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.

14 Jerusalem Scenes Past and Future

Last week in Jerusalem, Israel,

during the rainy weather days

top of bridge in weather

it was possible to take a color photo of the new String Bridge,

 that looked like it was black and white.

But then the sun came out,

cat

 Jerusalem’s street cats returned to bask in the sun,

cat at Beit Hanasi

and this cat was back on guard at Beit Hanasi,

the Israeli President’s residence.

Families with school-age children

education sign up

are busy trying to find the best school

for their child’s education, and space is limited.

But for others,

there was time to go by Teddy Park

Teddy Park

and watch the water in the fountain rise and fall.

The weather was sunny,

cool enough,

Teddy Park fountain

no one went into the water,

Muslim couple in Teddy Park

but nice enough to just sit on the ground and relax,

in this new park across from the Old City walls.

Cloud formations this time of year make for interesting photos.

The views of Jerusalem are constantly changing:

Center of Jerusalem construction

this large fenced-off cleared area

Jerusalem construction new statioin

and construction site across from the Central Bus Station

are signs of work well under way.

sign new city center

Posters are up announcing plans for

drastic changes to the entrance of Jerusalem,

with multiple building towers and a new fast rail system.

construction Jerusalem

City construction goes on deep underground

long before it is obvious to passers-by above.

Jerusalem Jaffa Street

Meanwhile, a walk along Jaffa Road

shows new construction rising from the old

Opening from Jaffa road to Nahlaot

and some familiar old scenes.

old building Jerusalem

Jerusalem of old

Segway riders

is constantly changing.

When the sun shines,

it is time to get out and get around.

Isn’t it time for you to see it for yourself.

Hanukkah Holiday Lights

 For the eight days of Hanukkah,

so many lights were burning brightly,

menorah

from the olive oil flames of the religious yeshiva hanukkiot,

to the large electric candelabra

Hanukah 024b

at the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem,

across the road from each other.

Many stores and restaurants had candles lit,

 inside or in the windows for all to see.

chanukia in front of restaurant

This one Emek Refaim Street was hard to miss.

What was missing were the large numbers tourists

usually around this time of year.

A little Photoshop was needed to fix this photo,

electric menorah as street decorations

as those street light hanukkiot were hanging in fewer locations

 and often not all of their parts were working.

However,

menorah on Emek Refaim

there was no shortage of Chabad hanukkiot

on street corners,

Chabad chaunka menorah on car

and on top of cars.

One favorite was the large hanukkia burning brightly

Gush Chabad chanukia

 at the Tzomet HaGush bus stop,

 recently the scene of too many terrorist attacks.

The major annual hanukkiot were

Knesset chanukia

on top of the Knesset,

Hanukkah in Jerusalem

outside the Jaffa Gate entrance to Old City,

koseel menorah

and inside near the Kotel, the Western Wall.

A friend reports that new pink spot light was removed

by the end of the holiday.

menorah in Jerusalem Israel

This new one in town was my favorite.

The lights on the Old City Walls

lights on wall of old city

were of s’vivonim, dreydles, games and fun.

Of course, the holiday foods and parties were on going.

BBQ in Old City on Hanukka

This BBQ in the Archaeological Park of Old City,

fed hundreds of the security personnel who stand out in the cold

day and night protecting us from the next terror attack.

And there was music,

Hebrew sign for Hanukkah music

from a show at the new Arena Stadium,

as well as thousands of family gatherings and community events.

The lights and sounds of Hanukkah

came forth from Jerusalem.

For those who were afraid to walk the streets this year,

next year in Jerusalem, Israel.

No matter how you spell it,

חנוכה or Chanukah,

is a special time you should not miss.