Remembering Fallen ANZAC Soldiers

Remembering Fallen ANZAC Soldiers

Leaving Jerusalem by Route 1, when traffic is moving, is a wonder.

So many cars, so much construction with new wider roads and multiple lanes.

Oh the contrast, remembering the early days of one lane winding up and down the mountain.

Road and rail construction near Jerusalem Israel

Alongside the highway, light rail construction is even more impressive.

Next to Jerusalem route one rail construction

Rising up and over the valley and stretching into the entrance to Jerusalem are new train tracks.

Driving south to Beer Sheva on Route 6 is also a sharp contrast to the old days of narrow roads.

SodaStream factory in southern Israel

Not only has SodaStream in the Negev grown in size,

Industrial park near SodaStream factory in southern Israel

but from barren sand, a new industrial park is growing next to the SodaStream complex.

ANZAC museum in Beer Sheva

The Beer Sheva ANZAC Museum opened two years ago in time for the 100 years commemorations.

ANZAC Museum in Beer Sheva

Inside is a display of World War I military items, boots, hat, and a trumpet.

ANZAC Museum poster display

While our guide Colin explained the ANZAC (Australia New Zealand Army Corps) role in the 1917 war in Palestine, I was fascinated by digital posters.

AMZAC Museum in Beer Sheva poster dislpay

Why would these young, very young, Australian and New Zealanders travel halfway around the world to fight in a war so far away from home?

ANZAC Museum in Beer Sheva posters

But they did enlist. And the Light Horsemen from Down Under came to assist the British army fight the Ottoman Empire.

Having toured Beer Sheva in the past, Allenby’s place in the story of Beer Sheva is well known.

ANZAC Museum video

However, the video in the ANZAC Museum was new.

ANZAC Museum in Beer Sheva

Old black and white photos from World War I do not tell the story as effectively.

Scene from video in ANZAC Museum in Beer Sheva

The war was not going well for the British army before the ANZACs arrived by boat with their magnificent horses.

ANZaC Museum in Beer Sheva

Without water. In the desert heat with flies and sand and lice, the options were few and demanded immediate action.

Blurry photo of Light Horsemen riding to Beer Sheva

They charged. Those crazy Aussies and Kiwis! Sorry, I could only get a blurry photo from the video, they were galloping too fast.

ANZAC cavalry arrive in Beer Sheva, and reach wells for water

The Light Horsemen charged mounted on their prize horses to the surprise of Turkish soldiers – right at them, jumping over the shocked enemies heads and out of weapon range.

They made it to Beer Sheva, to the wells, which were found safe and intact.

ANZAC Museum in Beer Sheva

The Australians lost 32 soldiers.

The New Zealanders lost 31 soldiers.

From the victory in Beer Sheva, the British forces went on to turn back the last of the Ottoman Empire, arriving in Jerusalem on December 9, 1917.

Each year on October 31, there is a memorial ceremony in Beer Sheva.

In 2017, there was a major 100-year ceremony and commemoration.

ANZAC and British cemetery in Beer Sheva

I thought it appropriate to take a minute to remember those young ANZAC soldiers who never made it back home.

Jerusalem Sukkot Highlights

Jerusalem Sukkot Highlights

The fall holiday season in Jerusalem, Israel, has come to a close.

Monday night,  the Jerusalem streets from First Station to the Kotel, Western Wall, to the Gur Hassidic Center, and dozens of other locations were filled with live music and tens of thousands dancing with Torahs for Hakafot Shniot.

Fall flowers in Jerusalem

Tourists prepared to go back to their homes, as Jerusalem fall flowers were in full bloom.

In the first year of Reuven Rivlin’s presidency, there was no line on the street outside of Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence, for the annual Sukkah Open House.

This year 8,000 people came. For many, it was their first time inside the usually closed gates.

The theme in the President’s public sukkah was Israeli grapes.

Sukkah at Israeli President Residence for open house 5780

Barrels of wine were in the sukkah this year, but no samples were offered. Artificial grapes hung from the top of the sukkah.  A large wheelbarrow outside the sukkah was filled with a variety of grapes that were consumed before I thought to take a photo.

Zeev and Maria Elkin at Beit Hanasi for Sukkot

MK Zeev and Maria Elkin were at Beit Hanasi early for the intermediary days of Sukkot event.

Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem at Beit Hanasi for Sukkot

Activities for children included making a Bar Kochba coin sponsored by the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem.

President Rivlin at Sukkot at Beit Hanasi

When President Rivlin made an appearance, he was surrounded by media.

Reuven Rivlin in main hall Beit Hanasi on Sukkot

Crowds were both outside and inside the main hall,

President Rivlin on Sukkot with public and man takes selfie

in the big sukkah, 

Sukkot at Beit Hanasi in Jerusalem with President Rivlin

and outside on the back lawn.

Street closings in Jerusalem for holiday os Sukkot

Crowds. Crowd control. Closed streets. All have becomes constants of Jerusalem holiday seasons.

Crowds walking near Old City walls Jerusalem Israel on Sukkot

Even late at night, tens of thousands of visitors walking to and from the Old City is a common Sukkot sight.

Jerusalem on Sukkot holiday people dressed in holiday clothing.

Families dressed in their best holiday clothing, day or night, head toward Jaffa Gate.

The Western Wall Heritage Foundation announced that 2.5 million people visited the Kotel, Western Wall during the month.

Man holding esrog as big as his head in Jerusalem at night on Sukkot

Perhaps not the best, but surely the biggest etrog I saw, was the size of the man’s head.

Sukka in Kikar Safra Jerusalem Israel

The huge sukkah in Kikar Safra, Municipal Plaza, welcomed the public.

Jerusalem Sukkot concert at Kikar Safra

Free, live musical concerts attracted crowds to Kikar Safra on several nights.

The list of free and fundraising concerts and events in Jerusalem was long and diverse.

Restaurant sukkot on Jaffa Street near light rail tracks Jerusalem Israel

Day and night the sukkot lining the light rail tracks on Jaffa Road welcomed the tired and hungry .

Mafidal sign for Jerusalem arts festival

One Jerusalem festival was set for holiday visitors.

Jerusalem cultural festival signs Manofim

The 11th Manofim Jerusalem Contemporary Art Festival opens soon,

Oud Festival signs in Jerusalem

followed in November by the Oud Festival for the 20th year.

The 4th Jerusalem Biennale which opened October 10 goes through November.

There are 14 locations, 200 artists and 500 works in this Jerusalem contemporary art event.

Jerusalem Biennale sukka at Heichel Shlomo

So I will end with another view of Rabbi Yitzchok Moully’s sukkah constructed of reflective plexiglass exterior panels at Heichal Shlomo.

So many photos from Jerusalem Biennale, it needs a post of its own. Coming soon.

So much happened over Sukkot holidays, so much more happening on Jerusalem streets.

Jerusalem Season of Holidays

Jerusalem Season of Holidays

What a glorious week in the neighborhood!

The Jerusalem, Israel, streets were lined with fall flowers bursting with color.

After a surprise early rain on Shabbat the air is clear under a blue sky.

Yemin Moshe fall flowers

The streets of Yemin Moshe are more marvelous than usual.

Yemin Moshe tourist walking down steps Jerusalem I

I hope all those tour groups appreciated the beauty as they walked.

Pomegranates and flowers near Herzl in Beit Hanasi garden

After so many times at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence, for the first time, this week I noticed the pomegranates growing next to Herzl.

Jerusalem Valley of the Cross

What a view from the new lookout point over the Valley of the Cross!

Shana tova on Jerusalem street sgn

Shana Tova! Have a Good Year! say the signs over Jerusalem streets.

Music in the Sultan’s Pool, music in Kikar Safra, and musical selihot and songs in so many locations.

Tens of thousands filled the Kotel, Western Wall, plaza and the entire area for the annual midnight selihot before Yom Kippur. 

Selihot at Beit Hanasi 2019 with 500 people

For the sixth year, President Rivlin hosted a selihot service with music. Bigger every year, this event had 500 guests in the back garden next to the synagogue.

Selihot at beit hanasi 5780

IDF soldiers, students in pre-military programs, and members of the daily morning prayer group were all invited.

Music before the selihot prayers with Shai Tsabari and Akiva Tourgeman.

Music for selihot at Beit Hanasi

The crowd clapped and often sang along.

Large screens showed those outside what was happening inside the synagogue, and the President came out also.

By the end of the service and singing, it was close to midnight

Yom Kippur this year starts the night of October 8 and goes until nightfall on October 9.

According to IDI surveys, 60.5% of Jewish Israelis plan to fast on Yom Kippur, a significant drop from 73% in 1994.

Only around a quarter of Jewish Israelis (23%) plan on attending all the synagogue services.

But the streets should be quiet with no buses, trains or vehicles, only cyclists.

Jerusalem Israel holiday signs

New signs are up for the holiday season in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem on Sukkos signs on street

Too many concerts and activities to list now.

Holiday Parade signs on Jerusalem streets for Sukkos

The Jerusalem Parade, with thousands of international marchers and hundreds of colorful costumes, will fill the Jerusalem Streets.

So much happening in Jerusalem, Israel, this season of holidays.