Jerusalem Purim and Marathon Time

Jerusalem Purim and Marathon Time

Jerusalem, Israel, is a a busy place.

Zambian President Edgar Lungu is in town,

as is the Foreign Minister of Moldova, Andrei Galbur,

plus there are more conferences than one person can possibly attend.

Last week was a bit quieter with the Israeli PM away.

No noisy, late night motorcades with loud speakers blaring

meant the Jerusalem streets were quieter.

Jerusalem construction site.

Of course, the noise of construction sites continued.

Beautiful sounds were heard, the music of Shlomo Katz

Lone IDF soldiers on stage with Shlomo Katz at benefite conert.

for the Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin,

at a special benefit concert which ended the week.

Making the evening more special, a father-son duet and

Shlomo’s father, Avshalom, telling how he served as a lone soldier.

With Purim approaching,

it was time for a new photo of an old sign,

street sign for Mordechai the Jew

and a stroll down Mordechai the Jew Street,

Synagogue name for Mordechai the Jew in Jerusalem

where Mordechai (however you spell it in English)

has his own synagogue.

The fruit store around the corner

Jerusalem Israel produce store with photos of Rabbis on wall

has not only a colorful display of fresh produce,

but also famous faces to watch over you.

Jaffa Gate where Jerusalem Marathon route will go on March 17

The large Jerusalem Marathon sign is up by Yaffa Gate.

On Friday morning March 17, tens of thousands will be

running the marathon route through the Old City.

Jerusalem Marathon March 17, 2017

When the weather clears, runners can be found training.

One of the conferences this week marked 100 Years

since the Balfour Declaration.

100 years of Balfour Declaration at Waldorf Hotel

While it was a bit early for November 2nd, it featured informative talks.

While Bibi was being celebrated in Australia,

Jerusalem protest site outside PM residence

a camp was set up outside the Prime Minister’s House

protesting the destruction of Amona.

Today, 9 more Jewish houses were destroyed in Ofra.

Rosh Hodesh Adar in Jerusalem at Kotel

A large crowd gathered at the Kotel, Western Wall,

on Rosh Chodesh Adar in the morning.

There were thousands of men and women,

and two women protesting with loud whistles,

 while most people were trying to pray.

Purim in Jerusalem is not a one night event as in much of the world,

but it goes on and on and on.

Starting with Rosh Chodesh Adar, the beginning of the Hebrew month,

for two weeks, young school children

learn upside-down and fun topics,

and wear pajamas to nursery school, or dress as clowns,

or wear a different hat home each day.

Strangely, much of the time too many things feel upside down.

But with all this going on what is getting attention?

Cofizz store where 6 is posted over 5 shekel

I had to pay an extra shekel to get my ice coffee!

A clever ‘6’ sticker was pasted over the ‘all for 5’ on Cofizz.

I was asked to share events before they happen,

so here are a few important dates for March:

Ta’anit Esther – Fast of Esther   March 9, 2017

Reading Megillat Esther – March 11, after Shabbat

Purim – March 12 

Reading Megillat Esther in Jerusalem – evening March 12 

Shushan Purim, celebrated in Jerusalem – March 13

Purim at the Bible Lands Museum – Free Entrance for Children –

Sun – Mon| March 12-13 | 10:00-14:00

Jerusalem Marathon – Friday morning, March 17, 2017.

Jerusalem music festival at night in Old City

Sounds of the Old City Music Festival,  7:00 – 11:00 pm – March 20 – 23,

so many things happening on the Jerusalem streets.

President Time in Jerusalem

President Time in Jerusalem

If it’s February,

it’s time for Presidents again.

In the United States, February means a long holiday weekend

Jerusalem street sign for US President Abraham Lincoln

in honor of the birthdays of President George Washington

US President Abraham Lincoln street sign Jerusalem

and President Abraham Lincoln.

Since I have used these Jerusalem streets signs often,

I went to find something new.

I went looking for the sign where the two streets meet,

image of Presidents Where Washington and Lincoln Streets meet in Jerusalem

only to find, there is no sign on that Jerusalem corner.

Over 6,000 people came from around the world

Binyunei Hauma for #OCsummit2017

for the OurCrowd Global Summit last week.

with Elli Q, one of hundreds of amazing Israeli innovations.

Presidents of companies and leaders of the Startup Nation

networked and shared their ideas and talents.

At another venue, the annual Conference of Presidents

of Major American Jewish Organizations met again this year

in Jerusalem, Israel, after a kosher dinner in the royal palace in Morocco

and a stopover in Cairo to meet President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Reuven Rivlin and Malcolm Hoenlein at Inbal Hotel

President Reuven Rivlin was the first speaker,

and no, the President was not so excited to see me.

Romanian former President Rosen Plevneliev

The former President of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev

was in the banquet hall for the opening dinner.

 He really is a friendly person.

Bulgaria President at Beit Hanasi

On his way to visit President Rivlin at Beit Hanasi,

the official residence of the Israeli President,

the former President of Bulgaria and his team,

 stopped, said hello, smiled and posed for photos.

But as usual in February,

 most people are not thinking about all these Presidents,

Candy in the shuk before Purim

they are busy thinking about

costumes, candy for gifts, and meals fit for a king,

Machane Yehudah Market, the shuk, has been ready for weeks.

No matter the weather,

Rainy day with fabric out on street for Purim costumes

colorful fabric for costumes lines the sidewalks on Jaffa Road.

 Purim is coming.

15 Hanukkah Menorah Favorites Burning Brightly from Jerusalem

15 Hanukkah Menorah Favorites Burning Brightly from Jerusalem

The sun was shining brightly on the eighth day of Hanukkah.

The bright blue skies awere scattered with white puffy clouds

over the cold Jerusalem streets.

There were so many hanukkiot being lit for the past 8 days,

it was not easy, but here are 15 of my favorites.

Chanukiah on last night of Hanuka

On the last night at home,

these olive oil flames burned brightly.

Knesset building had Chanukiah on top eight lights on last night

The electric lights over the Knesset

were clearly visible next to the Israeli flag.

Chauniak Lights on poles for Hanuka

The electric light street decorations

were in different locations this year,

but they are always a favorite sight.

Menorah on street corner in Jerusalem Israel

Chabad menorahs seemed to be on every corner,

Menorah on top of car saying happy chanukah

and some were on top of cars.

Again this year in Mamilla Mall

Hanukah menorah in Mamilla Mall

 a special Chabad hanukkia

Lighting menorah in Mamilla Mall crowd music and dancing

attracted large crowds every night.

Jerusalem Mamilla Mall chanukah menorah

Selected guests were honored with lighting the lights,

from lone soldiers to victims of terror.

Every night there were music and sufganiot for all.

Near the entrance of Beit Hanasi,

the Israeli President’s Residence,

Chanukiah outside the Israeli President's house

stood a new hanukkia with the Israeli state emblem

wishing all a Happy Hanukkah.

Chaunka menorah

Whether made of glass and colorful and lit inside,

Jerusalem lighting chanukiah outside OldCity

or simple and lit outside on the street,

Old City Western Wall candle lighting

or flames rising high above the Kotel, 

the Western Wall, as on the fifth night,

the variety and quantity of hanukkiot was astounding.

Crowd near Western Wall for chanukah menorah lighting and blessings.

Thousands came in the evening to the Kotel,

for the lighting of the Hanukkah Menorah.

Hanukkah menorah at Western Wall

It was hard to get a clear photo,

as one after another men climbed up to pose for photos,

in front of the burning lights.

On my way home through the Old City

Hanukah night in Jerusalem Rova

there was singing and dancing as lights

Menorahs lining street of Rova, Jewish Quarter Jerusalem Old City

and more lights lined the paths.

Menorah at Old City Walls Jaffa Gate

This old electric menorah near Jaffa Gate,

was as popular as ever,

Chanukah in Jerusalem, Israel

but it paled next to the light projection on the nearby wall.

But, the most unique menorah I saw this year

was the one lit at Yad Vashem

Krakow menorah lit at Yad Vashem by Rabbi Israel Meir Lau

 by former chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau,

a child survivor with an extended family photo in view.

Krakow menorah at Yad Vashem on third night of Hanukkah

 On the third night of Hanukah,

the centuries-old Krakow menorah candles burned brightly,

 for over two hundred international Jewish leaders

gathered in Jerusalem, Israel, for an educator’s conference.

Hanukkah is a holiday celebration of survival in ancient times.

But it is also a good time to appreciate the modern miracles

of survival and rebirth and new light.

That’s it,

until next year,

still not sure how best to spell in English,

Hebrew sign on bus in Jerusalem Israel Old City

Hanuka sameach!