As we approach two months into Operation Swords of Iron, Jerusalem is slowly emerging from protected shelters to the streets, as the sirens warning of incoming rockets from Gaza have ceased.
Jerusalem of the City of Lions is roaring back to life.
New posters proclaim the City of Lions offers thanks to those who gave blood and offered assistance.
Schools have reopened with more blue and white and signs for the return of hostages.
Jerusalem also has given shelter to tens of thousands from the south and north who had to leave home.
People in Jerusalem have been giving mountains of clothes to those in need. Some families lost everything when forced to leave burning homes, lucky to escape and save their lives.
Here at one center set up by Chabad of Talbiyah upstairs in the Social Space, gives to those who need for free, more than clothes, most anything they need until they can go home.
From another Chabad house, a truck was waiting for donated food to take to soldiers serving in the Gaza border. The number of initiatives giving food would fill pages, including the Jerusalem Baking Batallion.
Also, the number of pop-up Farmers’ Markets in Jerusalem grows by the week.
Jerusalemites tend to buy more than they need to support the farmers and then have to figure out what to do with it all. We have enough avocado for every meal this week, but it is so good, no complaints.
Standing in lines waiting to pay, giving a little to help the struggling agricultural communities.
Also, too many fresh figs meant guess what cake for dinner?
And then another day and another location and another market near the public shelter.
The Tower of David Museum of Jerusalem is to hold a fair of artists from Jerusalem and from the communities of the conflict line from the north and the south who are hosted in the city.
The fair will be held before Hanukkah, on Friday, December 1st between the hours of 9:30 and 15:00.
Giving thanks, “Thankful & Grateful” was the theme of a special Thanksgiving dinner in Jerusalem.
Thursday night at the StandWithUs Center near the King David Hotel there was a meal hosted for lone soldiers and lone b’nei sherut (volunteers) who came from around the world to volunteer to serve in Israel.
Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and all the trimmings was served by volunteers from The Michael Levin Base.
The Solomon Brothers were back again playing American oldies to the greatly reduced number of Thanksgiving dinner participants, as so many lone soldiers were on active duty. But a Thanksgiving dinner-in-a-box was prepared for those on the front lines.
Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan Nahoum and Stand With Us director Michael Dickson were smiling at the successful event. With them, was a dentist who came from the US, volunteering and giving dental care to those who need it. One did not have to be from the US to attend of enjoy the food and company.
A highlight of the program was a surprise guest from the US. James David Maslow has millions of followers on social media. However, when the musician/actor posted a pro-Israel comment after October 7 he received an astonishing number of antisemitic replies. With a few days free on his schedule, he took the time to come to Israel to give support.
The young people surrounded Maslow after he spoke. He took time to speak to them and take dozens of selfies. His Instagram posts were of the usual Israeli food and salads. But he also went to the south to report the situation from the standpoint of one who could have been on the stage at Nova where the massacre outside Kibbutz Reim occurred on the morning of October 7.
For dessert, there were donuts instead of pumpkin pie. Herby’s Bakery donated dinner rolls in the past, and this year gave boxes of donuts. Here a father who had arrived in the morning by plane from the US on Operation Hug agreed to pose with his lone soldier sons and a donut.
Hanukah is less than two weeks away with its sweet donuts, and it’s time to give thanks for what we do have, appreciate the miracles, and also, remember the fallen, captive, and injured.
There is a campaign in memory of fallen soldier Roey Weiser to post a photo on social media eating a donut with #donutsforroey. People and organizations have been posting photos on Facebook.
Sorry, I ate one too fast, so I shared the photo of the box before taking one of the plain glazed donuts.
Another sweet memory for educator and fallen soldier Yosef Chaim Hershkowitz, whose mother gave out chocolates after completing the shiva for her son.
Hershkowitz wrote to his students from the front, “There is no left, there is no right, there is no Haredi. There is a Jew!!!
Together we will prevail!”
Good must prevail over evil.
Am Yisrael Chai!
Hope to see you too soon on the Jerusalem streets!