After Israeli Independence Day Celebrations

Celebrations for Yom Haatzmaut,

Israel Independence Day,

have come to an end for this year.

There were lots of ceremonies, and the Bible Quiz on TV,

and flags flying above the streets and on buildings,

Israeli flags on cars for Independence Day

and little Israeli flags clipped on to cars.

As usual, Gan Sacher,

GAsh Sacher on Yom Haatzmaut

 Sacher Park, was the scene of hundreds of family picnics.

Yom Haatzmaur in Gan Sacher

People brought chairs and tables and bags of food,

People with beds in Gan Sacher on yom Haatzmaut

and even mattresses for comfort.

men carrying couch in Sacher Park on Yom Haatizamut

But this couch was a first.

Tents and friendly strangers in Sacher Park on Yom Haatazmaut

There were smiles from strangers and tents.

smoke from grill in Jerusalem park on Independence Day

Smoke from grills and the sounds of karaoke filled the air.

During the afternoon planes of all sizes

flyover on Independence Day

appeared in formation

flyover Independence Day

in the blue skies

flyover on Independence Day in Jerusalem Israel

 and thrilled the crowds below.

cute little boy with Israeli flag and balloons

Beautiful children with flags and balloons

enjoyed the celebrations.

Isaeli soldiers with big piece of meat at BBQ on independence Day in Gan Sacher

A group of lone soldiers enjoyed some serious ribs,

 grills were fired up all day to feed the hundreds that came.

Tens of thousands celebrated in Gan Sacher,

including one special group of girls,

Bat Sherut in Jerusalem for Yom Haatzmaut in Gan Sacher

Bnot Sherut, girls from overseas who are spending

their “gap year” volunteering in Israel.

The media missed their dance performance, but they did find this family

tv interview in Gan Sacher on Yom Hatzmautl

who were happy to share their opinions

of what a beautiful day it was,

concluding with a rousing,

“AM YISRAEL CHAI.”

No it is not snow, even if it’s called “sheleg,”

it’s the dreadful white shaving cream stuff,

couple with purple "shelg" in Gan SAcher on Yom Haatzmaut

 this couple found some tinted pink

and had a great time spraying it all around.

I was happy to see less of that messy stuff this year.

And security?

Two Israeli Policewomen in Gan Sacher on Yom Haatzmaut

Policewomen were seen checking out the food.

That was all on Thursday, now on Sunday,

I hope this heat wave is over quickly.

The heat and humidity keep me off the streets

and inside with the air conditioner running.

With the holidays over,

it is time for more festivals,.

Education starts tomorrow with an event at  the Israel Museum,

Sign for Light Festival in Old City jerusalem

and the Jerusalem Light Festival in the Old City

 which begins next week, plus

 an International Writers’ Festival and Lag B’Omer

all will be happening in Jerusalem, Israel.

I Swear, Jerusalem of Contrasts

Jerusalem, Israel, is a place of contrasts.

Old City Jerusalem at night

At night the streets of the Old City have been quiet,

while during the day,

building in Israel

the noise of large construction projects fills the streets.

While loud BDSers (Boycott, Divestment and Sanction),

shout hate against anything Israeli,

Jon Medved of Our Crowd led a global conference

OurCrowd

that attracted 3,000 international participants.

The technology conferences are too numerous to attend or even list.

For two days in Tel Aviv this week, the tourism conference

is again attracting eager overseas visitors to expand their ties with Israel.

While outside on the streets “random” stabbings and attacks go on,

inside Beit Hanassi, the Israeli President’s residence,

President Reuven Rivlin and Justice Minister Ayelet Sheked

sweariing in of new Sharia lae judges

swore in 7 new Qadis, Islamic Shariah Law Judges.

The official reception was held in the same large hall

where all important diplomatic visitors are greeted.

president house muslim audience

Family and friends of the new Muslim judges

after being served a dairy buffet of sweets,

were seated for the occasion.

This week there was another swearing-in ceremony,

a military ceremony at the Kotel, the Western Wall Plaza.

Paratroopers swearing in Western Wall

Thousands of family and friends gathered

paratroopers swearing in ceremony

 to witness the newest paratroopers,

who after weeks of arduous training,

IDF photo

 receive their new rifle along with a new bible.

Muslims who swear in to IDF receive a Koran.

While the news may seem dismal and negative,

this Muslim couple who found themselves in the midst

of hundreds of armed Israeli soldiers

watermarked Muslim taking selfie at Western wall

seem much more concerned with getting a good selfie.

I walked home alone in the dark from the Old City.

It took awhile as I stopped twice to talk with friends,

but two other things got my attention.

When there is a “security incident”

At entrance to Old City

these teens take to the streets to give out Israeli flags,

post signs and sing,

Am Yisrael Chai,

the People of Israel live!

It is a leap year on the Jewish calendar,

with two Adars, an extra month until Purim,.

Purim celebrates when Haman tried to kill the Jews.

Purim

 Hamantaschen are already displayed in store windows.

They tried to kill us, they failed,

so let’s eat something sweet.

A few of the cycles and contrasts

happening daily on the real Jerusalem streets.

Beautiful Jerusalem Scenes then Rocket Siren

Last night as the sun was setting,

traffic around the Old City was heavy and slow.

image of crowd at Mamilla Mall

Mamilla Mall was crowded with people.

image Jerusalem toursists

The usually deserted Artists’ Colony was alive for

   Hutzot Hayotzer, the annual international arts festival.

016b Teddy Park

Security was tight for this mega rip-off, but hugely popular

image International arts fair

international fair of merchandise and food.

020b fund raising by sitting on street

This man was taking advantage of the crowds,

hoping to raise money for sick people.

 I walked through Teddy Park,

image Teddy Park Jerusalem

across from the Walls of the Old City, this former No Man’s Land,

image Jerusalem Park

 packed with people.

I imagine the designer of the special water fountain

036b  Water fountain at Teddy Park

thought of it as  a place where people would come together,

image mincha outside

but this corner as a place for afternoon prayer services?

image Jaffa GAte

Jaffa Gate was unusually quiet, the Arab vendors were not around,

image Arab market

and one of the major gifts shops was closed.

Israelis were out to enjoy the last of summer evenings,

but tourists have been scared away this summer.

Too bad they are missing the sights,

image Dome of Hurva Synagogue

like the beauty of  Hurva Synagogue as the sun sets,

Jerusalem at sunset

the Old City views,

image Kosel, photo Western WAll, picture Kossel

and seeing the majesty of the Kotel, the Western Wall, up close.

But my favorite scene was nearby on the Kotel plaza.

image Israeli soldier at western wall

A soldier just back from reserve duty, still wearing his gun,

had come to the Kotel with his young family.

He was surrounded by young admirers.

Perfect weather.

All was calm.

But,

Hamas broke a cease-fire for the 11th time,

and for the second day in a row southern Israel

was pounded by rockets and mortars from Gaza.

Then,

last night the warning siren went off

as we were on way home from the Old City.

We had to get out of  the car

and run to stand near a wall with no glass windows.

We then heard a boom in the distance.

It was a quiet street, with nothing special to photograph.

But the family members who were at the Kotel,

had to first go up against the wall,

then were sent into the tunnels to wait out the ten minutes.

Hamas was trying to hit Jerusalem, Israel,

with their rockets…again.

100 rockets launched at southern Israel since midnight

and 30 targets attacked in Strip overnight,

for way too many sleepless nights.

Rocket sirens now in Beer Sheva,

too many places to list.

How did so many thousands of rockets get into Gaza?

How did so little else get accomplished by Hamas?