Jerusalem 51, Israel 70 and Netta Number1

Jerusalem 51, Israel 70 and Netta Number1

There are a lot of tired people in Jerusalem, Israel this morning.

But how did I miss something so large and so obvious last week?

Welcome sign for Giro d'Italia in pink flowers near Montefiore Windmill

I walked right by this massive welcome sign and did not notice it.

The huge floral welcome sign with pink flowers near the Montefiore Windmill was to welcome last week’s international cycling event.

I walked right by, looking at the street and obsessed with taking photos of Giro d’Italia. 

The riders and crews have moved on to Italy, and now back to ‘normal’?

No way. No down time in Jerusalem, Israel.

Jerusalem and Israel large flags on buildings

Last year for Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, 50 years since reunification of Jerusalem, there were large flags, special 50 years and US flags flying.

Trump bus in Jerusalem

There were not only huge and many signs posted by the Friends of Zion, there were buses blessing Trump.

United States flag

This week flags were up again along the entrance to Jerusalem.

Israeli and US flags on building before US Embassy open in Jerusalem Israel

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was ready to greet the official US delegation for US Embassy opening in Jerusalem.

Street poster ads for Trump and 12 Points Eurovision

But, besides Yom Yerushalayim and US Embassy opening in Jerusalem, there was Eurovision.

For many Americans, it is hard to understand the appeal, the “music” or the entire event.

Netta Barzali singing at Har Herzl on Independence Day

However, Netta Barzilai who also performed live at Har Herzl for Yom Haatmazut, Independence Day – WON. Israelis stayed up past 2:00 am to watch the results.

Her song “Not Your Toy” was chosen most popular in the voting competition.

The winning country hosts the Eurovision Song Contest the following year. Israel has won 3 times in the past.

So when Netta announced, “Next year in Jerusalem,” even many who hated the song and competition, swelled with pride.

Dream Jerusalem education week sign.

How fitting the signs for this education week in Jerusalem.  Dreams. Do it. Go to school and build on those dreams.

Tours for Jerusalem Day, Zot Yerushalayim

This is Jerusalem, so many faces, free tours and events for Yom Yerushalayim abound, way too many to list.

The US Embassy opening is a closed affair.  It will be live streamed and covered by hundreds of international press who arrived for the historic moment.

Sign for Jerusalem spring events in city parks

However, everyone is invited to celebrate in the city parks.

Yom Yerushalayim may not be observed throughout the world, and even Israelis tend to overlook the day.

But on Shabbat in Jerusalem, 1000 people attended special morning services at the Great Synagogue, where Mayor Nir Barkat was invited to speak.

At night and in the morning, special prayers of praise were sung at the Kotel, Western Wall, Tayalet, and synagogues.

Jerusalem Old City Walls

Thankful. Remembering from 1948-1967, this was as close to the Old City as Jews were allowed during 19 years of Jordanian occupation.

Jerusalem reunited, restored, and growing.

To get you in the mood, wherever you are, from last year’s half-century celebration:

Now off to celebrate Yom Yerushalayim in Yerushalayaim. 

Significance of Yom Yerushalayim,This Year in Jerusalem

Significance of Yom Yerushalayim,This Year in Jerusalem

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day,

saw tens of thousands celebrating on King George Street,

as it filled with a sea of blue and white Israeli flags.

Yom Yerushalayim on King George Street before Flag Parade to Old City

Afternoon shadows were not good for photos,

but the shade from hot sun was appreciated.

King George Street Yom Yerushalayim

 The Flag Parade, with its singing and dancing,

is mostly known for rowdy young male participants.

Last year I walked the entire route,

and as usual, if RJS is there, nothing bad happened.

This year what was significant was

not the guys, but the girls.

There were so many girls.

Yom Yerushalayim girls dancing on King George STreet

The crowd of girls stretched far into town,

 farther than the eye or zoom lens could see.

There were two bands for separate dancing,

 with their Israeli flags,

King George Street Yom Yerushalayim Flag Parade

 these girls were next to the guys’ circles,

 but the guys seemed to take no notice of them.

Also significant to note concerning this day,

more than just teenage exuberance,

Yom Yerushalayim family in march with flags

is the young families, who were walking,

Yom Yerushalayim

and watching,

hundreds of families, many dressed in blue and white.

Yom Yerushalayim Flag Parade

While thousands of older people lined the streets to watch.

Yom Yerushalayim visitors from overseas

From around the world they came,

Costumes at Yom Yerushalayim from Africa

to join in the celebrations

Yom Yerushalayim 50 years in flowers near Windmill

of Jerusalem being liberated and reunited,

on 28th of Iyar, June 1967,

as Israeli paratroopers reentered the Old City by way of the Lions’ Gate.

All the street closings

for flags and dancing and parades,

and the Trump presidential visit caused less

Traffic came to standstill in Jerusalem, Israel on Thursday May 4, 2017

traffic havoc than two accidents and

an overload of cars on Thursday, causing gridlock,

 making Jerusalem look like one big parking lot.

Tens of thousands of international visitors are still around.

Jaffa Gate Plaza tourists dancing.

A group of Christian tourists were dancing at Yaffa Gate,

to the Hebrew song “Moshiach.”

Rova on spring day

Under a clear blue sky the Old City

was serene and picture perfect.

On Shavuot, 5 Sivan, Tuesday, May 30,

the streets will again be filled, not with cars,

Traffic in Jerusalem at stand still

but with throngs of people walking,

Kotel in afternoon before shavuot

to the Kotel, Western Wall for holiday prayers.

During the Six-Day War, all of Israel was united,

 fearing destruction.

The defeat of the invading Arab armies has often been

described as miraculous.

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could come together again,

in good times, not just bad.

Shema Yisrael prayer on back of Jerusalem, Israel public bus

A timely message on this Jerusalem public bus.

Chag Sameach, Happy Holiday.

Jerusalem Day 50 Yom Yerushalayim

Jerusalem Day 50 Yom Yerushalayim

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day,

started early this year

with the official opening extravaganza on Sunday night.

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day

The preparations for the major event were extensive

near the Jaffa Gate and the walls of the Old City.

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day

Not only a presidential visit requires extra security.

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day

Viewing stands were in the Teddy Park Garden

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day

where an impromptu maariv minyan

was held prior to the start of the speeches and show.

Jerusalem Day, Yom Yerushalayim

The lights and music

Jerusalem Day, Yom Yerushalayijm

and speeches were projected on the walls

for the tens of thousands gathered on the streets to view.

Jerusalem Day Yom Yerushalayim


Jerusalem Day Yom Yerushalay

changed with each song,

Jerusalem Day Yom Yerushalay

and the fireworks

Jerusalem Day Yom Yerushalay

ended with drones writing ‘Jerusalem’ in the sky.

Jerusalem Day Yom Yerushalayim Beit Shmuel

The most exclusive view was from Bet Shmuel,

Jerusalem Day Yom Yerushalay

but the crowds standing on the surrounding streets

audibly appreciated the sounds and the lights and more.

This was an event where photos could not capture the moments.

Listen to one of the songs to give you an idea of what you missed.

Now off to see more Yom Yerushalayim celebrations,

as flags, singing and dancing fill the Jerusalem streets.