Online, In-Line Jerusalem

Days go by. Weeks go by.

Time during the COVID-19 pandemic has become a blur.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is I-love-Jerusalem-sign-near-Old-City-Walls-Jerusalem.jpg

Jerusalem tourism went from unprecedented highs down to zero.

Chayei Sarah in Hebron in past years became one giant Shabbat celebration with thousands crowding into the area around the Cave of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs.

This year before Shabbat, Chabad of Hebron hosted an online celebration of this week’s Torah reading marking the death and burial of Sarah in Hebron. Three men danced to a downsized band in an area near the walls.

The OUD international music festival is going on line for its 21st year.

Ethiopian Sigd holiday and women praying.

Sigd celebrations in the past years were major events with tens of thousands on the Tayelet in Jerusalem for prayers and breaking the fast.

This year there are smaller events being organized for the November 15th and 16th holiday celebration, 50 days after Yom Kippur, one which started in Ethiopia centuries ago.

One year ago, the AYLN Wheels of Love cyclists arrived in Jerusalem at the end of their annual fund-raising ride. This year riders met as a virtual group on a Zoom event and raised funds for the special rehabilitation hospital without the ride up the hills of Jerusalem.

The annual Pianos Festival at the Jerusalem Theater was held online and shown on YouTube and Facebook – for free. No lines to stand in while waiting to enter the concert halls.

Standing in line for parking stickers at the city hall is history. Those cherished parking spot stickers can be gotten from home by registering with the municipality online.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is A-new-park-near-Old-City-Walls-between-Jaffa-Gate-and-New-Gate.jpg

As corona lockdown restrictions were lifted to a second stage, the areas near the Old City walls were still quiet on the sunny first Monday.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Jaffa-Gate-female-soldier-walking-toward-Old-City.jpg

The entrance toward Jaffa Gate not crowded as in “normal” times.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Jaffa-Gate-open-with-two-female-guards-at-entrance-to-Old-City.jpg

Jaffa Gate was open, and guarded by two security women.

Standard and Poor’s, the global credit rating company, left Israel’s credit rating unchanged at its high level during the global coronavirus crisis, as reported by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Construction in Jerusalem proceeded during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Signs for Museum Lane have gone up along the renovated street by the new National Library. One of the huge cranes has been removed from the building site across the street from the Knesset, while the 6th National Library film festival was run online.

Commerce moved online and in-person shopping came to a halt for months.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Jerusalem-Mamilla-with-people-open-after-corona-closing.jpg

Jerusalem’s Mamilla Mall was filling with eager shoppers as stores on the street were finally allowed to open with four customers at a time.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Jerusalem-line-of-people-waiting-for-store-in-Mamilla.jpg

The longest line at Mamilla was waiting for Nespresso coffee.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Jerusalem-Mamilla-store-open-people-waiting-in-line-outside.jpg

Shoe stores also had customers waiting in line.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Jerusalem-Mamilla-eye-glass-store-with-line.jpg

The store selling eyeglasses had a line. It had been allowed to be open during the lockdown and was often empty of customers.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Jerusalem-Safra-Square.jpg

Walking by Kikar Safra, the Municipal Government plaza, the new landscaping was in full bloom, but the stones below were empty of people.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Jaffa-Road-line-for-Carter-store-after-corona-opening.jpg

However, minutes away on Jaffa Road, lines could be found outside many shops. Children need new clothing for size and season.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Jaffa-Road-long-line-for-FOX-open-are-long-COVID-closure.jpg

The longest line award in downtown Jerusalem goes to FOX. I took a Facebook live video to show how far down the block people were waiting in line to enter on the first nice shopping day in town.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Jaffa-Road-people-after-coronavirus-closure.jpg

Jerusalem’s Jaffa Road was coming back to life with stores open and people strolling in the midday sun.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Jerusalem-Ben-Yehuda-people-open-after-corona-closures.jpg

Ben Yehudah Mall looked so busy and full, I decided to go a different way.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Jerusalem-Jaffa-Road-lunch-time-COVID-people-eating-outside.jpg

People ate lunches of takeaway food, sitting outside to enjoy the warmth of the sun on a November day.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Jerusalem-Yoel-Salomon-Street-open-few-people.jpg

Shops on Yoel Salomon Street were open, but there were no lines when I walked by on my way home.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Jerusalem-large-radio-near-Safra-Square.jpg

The music was playing again on the oversized radio near Kikar Safra.

When the sun comes out, so do people.

Jerusalem, Israel shops and streets are slowly getting back to business and showing signs of renewed life. The youngest school students are back in class, while older students are online.

Hoping the corona numbers will stay down and we can see you soon on the Jerusalem streets.

Old City Walls Alive with Sounds of Jerusalem

Old City Walls Alive with Sounds of Jerusalem

It’s raining in Jerusalem, Israel, a cold and grey Friday winter day.

But when the weather cleared on Wednesday evening, before all the world leaders arrived for the World Holocaust Forum on Thursday, I decided to walk home from Jaffa Gate.

Here for you to enjoy, two video projections on the Old City Wall opposite Mamilla Mall.

These scenes of Jerusalem were enhanced by the inclusion of music.

This flags video with welcome greetings is longer. See how many languages you know!

Good thing I decided to walk home that night.

Jerusalem Israel street closed at night

The main streets were already closed near popular hotels.

What a week it was in Jerusalem with royalty and presidents and international heads of governments gathering to commemorate the Allies victory over the Nazis and 75th year of liberation of Auschwitz.

We remember. Never again.

A Hebrew blessing from the President of Germany to begin and end his speech!

Who could have imagined such scenes in Jerusalem 80 years ago when the British turned European Jews seeking refuge away from the shores of Mandate Palestine?

More next time, so much happened this week on the Jerusalem streets,

but now its time to start the challah and chicken soup for Shabbat.

    שבת שלום

Shabbat Shalom

Best of Jerusalem Light Festival

The Festival of Light in Jerusalem 2016

was one of the best photo ops of the year.

However, the biggest problem as always,

 how to get down to a reasonable number of photos to share.

For the eighth year,  the Old City streets

were illuminated with lights,

with works of international artists

Jerusalem light festival Christian Information center

projected on to buildings, like

Jerusalem light festival Prince of lights

these two scenes on the Christian Information Center.

The week long, nighttime festival

began on May 25th, Lag B’Omer.

tower of david party lag b'omer

A sparkling wine reception near the Tower of David

treated invited guests

roasting marshmellows unusual Lag B'Omer treat

to food and roasted marshmallows.

As night fell,

Jerusalem light festival

Italian Colored Origami covered

the Armenian Patriarchate Street,

where a bit further visitors encountered,

the Illuminated Orchestra,

Jerusalem light festival people in light costumes

live musicians were lit up.

In the Old City,

Lag B'Omer girls carrying wood for bonfire

girls were still collecting firewood for their

Lag B’Omer medurot, bonfires.

While in the Cardo,  the Hebrew names of the ten sefirot, 

Jerusalem light festival Cardo

the kabbalistic term for God’s emanations,

were linked in a pattern

called the Tree of Life.

In the covered Cardo,

Jerusalem light festival Cardo Crystallized

viewers were attracted by the French Crystallized, 

shaped as a bismuth crystal.

As with all the Jerusalem Old City festivals,

I love to follow the colored lights

out of the Jewish Quarter

Jerusalem light festival old city Arab shuk night

and along those streets I usually avoid.

Jerusalem light festival old city ARab market at night shuk

The streets of the Arab markets even shuttered at night

are fascinating and photo worthy.

For the first time at a night festival,

I did not get lost in Muristan Square,

and end up wandering through the Muslim Quarter.

Instead, I found the popular

Jerusalem light festival Muristan Square Lampshades

 Lamps of Muristan,

Jerusalem light festival

Spin, 

Jerusalem light festival green marvelous

and French Green Marvelous Opulence.

Green plastic shopping bags folded to look like veggies,

was a stop-and-think-about-it piece of art.

Tens of thousands of people attended the nights of the festival.

On the Olive Tree Lawn,

what looked like a giant Lag B’Omer medura, bonfire,

Jerusalem light festival firs large fire tornado

was the Large Fire Tornado.

From the Netherlands,

this huge fire was fueled by 36 industrial fans.

Jerusalem light festival Jaffa Square

Thousands of videos were taken of the

main attraction at the Jaffa Gate, festival starting point,

color and movement of Water Fountains.

Designed by Latvian artists, every ten minutes

the spectacular show repeated itself.

At the Damascus Gate,

Jerusalem light festival Damascus Gate

Globoscope Stories of Damascus Gate 

required a video again.

But there were new sights this year.

Jerusalem light festival Old Post office on Jaffa Road

At the historic Central Post Office building, Do’Ar Na,

was lit to look like the iconic old British post boxes.

The interactive music of spectators across Jaffa Road

banging on old mail boxes that made this presentation unique.

Jerusalem light festival Eiffel tower on Jaffa Street

Oh, and that Eiffel Tower mentioned last week

near the Generali Building

was for the Jerusalem Light Festival,

not the Prime Minister of France.

Not everyone reached the end of the pink route,

Jerusalem light festival FOZ building Love Jerusalem

but the projection Love Jerusalem

on the new FOZ building was a winner.

For me, doing most of the five routes

Jerusalem light festival instagram pic with Miriam Lottner

with a friend and not alone was new and great fun.

30 stops on 5 colored routes,

going back more than once,

these were some of my favorites.

Every year is different

and each year I seem to need more videos.

Check out:

Water Fountains, with Mayor Nir Barkat speaking at opening event.

Globoscope Damascus Gate

Urban Poetry at Batei HaMachseh Square

and my favorite video this year,

 and Love Jerusalem.