Jerusalem: Wet, Windy and Wonderful

In Jerusalem, Israel,

it was a wet and wild week.

On a clear day on a walk into town,

Street scene Jerusalem Israel

I found this interesting door, but did not enter.

Man blowing shofar and son watches and soldier passes by

A man was blowing a large shofar in front of

a gift shop on Ben Yehudah Street.

Nearby,

Israeli security women at lunch on Ben Yehuda

 female border police officers were having a lunch break

Arab girls shopping in Jerusalem Israel

as these two young women were shopping.

But the wet weather this past week

Rainy day in Jerusalem Israel, dark, wet and cold

often made for dark and dreary photos.

Walls of Old City seen through rain covered window at Begin Center Jerusalem Israel

Can you tell those are  the walls of the Old City

through rain drops on the Begin Center’s windows?

After heavy rains

Water after heavy rain in Jerusalem Israel

 this unsightly puddle remained.

Broken IKEA umbrella in street garbage bin after heavy rain.

This IKEA umbrella could not withstand the Jerusalem weather.

IKEA is to open another Israeli store in Beer Sheva.

When it rains and the wind blows,

it’s best to forget using any umbrella.

Besides the weather,

Rubbish bin overflowing with trash during Jerusalem strike

trash piled up in bins during a brief strike.

which closed Agrippas Street with mountains of mess.

The only good part of it was that it was short and soon cleaned up.

However,

while the weather and strikes made news,

there were good things happening too.

International visitors gathered to celebrate weddings,

bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs, and more.

Off the Jerusalem streets,

in Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence,

another 929 Bible Study group was held.

Beit Hanasi for 929 study group

The chapter of the day was

 from Shir HaShirim, the Song of Songs,

read by actor and radio announcer Dan Caner.

He read beautifully.

Rabbi Benny Lau speaking at Bible Study lesson at Beit Hanasi

Rabbi Benny Lau and President of the Israeli Supreme Court Esther Hayut

were at the head of table with President and Mrs. Rivlin.

929 Shir Hashirim study at Beit Hanasi

This is the 16th time the Rivlins have hosted

the daily Bible study initiative.

The main hall was filled with guests as speakers

elaborated and studied the text.

Another closed event was held at the King David Hotel.

King David Hotel lunch for NATO Ambassador countries in Jerusalem Israel

Ambassadors to Israel from the NATO countries.

had lunch with the Israeli Prime Minister.

Wet and wild weather

left the skies clear and clean and blue,

and it was hard to figure out what to wear.

Will it be hot or cold?

No one knows what will happen next .

But of one thing you can be sure,

Flowers on display in King David Hotel lobby

the flowers in the King David Hotel lobby,

rain or shine, hot or cold outside,

 will be impressive.

Shabbat Shalom

Winter has arrived.

Jerusalem, Israel, experienced

 pouring rain and windy stormy weather last night.

While parts of North America are colder and covered in snow,

the sun is shining in Jerusalem this morning.

I hope those winds do not blow me away,

but we are off to celebrate with friends from Australia.

Wishing all a warm and healthy and restful Shabbat.

Flowers for Shabbat shalom sign

שבת שלום

Jerusalem, Israel, Rain or Shine is Home

The year 2018 got off to a wet start.

Prayers for rain in Jerusalem, Israel,

were answered.

Rain poured down, the streets flooded,

and the cold and wet winter arrived.

Wet sidewalks outside Ramada Hotel as man walks away without coat.

It was a good to be in and not outside.

Oh and the fog!

Fog covering Jerusalem buildings.

When fog sets in it can be so thick

Sunset, lights go on and fog clears Jerusalem Israel rainy day

you cannot see large buildings nearby.

I know we need rain desperately,

but I prefer to be out when the sun is shining.

Mincha minyin in Mamilla Mall street

I like to see those impromptu prayer services,

anytime of the afternoon, anywhere,

in parks and here in Mamilla Mall.

People walking in Jerusalem Israel Mamilla Mall past Arab women sitting in cafe

I like to watch people walking in Mamilla Mall,

Jerusalem Israel two nuns walking along street near Kikar Safra

or on any Jerusalem, Israel street.

One can see a bit of every fashion,

Man smoking on Ben Yehuda wearing red Santa helper hat

though I am not sure what fashion statement

this man sitting and smoking on Ben Yehuda

was making by wearing a red Santa helper hat.

Street graffiti in Jerusalem Israel near city center

I like to find new street graffiti.

Jerusalem WeWork building construction

And I like to see work progressing

on the future home of Jerusalem WeWork.

Entrance to major Jerusalem construction at city entrance

We will have to wait to see how much we like

the massive construction project near the entrance to Jerusalem.

You can see here how far it is going down

before the buildings start to go up and up.

This week across the highway, the Ramada Hotel hosted the

WZO’s International Conference for Rabbis and Communal leaders.

There were dozens of speakers

and representatives from 40 countries.

With unrest all around the Middle East

Rabbis and community leaders at Ramada Hotel for WZO conference in Jerusalem Israel

it is easy to overlook the wonder that

this conference was held in Hebrew.

So many are learning Torah in Hebrew in Israel today.

The population is approaching 9 million.

Walk on along Jerusalem streets you will hear

English, French, Russian and Spanish along with Hebrew.

With corruption and strikes and strife,

incredible things have developed in 70 years.

With all those negative headlines around the world,

Israel is growing.

This past week I saw this traditional blessing for a home,

Traditional blessing for new home in Hebrew and English

“May this home be a place of happiness and health,

of contentment, generosity, and hope. A home of 

creativity and kindness. May those who visit and

those who live here know only blessing and peace.”

It was hanging near the front door on a new home

for female lone soldiers in Jerusalem.

7,000 young people, from around the world,

are in Israel, serving in the defense forces,

30% of them young women.

Female lone soldiers in special residence in Jerusalem group hug "Mom" counselor in charge

After the opening day dedication program,

six of the young soldiers surrounded

and hugged their “Mom.”

Rachel, the counselor is on duty 24/7 to help and advise

these young women without parents around to support them.

Head of the Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin,

Josh Flaster looks on with pride.

Sign of Home, love, memories, friends and laughter

Jerusalem, Israel, rain or shine is home.