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.


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.


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?

In Jerusalem, Fulfilling the Zionist Dream

As usual, there is much happening in Jerusalem, Israel.

Jewish community leaders from around the world are gathering

 with four major conferences in one week,

including the Board of Governors of Jewish Agency 

and the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly.

There has been a “summit” on Jewish identity

and a talk about Ethiopian Jewry.

But what a shame

these world leaders were not around last week 

on the 29th of Heshvan to experience the annual Sigd holiday,

which falls 50 days after Yom Kippur.

image Sigd, Sigd photo, picture Sigd celebration

They would have seen the tens of thousands of Ethiopian

olim from all around Israel who came

image Sigd, photo Sigd, picutre Sigd on Tayelet

to the Tayelet, on the Sherover Promenade, to celebrate.

photo of Sigd, image Ehtiopian dancers. picture Sigd

There were young people doing traditional dances,

picture Ethiopian men, image Sigd, photo men at Sigd

elders sitting quietly, 

image Sigd, Sigd photo, Sigd holiday picture

and women in traditional white.

image Sigd, Sigd stage photo, picture Sigd stage

The main stage was filled with Kessim, the spiritual leaders, 

under their colorful umbrellas.

image Sigd with umbrella, photo Sigd, picture umbrella

 I am not sure why this one was not on stage.

image Sigd., Sigd photo crowd, picture crowd at Sigd

It was so crowded that only a few could actually see the stage,

and most did not even try.

image Ethiopian man at Sigd,, imge Sigd

Most people were walking and talking,

image food at Sigd, Sigd woman offering food, picture traditional food Sigd

some were fasting, while others offered food.

For centuries in their villages in Ethiopia,

  the Kes went to a hilltop to pray for the return to Zion,

and now their prayers were answered and they are here in Jerusalem.

From this spot with the best view of the Old City, 

 they can pray for the rebuilding of the Temple.

Ethiopian soldiers, Sigd celebration photo, image Sigd

Many faced poverty and discrimination,

image Sigd, photo Israeli soldiers, male and female soldiers

some walked through deserts from Ethiopia to get here,

and everyone had to learn about this new, strange culture and adjust to it.


Sigd image, photo Sigd, Picture Ethiopians in

 some of my favorite scenes were of the young people in uniform,

image Sigd, Sigd photo, Ethoipians in

proud Israeli soldiers.

image Sigd, Sigd photo, Sigd holiday picture

Buses were lined up all around the area for most of the day.

image Arab woman, photo Arab woman walking, Israeli apartheid

Thousand of Israelis of Ethiopian origin filled the streets.

While Jewish world leaders talk,

these Ethiopians ‘just did it.’

They came to Israel

and are living their ancestors’ Zionist dream.


Women of Wall Accept Compromise, Really?

Every Rosh Chodesh that I have gone to the Kotel, The Western Wall,

has been a unique experience.

 After my first  Women of the Wall experienceWoW,

the stench (of the refuse thrown on me) stayed with me for days.

But nevertheless I went back to see for myself what was happening,

and each month has been different.

This time, walking through the Old City,

soldiers near Wailing Wall

there were

Wailing Wall photo

security people, 

Kosel image

stationed at every

Israeli soldiers

single stop

israeli security

on the way to the plaza,

security at Kotel

and also watching from above.

Women of the Wall at Kosel

The plaza was filled with thousands of people.

WoW at Western Wall photo

Inside the women’s section in the back were WoW,

image security, WOW

with more security around them.

Like last month,

a loud-speaker system made the men’s prayers loud enough for all to hear.

The Women for the Wall, W4W, had a good turn out.

western wall image

In the crowd of thousands, many who were saying tehilim for Rav Yosef,

wailing wall image

and many were clearly married, not just seminary girls.

Rosh chodesh , women wearing kipot

WOW wore varied head coverings

women's prayer group image

and several wore tefillin.

As before, they used a microphone, and when they sang loudly

 there was noise from some of the girls trying to drown them out.

image woman wearing tefilin

At this Rosh Chodesh prayer service,

man at Wow service

the men stood behind the partition.

While tehilim were being said, WoW were quiet.

image Women of Wall

After their service they sang hatikvah.

image haredi boys at Western Wall

which brought shouts from some of the girls and the boys watching near by,

but they were quickly stopped by security.

woman at wailing wall

It was an emotional experience for some.

WoW at western wall

As the The Women for the Wall left, a police line kept the groups apart.

security at Al-Quds

Then WoW left the area the same way as they did the last month.

Reporting that this time they had to “sneak out,” is just another example

of a news source getting it wrong.

After WoW and W4W had already left,

trouble at western all

 this couple on the right walked through the plaza.

A small group of “religious” looking  young men, 

started shouting at them.

western wall trouble

One was taken away by security.

There have been headlines that Women of the Wall

accepted a compromise offered by Natan Sharansky.

Most people would love that to be true,

to keep The Kotel  a peaceful place,

and not to be a battle ground.

women of wall

 Now it is clearly used as a backdrop for a political agenda

woman with tefilin

 and a power struggle.

 Anat Hoffman says they are not leaving

and next month is WoW’s 25th anniversary,

so I guess there will be at least one more chapter to this story. 

More photos from Rosh Chodesh Marchesvan on 

The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook Page.