Jerusalem Sounds of Spring

Jerusalem Sounds of Spring

Last week 18 New Signs of Spring was the title of blog post.

With all the spring holidays coinciding this week time is short for everyone.

This short video of cleaning the notes from between the stones in the Kotel, the Western Wall, received dozens of shares on Facebook and thousands of views.  I thought readers who are not on Facebook might appreciate seeing a bit of the spring cleaning. Listen to those birds! More on birds after the holidays. The Jerusalem Bird Observatory is to celebrate 25 years.

Very different musical sounds from this light projection near Jaffa Gate for the Jerusalem annual spring festival Sounds in the Night in the Old City.

School is out and children are indeed filling the streets of Jerusalem, Israel.  The verse from Zechariah 8:4-5 reads: “Thus said the Lord of Hosts: There shall yet be old men and women in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of their great age. And the streets of the city shall be crowded with boys and girls playing in the streets.”

Much more to share, but time is short and my kitchen must be cleaned.

Chag Aviv Sameach B'Yerushalyim, Happy Spring holiday in Jerusalem

Happy Spring Holidays from Jerusalem to all!

 

Southern Israel Red Alerts in Alumim

Southern Israel Red Alerts in Alumim

Sometimes you have to get out of Jerusalem, Israel, to appreciate the view.

View from Highway One Jerusalem Israel

All this rain we have been having may dampen our spirits, but it is fabulous for making the countryside green.

View from Jerusalem Highway 1

From the roads leading out of Jerusalem the valley is at its best.

Israel lines along road

Once on the road south, you see flat land and wires stretched across it.

Southern Israel farm land from highway

Farmers working between the rain storms along the way.

Sign from Red South Israel spring flower Adom Festival

February and March, and southern Israel is famous for its red flower festival.

However, once again southern Israel has red alerts, not flowers.

Kibbutz Alumim sign southern Israel

The sign at Kibbutz Alumim was the same as  on our previous visit in December 2012.

Kibbutz Alumim security fence

The electric security fence was opened carefully for our arrival.

Kibbutz Alumim green fields southern Israel

The green fields of the agricultural kibbutz stretched into the distance.

Kibbutz Alumim fence with warning sign to border of Aza

But it you turned around, another sign warned of the Gaza border ahead.

Kibbutz Alumim view of Gaza southern Israel

From the fields of Kibbutz Alumim, the Gaza border and buildings beyond are clearly in view.

Kibbutz Alumim bomb shelters near factory

Because of missiles and rockets fired from Gaza at southern Israel, these bomb shelters are situated next to the factory. Workers have seconds to get inside to safety when a red alert warns of an oncoming projectile.

Kibbutz Alumim Iron Dome southern Israel

Alumim has two Iron Domes positioned for protection from Hamas and its rockets.

Kibbutz Alumim in spring southern Israel green

Why live in southern Israel? It’s beautiful. Israelis have made the desert bloom.

Aluim collection of rockets and missiles fired at southern Israel from Gaza

When Hamas is not firing these missiles, it is a wonderful place.

Long time resident Esther took time to share with us a bit of her story.

Southern Israel Kibbutz Alumim bomb shelter in home, bedroom safe room.

Rafi’s house, and every home, has a bomb shelter bedroom. Sealed rooms have again become a necessity with nightly rockets from Gaza.

Twenty years living under fire from Gaza. Esther and others try to keep a positive attitude, to make music chimes from missiles.

Kibbutz Alumim in southern Israel

Kibbutz Alumim had no red alerts when we were there last week, after a night of terror when a house in Sderot was hit. However, the newest round of red alerts included Alumim. The residents of southern Israel are weary, tired of red alerts, and want to go back to being known for their red flowers.

Purim, Shushan Purim, Crazy Time in Jerusalem

Purim, Shushan Purim, Crazy Time in Jerusalem

There’s Purim as we know it in most of the rest of world.

Then there’s Shushan Purim that is celebrated on the following day in Jerusalem, Israel.

Purim goes on and on and on, and this year it went right into Shabbat on Friday evening.

Purim sameach sign for carnival at army base

This Purim Sameach sign was hanging on the wall at an army base, above the tables set for their celebration.

Female soldier reading letter from children and receiving Mishloah manot.

Thousands of Israel security personnel received mishloah manot, gift bags with treats, and letters written by children from around the world expressing appreciation for their service in defense of Israel. This has become an annual project for multiple organizations.

Hamentaschen piled up in Machane Yehuda Market for Purim

Hamantashen galore are an annual sign of Purim.

Sign for reading of Megilat Esther at First Station

A reading of Megilat Esther in First Station has become an annual event.

Children in costume for Purim Jerusalem Israel

Children dress in costumes for the night time reading all over the world.

Man wearing mask for Purim at synagogue reading of Megilat Esther

Purim masks vary from year to year.

Jerusalem men in costume for Purim meglla reading

Sometimes it is hard to decide who is in a Purim costume and who is not?

Man dressed for Purim

And some costumes are inside jokes, too long to explain.

Hats on Purim in Jerusalem Israel

For some hats make their Purim costume.

Aliza Bloch costume for Purim

This year the beret of new Beit Shemesh Mayor Aliza Bloch became a popular costume in Beit Shemesh, and in Jerusalem as well.

Jerusalem man reading megilla in costume

The Scroll of Esther was read from a real scroll in hundreds of Jerusalem locations.

half shekel coins in Jerusalem synagogue for PUrim holiday

Also, collecting money for the poor and remembering the half shekel of old are annual important customs around the world.

Costume on Jerusalem Israel street at night of Purim

But on the Jerusalem streets there were all sorts of characters running around.

Sadly, some of the best were moving too fast to photograph.

Jerusalem couple dressed in space suits for Purim

One family was dressed to go out of this world. But they were left holding their children’s space helmets, which were not allowed to be worn on this moon bounce.

Purim carnival at night in Jerusalem

The Purim Carnival celebration burgers looked good, but what a shame! I heard that the power went out soon after I left.

Unicorn costumes popular in Jerusalem for Purim

Unicorns were popular this year, for all ages.

Jerusalem Israel on Purim night

Smiles at Purim parties were easy to find.

Doctors for Purim costumes in Jerusalem

However, deciding which doctor to consult could have posed a problem.

Purim costume in Jerusalem at night at carnival party.

One royally dressed friend wanted to show off her glam outfit under her coat.

Costumes in restaurant on Purim night wings and ears

Purim in Jerusalem means wings and ears,

Purim colors in Jerusalem Israel

and lots of colors,

Woman in hat for Purim in Jerusalem

tall hats,

Sushi hats for Purim in Jerusalem

and even sushi ones.

Purim costume in Jerusalem Israel

Little Purple Riding Hood going to Gramma’s house?

Festive meals went all day on Friday, some going straight into Shabbat.

Purim on Friday is not my favorite, it feels so strange.

Jerusalem Israel Women posing for photo at bus stop on Puirm

All week costumes have been spotted on Jerusalem streets, as these young women pose for a photo at a Jerusalem bus stop.

But not to worry, there will be no boring days now that the Marathon and Purim are finally over.

Signs for Jerusalem arts festival

Signs are up for the Jerusalem Arts Festival.

The Art and Brain Festival at Cinematheque is back again this week.

I do not need the Fly Over Birds Festival to be aware of bird migration, as they are outside my window chirping away loudly before dawn.

Clocks are changing on March 29, so being tired is a certainty.

And the annual Sounds of Night Festival is next week.

However, one last time until next year…

Purim sameach on bus, Happy Purim sign on bus, Jerusalem photo purim

Purim sameach! Happy Purim!