Jerusalem Day Continuing Celebrations

Jerusalem Day Continuing Celebrations

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, in Yerushalayim, is usually a special day.

However, this year Jerusalem Day was even more special, for many reasons.

Mazel tov Netta, Mazel toy seat covers on ElAl plane

Netta mania goes on. This photo  was posted of an El Al plane for her trip back to Israel from Eurovision, winning with her song “Not Your Toy.” Notice how mazal tov, became MAZAL TOY. It was one thing for thousands to turn out in Tel Aviv to welcome her back, but I saw a video taken in Lisbon, where thousands were singing along with Netta Barzalai during the song competition, was something else.

Wow, just crazy.

Honor guard with US flag at opening of US Embassy in Jerusalem Israel

And then there was the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, Israel. It opened with the presentation of colors by a military honor guard and a room full of US dignitaries.

David Friedman US Ambassador to Israel

US Ambassador David Friedman said, “Jerusalem, Israel” and led a live-streamed ceremony with international media coverage.

We will have to wait to see if babies born to US citizens in Jerusalem, Israel, will have that written on their US passports. “Jerusalem, Jerusalem” is what was written until now.

The celebrations, feasts and events with officials for the US Embassy opening are still going on.

Oh, Jerusalem.

View from Tower of David to Mount of Olives Jerusalem Israel

Here is one view of the Mount of Olives on Yom Yerushalayim from the top of the Tower of David.

Actors on Jerusalem Day at Tower of David

The Tower of David, open free of charge on Yom Yerushalayim, is a popular destination for celebrating the holiday. Actors dressed as historical figures, included Golda Meir.

Actors dressed as Ben Gurion and Chaim Weixmann at Tower of David on Jerusalem Day

Ben Gurion and Chaim Weizmann were near the entrance, a day for the young and not so young.

Music event on Jerusalem Day in Tower of David

Hundreds came to hear live music and be greeted by the Mayor of Jerusalem.  Oh and thank you Berman Bakery, for the fresh and free sweets all day.

Israel flag on Churva Synagogue on Jerusalem Day

The Hurva Synagogue was draped with an Israeli flag. After the morning rain, you could see the Dead Sea and Jordan in distance.

Women dressed as Israeli flag on Jerusalem Day in Jerusalem Israel

This woman took the prize for best theme outfit of the day.

Jerusalem Day celebrations on Agron Street in Jerusalem Israel

The enthusiasm, singing, and dancing of the Flag Parade filled Agron Street.

Dancing with Israeli flags on Jerusalem Day in Jerusalem Israel

This group stopped to sing and blow the shofar as they proceeded to the Kotel, Western Wall.

Erick Stakelbeck filming at Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem Israel

Watchman star, Erick Stakelbeck. was filming near Jaffa Gate, with the Tower of David in the background.

Watchman Erick Stakelbeck filming near Jaffa Gate.

The crew was ready and the camera started rolling.

Jerusalem Day filming of Watchman episode by Erick Stakelbeck interrupted by boys singing

When a group of young Israelis danced on to the set and scene.  I asked if that was planned and part of the show. It was not.

Jerusalem Day Israeli boys interrupt filming of Watchman episode by Erick Stakelbeck near Jaffa Gate.

But instead of being overly upset, Stakelbeck joined, smiled and danced around for a few minutes.

Jerusalem Day street closings for Flag Parade

Some streets were blocked for the Flag Parade. This year the gathering points and route were somewhat different.

Yes, it is loud, sometimes very loud. But it is not violent, and not only young males with too much testosterone participating.

Families came to walk and watch. All ages are out on the streets. Young Israeli women were on a different and alternate street.

I did not do the whole walk as in past years. With an earlier start time, and threatening weather, the marchers were spread out and the Old City route was not as congested as in past.  Buses from around the country were arriving all afternoon.

Tens of thousands ended the march at the Kotel, Western Wall, at the end of the day as the sun set. Singing and dancing filled the plaza and overflowed.

On Jerusalem Day three Muslim girls walk in Mamilla Mall

With all of that, Arab girls were out shopping in Mamilla Mall.

Two women wearing hijab sit inside Aroma Cafe in Jerusalem Israel Mailla Mall on Jerusalem Day

Two Arab women were sitting in the Mamilla Aroma Cafe.

The violent protests along the southern border from Gaza were distressing and for Nakba Day, there are reports of new violence.

Cherry season in Israel, Machane Yehuda Market

Life may not be a bowl of cherries. But fresh cherries are piled high in the shuk, Machane Yehuda Market.

In areas under Jordanian occupation from 1948-1967, where Jews did not go, on Yom Yerushalayim there was celebrating and dancing on those streets.

There were so many other local and official celebrations, I cannot begin to list them all. The day ended with prizes, more music and fireworks at the Tower of David at night.

The Embassy of Guatemala is opening and the month of Ramadan is starting.

So much happening on Jerusalem streets.

Israel 70 Years: Past and Future

Israel 70 Years: Past and Future

Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel Independence Day, is usually one big celebration from nightfall to nightfall. Since most people are not working, families and friends plan to get together.

It is like one giant Sunday to make up for a year of no Sunday vacation days.

Yom Haatzmaut fly over the Knesset for #Israel70

The flyovers are over.

The coals from tens of thousands of grills have gone cold.

Watching air show in Jerusalem, Israel on Yom Haatzmaut

Those big plastic hammers are put away and kids are back in school.

But this year with Israel 70 events, the celebrating keeps going.

The Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem, Israel, hosted an evening in honor of Israel 70.

After food (of course, this is Israel), and the Prime Minister speaking, there was a panel with three ambassadors. There were remarks by US Ambassador David Friedman, on the good ol’ days in Israel, way before cell phones, which got me thinking about doing another Israel 70 post.

I walked home from the Begin Center past Ester lit up and looking like a giant space pod in the Hansen House garden.

Main garden of Hansen House with Ester wood structure for Israel 70

By day Ester, built in honor of Israel 70, looks like a giant popsicle stick structure.

Hansen Gardens on pleasant afternoon people reading

Hansen gardens, where in the past the most ill of Jerusalem would sit in the sun, are attracting new visitors to spend time to sit and read.

Hansen office as in time of Leper Hospital

In this infirmary, the leper patients were treated.

Old washing machine in Hansen House display of old Jerusalem

On display is what could be the first Uber. To think this was an upscale washing machine not so many years ago, and some of us complain about small size or long cycles of Israel modern machines.

In old setting a woman uses lap top at former Hansen Hospital in Jerusalem Israel

But those are two show rooms to remind us of what was. Now there are tech events held in the building. There is a cafe where old typewriters are on display, while people sit and work on their laptops.

Hansen House now has small natural food store as well as restaurant. Jerusalem Israel

There is a store with health foods and organic vegetables, and cheese in a refrigerated glass display case.

Outhouse from Hansen Hospital Jerusalem Israel

When Hansen Hospital opened it was a show-piece of modernity. It bragged of a foot bridge from the second floor rooms to the large outhouses.

Some people do not listen to music this time of year, but I had to do a very quick video. Today in Hansen House, push a button and there is a music option in the new modern loo.

Ambassador Sallai Meridor warned at the Begin Center, on the panel after Amb. Friedman, a “world major tsunami is coming. Kids who start school today will go into jobs we have never heard of and the demand for ingenuity is just beginning.”

Hansen House is but one example of change in Israel over the last 70 years.

New neighborhood in Modiin Israel

Go to Modi’in. See what has been built in the middle of nowhere. This location selected because it was between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, was barren except for dirt and rocks 35 years ago.

Where will Israel be like in 70 years?

Who would have ever imagined what has been developed and accomplished in the past 70 years?