Torah: Bond for Eternity

Last week an amazing event was held at the Kotel,

the Western Wall.

Tens of thousands of people crowded

into the Kotel Plaza and well beyond to get a view.

They filled the stairways and the Old City streets.

torah scrolls at westwern Wall

They came as 75 Torah scrolls were dedicated,

one for each Israeli killed last summer

in Operation Protective Edge.

Laurent Amram from Montreal

started Kesher Lanetzah, a Bond for Eternity,

with a vision that stated

“We cannot get them back, but we can perpetuate their names.”

The international fund raising campaign 

was a huge success with the last two Torah scrolls

coming from International Young Israel Movement

based in Jerusalem, Israel, including one

 from the Leo V. Berger fund.

However,

Shai Abramson

 before IDF Chief Hazan Shai Abramson sang

Presient Rivlin writing letter in Torah

and President Reuven Rivlin wrote one of the last letters,

Kesher Lanetzah at Kotel

and while all those honored to carry a Torah

into the Plaza for the ceremony stood ready and waiting,

another photo-op was happening in the Women’s Section.

There, near the Kotel, a number of dignitaries had gathered,

to mark another Torah’s journey.

Head of IDF with torah from 1967

New IDF Chief-of-Staff Gadi Eisenkot,

Torah from 1967 returns to western wall

Chief Chaplain Rafi Peretz,

Reuven Rivlin holds torah from 1967

and President Reuven Rivlin,

 took turns holding a small Torah scroll with a navy blue cover.

That Torah scroll was the one that Rav Shlomo Goren held

 on that fateful day in June 1967,

when after 19 years, the Jewish people were

able to return to the Old City and the Kotel.

Torah scrolls

כי מציון תצא תורה, ודבר ה’ מירושלים

For Torah will go forth from Zion,

and the Word of God from Jerusalem.

May this be a good start to the new month of Elul.

man blowing shofer

 חודש טוב

Israeli Summer Heats Up

As the summer weather heats up, I slow down.

Sipping an ice coffee while walking

has become a routine.

Jerusalem graffiti

It seems I am not alone, this man who

   walked into my new graffiti photo had a drink in hand too.

It took me a couple of weeks to get to Yoel Salomon Street

Jerusalem umbrellas over street

to see the Jerusalem, Israel streets’ hottest summer display,

dozens of colorful umbrellas strung above the narrow lane.

There used to be so many used book stores lining the streets,

Another used book store closes

but another book store is closing,

and these signs were plastered announcing the sales.

At least on the other side of the street there are happier signs

Beit Avi Chai outside building

of summer children’s programs at Beit Avi Chai.

signs hung for summer programs on Jerusalem  streets

Summer festivals will be starting soon,

summer in Kikar Safra

and posters are up for summer events

in Kikar Safra, Government Square.

But this week leading up to Tisha B’Av

is also ten years since the end of Gush Katif.

I wrote about a visit to the new Netzer Hazani four years ago.

Since that time,

photo of Gush katif community before 2005

beautiful communities like in this poster,

are now remembered in Gush Katif Museum in Nitzan.

gush katif museum

In the courtyard the wonderful sand is displayed.

seats in Gush Ktif Museum made form moving boxes

Moving boxes are used as seats for a video in the museum.

The army was organized and provided everyone boxes

to pack up their lives and leave their homes,

then every last one was knocked down

and every last Jew left the Gaza Strip.

rocket fired from Gaza into Gush Katif

All was not ideal in Gush Katif.

Yaakov Gross keeps a Gazan rocket

that fell into his house in Gush Katif

in his still temporary store.

But after leaving Gush Katif, what have we gotten in return?

The government promised peace,

and instead we got ten thousand rockets

and Israelis have suffered through three wars.

bomb shelter next to park

In southern Israel,

an outdoor meeting place has to have a safe area

five seconds away.

inside of pipe used as bomb shelter

And who can forget

 last summer as millions of Israelis had to run to bomb shelters.

Some in the south had to huddle in cement pipes

as protection from hundreds of Hamas rockets

that were fired at Israeli citizens day and night.

Gush Katif new community

People are slowly rebuilding.

After ten years

new house old house Gush katif

some families have nice homes,

while some are still in temporary living conditions.

green around home from new Gush Katif home

One garden stood out in the neighborhood,

newly rebuilt in the sand.

Garden of Gush Katif Museum in Nitzan

The names of the destroyed towns are listed,

and the pain and division of the nation

are symbolized in this monument.

Tens years on that summer still makes no sense.

Hopefully you will remember,

as there are those who are trying to erase history,

and the Jewish connection to this land.

Shabbat Shalom Special

It was impossible to decide on just one photo

to share as a Shabbat Shalom greeting this week.

Being in Yemin Moshe several times,

path in Yemin Moshe

there were so many Jerusalem, Israel street photos.

For every photo walk,

I say that you never know what you will find,

and this week

child in karate outfits

a Jerusalem community center held its end of year program in

the shadow of the Montefiore Windmill

with the Old City Walls as a backdrop.

flowers special roses

These roses in Yemin Moshe were amazing,

purple flowers Israel

but they were not the only beautiful flowers.

I thought about doing faces.

Lion Fountain Jerusalem

The water is back up and running in the Lion Fountain,

large dog in car

and his face made me stop and look back.

At the Recycling Festival last night,

child having good time

she was just one of the hundreds of children smiling.

children eating messy frozen ices

How sweet it was.

three children in First Station

Oops, the frozen fruit fell and made a mess,

but what a great reaction!

Shabbat is coming soon,

so the rest will have to wait until next week.

shabat shalom poster

שבת שלום

Shabbat Shalom

One of best views of Old City

is from the Tayelet,

u see how Jerusalem, Israel, has grown.

Image Old City for Shabat shalom

שבת שלום

Yemin Moshe: Windmill Dash or Walk

  This week I saw so many colors of Israel.

sunrise on Kineeret

Sunrise on the Kinneret with the Swim4Sadna,

View of Sea from Carmel

then sunset from the Carmel mountains,

where the blues of sky and sea blend together.

West Bank view of JOrdan

Along the Jordan Valley Road

were colorful packing grates.

But as wonderful it is to go and see the land,

back in Jerusalem, Israel,

street in Yemin Moshe

the colors of Yemin Moshe are a favorite.

photo walk in Yemin Moshe

I love to share its color on photo walks.

But also fun was to meet up with friends

Yemin Moshe with friends

 for a new amazing Israel ScaVenture!

I have walked Yemin Moshe countless times,

each time I see and say there is something new.

Yemin Moshe scaneger hunt

Families have stopped and posed for photos here,

taking photo for scaventure

but I had not noticed this bomb shelter sign.

new sign in Yemin Moshe

Near the Jerusalem Press Club

was the “No climbing” sign we needed to finish our hunt.

But did Kate climb or not climb?

View of Old City from Yemin Moshe

The Windmill Dash ends by the Montefiore Windmill plaza,

with an amazing view of the Old City.

I was so glad to have dashed back

from the beautiful colors of the North

group photo from Scanvegerhunt

 to participate in this Blogger ScaVenture Hunt.

We did the Old City,

then Nahlaot,

last year Gush Etzion,

and now another favorite neighborhood.

What will Tali come up with next?

Most impressive is how these events are good

for families, all age groups and knowledge levels.

Dash around Mishkanot Shaananim and Yemin Moshe.

Then when you are ready to go slower,

see more and set up those photos,

be in touch.

There is always something new to see

on and off the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

Shabbat Shalom

Oh,  it was hot this week!

Dome of the Book Israel Museum

But as always the dome of the

Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum looked cool.

So glad it has cooled off before Shabbat,

wishing all

שבת שלום

Shabbat Shalom.

More than Jerusalem Heat

Everyone is talking about the weather,

the hot, hot weather.

It has been beastly,

outside of science museum

like this monster perched outside the Bloomfield Science Museum

even before the intense heat arrived.

science museum

On Monday, there was a special event for children

who had no school on the day after Shavuot.

special riding bikes

These unusual riding machines are outside the museum.

Science and motion can be fascinating,

and while for some it is a learning experience,

for others,

it is a living experience.

ALEH is a very special school for children with severe disabilities.

The annual ALEH March was Monday afternoon.

I love Aleh

Teachers, students, volunteers and ALEH families

all walked across the Jerusalem String Bridge.

Aleh school releases balloons on Chord bridge

In the middle of the walk the group released green and purple balloons,

made noise and held banners for cars to honk.

march aleh school

Walkers, special wheel chairs and flags,

all marching forward – to make each day count.

And as with most Jerusalem facilities,

Arab women

ALEH serves both Muslim and Jewish children, religious and secular.

The holidays are over,

but things are not quieting down,

and even in the mid-day sun tourists were out.

New signs have been posted,

festival Jerusalem

for the Israel Festival’s

sign in Hebrew

varied programs.

Festival season has begun.

sign in Jerusalem

For other new events

sign for festival Jerusalem

and festivals we will have to wait and see.

But next week is the Jerusalem Light Festival,

Jerusalem light festival

and this big ad was up in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park.

I sure hope it cools off when we walk around the Old City.

It will be interesting to see what new light pieces

the international festival can come up with this year,

 and how many thousands of people will attend.