Purim, Purim and still Purim?

I used to think that if Purim was more than one day, it would be easier,

as spreading out the celebration would make it less intense and less tiring.

Oh, was I wrong!

Purim holiday celebrations begin early in Jerusalem, Israel,

and continue well after others have ended.

While the rest of the world went back to work,

Jerusalem was still in full holiday mode.

Purim festival photo, Purim in Jerusalem

Many synagogues and Megillat Esther readings were colorful events.

Purim celebration photo, costumes

This year zombies and witches roamed the streets at night.  

Purim costume picture, Jerusalem photo

There were some really great shades of hair: blue, purple,

Purim costume,

and fluorescent green. 

Hurva synagogue, Israeli soldiers, Jerusalem photo, J Street

These Israeli soldiers were wearing green too, as they sat in front of the

  Hurva Synagogue listening to their tour guide, they were the real thing.

Purim costumes, Jerusalem photo

But who here is in a Purim costume?

Purim costumes children, Purim Jerusalem, photos costumes

Sometimes it was easy to tell the costumes,

Purim in Jerusalem, costumes

but other times it was not so easy to decide 

Purim in Jerusalem, Jerusalem

who in Jerusalem was dressing up for Purim.

Purim mask photo, Jerusalem images

 I am pretty sure this was a mask.

Purim colorful hat, Jerusalem on Purim

 Often a hat was enough

Purim hat image

to share the festive mood.

street actors photo, Jerusalem on Purim

Streets actors on stilts performed in Mamilla Mall,

Purim costumes photo, adults in costume, Jerusalem photography

but they were not the only big people in costumes.

Purim costumes in Jerusalem

For fancy dresses of all sizes, 

Purim in Jerusalem photo, Jerusalem photographs

Purim was a colorful time,

Purim in Jerusalem image

 celebrated

costumes purim.

 in many ways.

Purim photo, Jerusalem photo

Smurfs were popular – this one was a head turner,

Purim in Jerusalem

as was this hair cut.

men in costumes, Purim image adults , Jerusalem photos

Purim, a time of costumes,

Purim costume, Jerusalem photo

 hair and smiles,

 food and feasting and drinking.

And as every year on Purim, I am fascinated how many

Palestinian family in Jerusalem

 Arab families are out

arab girls

sharing the same streets.

Until next year, 

Purim sameach on bus, Happy Purim sign on bus, Jerusalem photo purim

Happy Purim. 

Still not enough?

Then you can see more photos here.

Malha Mall Rioters Drown out the Music

Malha Mall in Jerusalem is a large shopping center, busy day and night.

"Palestinian women' , "Arab women in Israel picture", "photo Arab women"

  Typical scenes like this one show no hint of apartheid.

Last week a group of Beitar football (soccer) fans made quite a scene

 in Malha Mall that caught international attention.

In no way do I condone their rowdy and obnoxious behavior, 

but sports fans have rioted in Canadian and  US cities also.

 Was the entire country condemned for their miserable behavior?

An Israeli diplomat in Rabat, Morocco had to be rescued from a mob

of tens of thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators.

I did not hear of human rights activists writing essays against these events.

Once again, an isolated, repulsive incident has been blown out of proportion

 and has drowned out the other sounds coming from Jerusalem:

"J Street', Image "Wall of Old City", "photo of Jerusalem"

the sounds of a three-night music festival called “Sounds of the Old City.”

The city of Jerusalem offered free musical entertainment

"picture of Jaffa Gate", "lights" , "sundown photo"

 to bring more visitors to enjoy the beauty of the Old City at night.

Throughout the Old City and Mamilla Mall, 

"light on wall"  , "photo stone walls"

there were also video art displays…

 much better for a photo blog than music played in the dark.

"narrow streets picture", "sundown photo"

It was easy to follow the lights and art

"lights above narrow street" , "J Street"

through the narrow alleyways of the Old City.

"photo Hurva Synagogue"

The Hurva Synagogue in the Rova, the Jewish Quarter, was lit up.

"stage picture", "photo of a stage"

Musical performances were scheduled from 6-11:00pm;

sorry, I only got a program on the way out and missed the shows in the Rova.  

"picture of Cardo", "photo of Cardo at night"

Musicians performed inside the Cardo 

"musicians playing photo", "picture of Cardo at night"

and out, two of many dramatic backdrop locations.

Shows were also performed in the Christian and Muslim Quarters

"sound in the night" , "Arab men photo"

   and along many of the Old City streets.

"music fans" , "photo of stage", "Jerusalem photo"

Comfortable seats were impossible to find,

"Arab food photo", "picture of Fava beans",

but the food for sale near Jaffa Gate was hard to miss.

"Palestinian photo", "apartheid image" , "video art picture"

The crowds grew larger as the night went on.

"photo drum circle", "picture of drums", "Arab boys", "Jerusalem photos"

On the way home, this drum circle near Jaffa Gate caught my attention.

"picture boy dancing", "Arab boys in Jerusalem photo", "image Arabs"

One boy got up and started to dance

 to an audience which gathered to watch and included smiling Arab families.

The sounds of music from the Old City went unnoticed by the media,

drowned out by the noise of a few trouble makers.

There was no violence during the festival…so it is not news.

 The “Sounds of the Old City” was happening in Jerusalem last week.

What did you hear?