Hanukkah was over Friday night at sunset.
In Jerusalem, sirens sounded over the Jerusalem streets at 5:01 pm, as Shabbat services were to begin. People had to seek shelter. A stark reminder that the rockets from Gaza could still be headed to Jerusalem, Israel, not just along the Gaza border or the border in the north.
These large flags are displayed all over the roads, a reminder that we are at war.
These silent construction projects are a reminder of the Arab workers, who are not working.
But the clean-up crews from the Jerusalem municipality keep going strong to collect the trash.
On Hanukkah Cinema City was a popular family recreation site.
The OU Hanukkah event for Olim filled the Nefesh BeNefesh hall with young families.
A shortcut through the Supreme Court to the Knesset was not a good idea.
The gate to the path through the Rose Garden was locked.
Who knows if and when the Rose Garden will reopen again?
Or when the protest tent with the families of the hostages will close?
The National Library of Israel is gaining popularity and more readers are in the reading room.
The circulation desk is open and appears to be responsive.
A small coffee shop also is now open for people to drink and eat, and sit and talk.
These chairs and books are ready and waiting for the hostages to finally return home from captivity.
The Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein National Campus for Archaeology of Israel is across the street from the National Library and the Israel Museum and is next to the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem, all near the Knesset.
It was open briefly to the public for two hours on Hanukkah. The entrance might appear modest.
Tours begin with the mosaic on the floor as you enter the building site.
But the outside appearance does deceive. It goes down 8 stories! I have waited to see what has been accomplished since my first visit in 2016!
The spaces were designed to be open to see the work being done.
The library had been a shell, with bare cement walls, but is now very impressive.
Multiple labs are open and appear to be operating.
This year was not a perfect festive eight days of Hanukkah.
The first night lighting the first candle on the Jerusalem streets,
and other nights I missed doing the usual big tours and crowds.
However, I noticed the lemons were turning yellow against the blue sky,
and the new winter grass is bright green.
While the clouds at night have been mostly pink.
A simpler eight days of Hanukkah 5784 have passed.
The colorful candles of Hanukkah have burned down and are put away for this year.
However, we continue to believe good must triumph over evil.