Shabbat Shalom

I was in the Old City last night,

as the sun was setting, the sky still blue.

Not as many people around,

but I walked home at night alone, stopping to talk with friends.

These quiet evenings do not make headlines.

Shabat poster

שבת שלום

Jerusalem to Eilat

Today the sun is shining in Jerusalem, Israel.

Jerusalem spring flowers

The daffodils in the Botanical Gardens are in bloom.

But last week was very cold,

and for the first time we drove south to Eilat.

Once we left the Judean Hills,

road to Eilat

 there are long stretches of road in the desert,

sign to beware of camels

lined with camel warning signs.

camels at rest stop

Not sure if these camels were real,

ostrich in Negev

but this ostrich was running along a fence.

Bedouin along road

Bedouin encampments,

Bedouin along highway

have popped up everywhere.

I always thought Eilat is far.

Well, nothing in Israel is that far!

We did stop once on the way down,

the distance is similar to that of NY to Baltimore.

IDF soldier gets drink

In the rest stop this was a favorite sign.

Another interesting sign on the road was

road to Eilat

this one is to warn of a road closed due to flooding.

I now understand why people run to see areas like this

flooding sign

when they are covered by streams of rushing water.

It is hard to imagine deep water here,

but these markers are in many locations on the road.

Then there is the huge Ramon Crater,

Timma desert Raomn crater

an impressive sight stretching for as are as you can see.

But from that crater outlook

you must go down,

Road to Eliat

twisting around and down,

danger sign

on curves and sharper curves.

Once in Eilat the views

of the water from beachfront hotels

Jordan view from hotel in Eilat

are picture postcard perfect.

Remember,

Jordan view from Eilat hotel

Jordan is this close,

and Egypt is just on the other side.

We went to see the Israman (Israeli Ironman) race.

Sunrise water start of Israman

At dawn nearly 2000 men and women

swam in the cold water.

Then after a quick change, they jumped on their bikes,

and pedalled up the Eilat Mountains.

Bike start Israman in Eilat hills

They left their bikes here for UPS trucks to take back to city,

and then they set off running a full or half marathon course,

back to Eilat near the starting point.

Bart Candel of the Netherlands came in first again this year.

But I think every one who finished the race

was a winner.

Israman

Imagine doing this course with one leg?

There were lots of other inspirational stories,

maybe I will share them another time.

On the way back to Jerusalem

new Ramon Airport near Eilat

we passed the site of the new Ramon Airport

desert

and fields of solar panels.

The Dead Sea may be shrinking,

but it still seems big as you drive along.

warning sink holes

These beware of sink hole signs warn of serious

Sink holes near Dead Sea

sink holes along the Dead Sea.

Back to Jerusalem,

Jerusalem bus with Shema Yisrael on side

where else would one find these new bus signs?

“Listen, Israel, the Lord is our G-d, the Lord is One.”

14 Jerusalem Scenes Past and Future

Last week in Jerusalem, Israel,

during the rainy weather days

top of bridge in weather

it was possible to take a color photo of the new String Bridge,

 that looked like it was black and white.

But then the sun came out,

cat

 Jerusalem’s street cats returned to bask in the sun,

cat at Beit Hanasi

and this cat was back on guard at Beit Hanasi,

the Israeli President’s residence.

Families with school-age children

education sign up

are busy trying to find the best school

for their child’s education, and space is limited.

But for others,

there was time to go by Teddy Park

Teddy Park

and watch the water in the fountain rise and fall.

The weather was sunny,

cool enough,

Teddy Park fountain

no one went into the water,

Muslim couple in Teddy Park

but nice enough to just sit on the ground and relax,

in this new park across from the Old City walls.

Cloud formations this time of year make for interesting photos.

The views of Jerusalem are constantly changing:

Center of Jerusalem construction

this large fenced-off cleared area

Jerusalem construction new statioin

and construction site across from the Central Bus Station

are signs of work well under way.

sign new city center

Posters are up announcing plans for

drastic changes to the entrance of Jerusalem,

with multiple building towers and a new fast rail system.

construction Jerusalem

City construction goes on deep underground

long before it is obvious to passers-by above.

Jerusalem Jaffa Street

Meanwhile, a walk along Jaffa Road

shows new construction rising from the old

Opening from Jaffa road to Nahlaot

and some familiar old scenes.

old building Jerusalem

Jerusalem of old

Segway riders

is constantly changing.

When the sun shines,

it is time to get out and get around.

Isn’t it time for you to see it for yourself.

Shabbat Shalom

The weather has turned,

cold, damp and very windy, grey sky and air full of sand.

So I decided to share a much prettier picture.

from earlier in the week,

view for Nachlaot over bird watching next to Knesset

the roof of the bird sanctuary next to the Knesset,

green from the winter rain and sky clear blue.

shabbos poster

שבת שלום

Jerusalem Darkness to Light

From Jerusalem will come forth light,

from the Jerusalem light festivals  to Hannukah lights,

it is an old, if not ancient theme.

However, this week we saw some unique lights.

Those red, white and blue lights on the Walls of the Old City

Knesset lit at night flag at half mast

and on the Knesset building, where the Israeli flag flew at half mast.

After Shabbat, the flag was lowered

to symbolize the link with France after the terror attack in Paris.

half mast Israeli flags

Israeli flags over Beit Hanasi were lowered as well,

French flags in Jerusalem

while French flags were unfurled over major Jerusalem streets.

I found it ironic that new signs were posted

Jerusalem sign hebrew

for a new App for Jerusalem night life–

who knows what will happen next?

When I see new signs like this one,

sign for move set

I snap photos of them,

video production on streets

only after did I realize, it was posted for the filming of a TV movie.

Make sure you know whether what you see is real or not.

The Jerusalem municipality posted hundreds of large and small signs

Kahlon budget protest

asking MK Kahlon “Do not forsake Jerusalem”

in the new budget in the Knesset.

This week in Jerusalem, while the weather is cool,

Jerusalem roses bloom in November

the roses are blooming

photo oranges

and the oranges are ripening.

However, I want to share

one other very special light coming out of the darkness.

My friend Varda wrote of the horrific terror attack last erev Shabbat.

We know the Rav of Meitar and his family,

and we have many friends there and visit occasionally.

We have driven the road from Meitar to Otniel.

Such darkness,

to drive to a simcha and get ambushed by murderers.

But, from Jerusalem, came forth light.

On Tuesday night, in the wedding hall,

at the time the wedding of the daughter of the victim was to take place,

hall for wedding

an overflow crowd of women and girls

filled the hall with prayer and music, and words of unity.

Litman Beigel wedding postponed

Tears inside during the sad, slow Shabbat song

Binyunei Hauma

and crowds of girls outside.

The Litman-Beigel wedding is rescheduled for next week,

and this time everyone is invited.

If you want to participate, check this out.

To help the Litman family, you can donate here:

 https://www.gofundme.com/bwaq2zbd

Am Yisrael Chai!

May lights continue to come forth from Jerusalem

to shine and inspire the world.