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.

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.