses waste for clean fuel for cooking Israel startup

1. HomeBioGas turns organic waste into

clean and usable cooking gas and liquid fertilizer.

Israeli startup does blood test with out waiting for Malaria

2. Sight not only can test blood for malaria,

but its technology enables doctors

to do a full blood workup in the office.

Aqwise uses plastic pieces for more size efficient cleaning of waste water

3. Those little plastic pieces in the aquarium,

from Aqwise make waste water clean efficiently.

Water from air at Israel Museum for UNSc Gen Guterres

4. ‘Standing around the water cooler’

Israel Museum for start up presentations for UN Secretary General Guterres

not at the office, but at this meeting with

the Secretary-General and the Israeli Prime Minister,

Meron Reuben with glass of water from air Israel Startup Watergen

took on a whole new dimension,

with Watergen, which makes water from nothing,

converting humidity in the air to drinking water.

UN Sec-Gen Guterres and PM Netanyahu raise glasses of water to drink, water made from nothing, but taken from air

L’chaim, to life.

Remote locations in India and Africa, Gaza,

and drought-stricken regions around the world

could benefit from these Israeli technologies.

5. Innovation Africa  has brought solar

and agricultural technologies to remote African villages.

“Our sages said, ‘From Zion will emerge Torah,’”

Netanyahu noted, adding,

“Well, from Zion emerges Torah, software, progress;

I hope with your help. So welcome, Mr. Secretary General.”

Problems in Israel,  for sure.

But so much good is happening.

Herzl could never have imagined how far

 and what  has developed from his vision over 120 years.

19 Photos of Jerusalem on Tisha B’Av

19 Photos of Jerusalem on Tisha B’Av

The Nine Days leading up to Tisha B’Av

are always hot, unless you live in Southern Hemisphere.

This year was no exception,

unless you count hotter than usual temperatures.

Jerusalem, Israel, is known for its cooler evenings,

but the night of Tisha B’Av stayed warm and humid.

People at Gan Haatzmaut reading Eicha

In spite of the uncomfortable weather, thousands ventured out

to sit on the stones and streets to hear a reading of

Eichah, the Book of Lamentations.

At Gan Ha’atzmaut, Independence Park,

Eicha at Gan Haatzmaut

this woman sat on a bollard to listen,

Police man sitting next to motorcycle during Eiacha

while this policeman sat on the ground.

I have joined the Walk around the Walls since 2011,

 security threats seem to be an annual feature of this event.

Walking from Damascus Gate to Lion's Gate

With the recent murders and riots on Temple Mount,

the walk only got permission to proceed at the last minute.

It was hard to get the long line of participants into one photo.

Muslim women working as journalists reporting on Walk around walls

As we approached the Damascus Gate,

the location of many recent troubles,

the Arab media was waiting to record the marchers.

Policemen on horses for security

Police on horses were ready

Walk around Walls of Old City Jerusalem

as the crowd proceed along with Israeli flags.

walking walls Jerusalem

A few stopped to rest near Damascus Gate,

Two men walking on step of Damascus Gate

just before the steps came into view.

Shar Shehem on Tisha B'Av

This year Tisha B’Av fell after Ramadan

and the Damascus Gate was quiet.

Walking around walls of Jerusalem Israel

This is the only time all year

that I walk by this gate

Jerusalem views at night

and around it to capture the dramatic night views on this side of wall,

Gate of Jerusalem Old City

on the way to the Lion’s Gate.

This was the scene of Muslims worshipers

filling the streets and rioting and being controlled by the police.

However, hundreds of Jews filled the same streets

and sat late into the night on the stones peacefully listening

to the Women in Green’s list of speakers.

Continuing around the walls and entering through Dung Gate,

Western Wall has large stones from destruction at base of wall

one sees the huge stones that have remained over the centuries

at the base of the wall,

reminders of the ancient destruction of Jerusalem.

On to the Kotel, the Western Wall,

Tisha BAv Kotel at night

where thousands gathered, to sit, to mourn,

Men's section Kotel for Tisha B'Av

even to spend the night on the ground.

street on Tisha B'Av night

People were arriving throughout the night.

Western Wall Plaza view at night

The gilded of Dome of the Rock,

built over the foundation stone, glimmered above the Kotel lights.

Jerusalem, city of peace, has seen many rulers

and thousands of years of conflict.

This year passed quietly,

the only words one heard on the walk around the walls were

“תודה – Thank you!” over and over,

to the police and security personnel guarding along the route.

Old City Jerusalem Menorah for Temple lit for Tisha B'Av

The lights on the Old City streets were dimmed

for Tisha B’av night,

but the large Temple Menorah glowed brightly.