UN may close for a snow day, but
flames are on government buildings in Jerusalem, Israel,
and many remember every day.
The world seems upside down like Chelm these days,
and if it was not so serious, it would be funny.
This week saw a large delegation from Japan,
led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visiting Jerusalem, Israel.
Foreign Minister John Baird of Canada signed the official guest book
at Beit HaNasi, the Israeli President’s residence, while Reuven Rivlin watched.
Then in the afternoon a group of US Senators led by John McCain,
dropped by for a photo op and to chat with the President.
So much for isolation and BDS, all affirmed their support for Israel.
But government officials and their noisy motorcades
were not the only ones who filled the streets this week.
Extended families gathered to celebrate,
and thousands have come daily to the Kotel, the Western Wall.
Birthright tour groups
from around the world posed for group photos.
Tour buses lined up along the road to Har Hazaytim,
the Mount of Olives cemetery.
And at the same time as rabbis in Belgium
were being notified that their synagogues should be closed on Shabbat
for the first time since World War II,
because their safety could not be guaranteed by the police,
these Muslim boys were walking through the Jewish Quarter
in the Old City to go to Friday prayers.
Any doubts? Notice the prayer rug in hand,
so much for apartheid and oppression.
These boys may have taken a second look,
but the man was wearing a long skirt,
as this Muslim family proceeded to prayers on Temple Mount.
And while Muslims of all ages attend regularly on Friday,
(as long as there are no calls for violence)
this group we passed did stand out,
their bags had the name of a Turkish tour company.
Seems not everyone in Turkey is boycotting Israel.
Hope they get to see the real Jerusalem streets,
and take back the truth,
what is really happening.
While the US is celebrating the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend,
it is business as usual in Jerusalem, Israel,
but seemed like a good day to revisit the street named in his honor.
Hanukkah is over
but the colorful street lights are still up and shine brightly at night
outside Beit HaNasi, the Israeli President’s official residence.
The long-burning oil and hanukiot are stored away,
and those open windows are closed and shuttered until next year.
This golden menorah, ready for use in the Temple, stands next to the steps to the Kotel,
the Western Wall, and it is impressive as always.
So what is new now that the holiday season is coming to an end?
Varda – this urban installation, popped up across from the shuk,
the Machane Yehuda Market: it inflates and deflates,
and attracts the attention of those who pass by.
A new Bible study program was launched
whose goal is for many people to learn the same chapters together every week.
Day in, day out, the dogs need to get out,
and now there is a new “dog park” or area for them to run free
in the Sokolov Street Park.
Photographers will climb most anywhere to get great
and interesting photos of Jerusalem, Israel,
but newest thing is people taking “selfie” photos which one now sees everywhere.
This woman took one with a group of Israeli soldiers behind her.
While the people are back shopping on the streets,
the stores come and go.
Remember those skin eating fish on King George Street,
not sure where they are now.
This new sign went up;
I wonder how long it will take to develop this hotel project?
This abandoned building, one of the most valuable pieces of real estate in world,
had a fire and since then cement blocks shut the entrance,
but it is open again and remains a very neglected eye-sore.
However, after over eight years of neglect,
one construction fence came down this week,
and progress on this apartment building is visible.
Yes, I know it is winter and we need the rain,
but I love the mild sunny weather we had this past week,
that has caused the roses to bloom,
the lemons to ripen on the tree,
and our neighborhood cat to mellow out.
Time for a drink.
Hanukkah in Jerusalem, Israel, can be exhausting!
Candle lighting ceremonies seem to be everywhere,
with people arriving from all over the world.
On the first night of Hanukkah,
at the Kotel, Western Wall, at its large chanukiah,
after a lighting ceremony with dignitaries,
a man was covered in a white talit for the filming of a video.
Chanukiot in Jerusalem restaurants are always a favorite.
First night, first light in the Old City, this was most unusual,
while simple can be beautiful.
This large electric-light covered chanukiah was near Jaffa Gate,
and this fire-lit one in Mamilla Mall
that attracted a crowd below.
The display of chanukiot in the Waldorf-Astoria lobby was new this year.
Candles were burning in the security booth outside the US consulate,
though I received permission to take this photo,
afterwards I was stopped by an over-anxious guard.
Thankfully, he did not try to delete my photos.
A Chabad Chanukiah can be found on many corners,
but the one near Paris Fountain is a favorite.
The holiday party for the international press
given by the Prime Minister was held at the Israel Museum this year.
PM Benjamin Netanyahu lit this 19th century brass chanukiah
which had been used in a synagogue in Central Europe.
Not as large as this one,
but also part of the Israel Museum’s extensive collection of chanukiot,
some centuries old and from around the world.
Though not a menorah
the lights in their eyes are certainly bright.
This photo of Natan and Avital Sharansky
with Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Shamir
as they leave Ben Gurion airport after arriving in Israel
finally free from Soviet prison,
is one of many in a new Israel Museum photography exhibit.
And from our source of the sukkah on a camel,
a menorah of ice.
It was coming along, but sorry, it was a long day and busy week.
I did not stay to see what happened when it was lit.
no matter how you spell it,
a great miracle happened here,
eight days to celebrate,
as those suffganiot keep coming..in so many colors and tastes.
Yesterday the sun was shining,
and even though the sky was not blue,
these gates were very blue.
Yemin Moshe was picture perfect,
only the streets were empty,
and much too quiet without the usual tourists.
I was looking at the new signs for Hamshushalayim,
an annual Jerusalem tourist weekend discount offer,
and I wondered how it would do with so many people staying away,
and just then a group of tourists walked by.
Things have been slower this week,
but work has gone on.
The Isrotel luxury hotel construction is finally above ground.
In the US as people prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday,
in Israel, thankfully it has started to rain,
We are thankful for rain for it is an answer to our prayers,
but one which involves flooded streets
and accidents galore.
rain or shine,
sleet or snow,
or terror threat,
the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy High School from Rockville, Maryland,
is in Israel again for their Israel mission.
Every four years the entire high school gets a trip to Israel
over the Thanksgiving holiday week.
It can be a life changing experience to see
the real Jerusalem, Israel, streets, even in the wet and rain.
a group of 1000 pilgrims is on their way from Lagos, Nigeria,
so things go on.
I just hope I do not rust.