A highlight in the Jerusalem Light Festival in the Old City is “Rainbow.”
Here is a video of the light projection on the Hurva Synagogue
with music and exclamations from the crowd. Shabbat Shalom.
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.
Many synagogues and Megillat Esther readings were colorful events.
This year zombies and witches roamed the streets at night.
There were some really great shades of hair: blue, purple,
and fluorescent green.
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.
But who here is in a Purim costume?
Sometimes it was easy to tell the costumes,
but other times it was not so easy to decide
who in Jerusalem was dressing up for Purim.
I am pretty sure this was a mask.
Often a hat was enough
to share the festive mood.
Streets actors on stilts performed in Mamilla Mall,
but they were not the only big people in costumes.
For fancy dresses of all sizes,
Purim was a colorful time,
in many ways.
Smurfs were popular – this one was a head turner,
as was this hair cut.
Purim, a time of costumes,
hair and smiles,
food and feasting and drinking.
And as every year on Purim, I am fascinated how many
Arab families are out
Until next year,
Still not enough?
Then you can see more photos here.
Malha Mall in Jerusalem is a large shopping center, busy day and night.
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:
the sounds of a three-night music festival called “Sounds of the Old City.”
The city of Jerusalem offered free musical entertainment
to bring more visitors to enjoy the beauty of the Old City at night.
Throughout the Old City and Mamilla Mall,
there were also video art displays…
much better for a photo blog than music played in the dark.
It was easy to follow the lights and art
through the narrow alleyways of the Old City.
The Hurva Synagogue in the Rova, the Jewish Quarter, was lit up.
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.
Musicians performed inside the Cardo
and out, two of many dramatic backdrop locations.
Shows were also performed in the Christian and Muslim Quarters
and along many of the Old City streets.
Comfortable seats were impossible to find,
but the food for sale near Jaffa Gate was hard to miss.
The crowds grew larger as the night went on.
On the way home, this drum circle near Jaffa Gate caught my attention.
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?