Favorite Sukkot of Sukkot

The Sukkot holiday is over and as the tourists are heading home,

 I would like share a few favorite Sukkot from this year.

warning sign

In some neighborhoods there were so many visitors

that warning signs were posted asking for quiet.

In the Nachlaot neighborhood, 

Sukka

I found this tiny sukkah down a narrow lane

Sukka

and another one almost hidden up on a roof top.

sukkah

At the Kotel, the Western Wall Plaza, where there was a large sukkah 

as well as smaller ones for the huge crowds of visitors.

peres

The public was invited one morning to visit the sukkah at Beit Hanasi,

the official residence of Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Arriving inside the building after a long wait outside,

Israel president

 many stopped to peak in 

to the President’s Official State receiving room,

sukkah

before passing through to the sukkah.

sukka

As usual the President’s sukkah was not designed for eating,

but rather for showcasing the fruit and agricultural wonders of Israel. 

sukka

Many hotels had large sukkot, where thousands of visitors ate.

large sukkah

The large sukkah at Kikar Safra, Safra Square,

looked the same as in recent years, but

sukkah decoration

inside it was decorated with unique decorations using recycled plastic.

sukka

Sukkot ranged from the most simple,

sukka

to a ‘political’ sukkah on poles,

sukka

to this colorful beer bottle decorated bar sukkah.

Perhaps the biggest difference from last year was Jaffa Road.

Jaffa Street

Jaffa Road was lined with sukkot and crowded.

The Jerusalem light rail trains were running and filled with people,

last year they were going, but filled with sand bags on trial runs.

Jaffa Road

The city center was busy day and night.

sukkah

Our sukkah was a busy place too, I just wish it hadn’t rained

so hard during the main course at dinner the first night. 

sukkah

It was indeed a very happy Sukkot holiday in Jerusalem, Israel.

If you missed it perhaps, next year in Jerusalem?

A Protest for all Seasons

Looking back at last July’s protest season,

I was surprised to see how much of this year’s is similar and yet is so different.

Then I realized that protests are not only held in the hot summer season 

but there were also protests in the winter.

The list of protests on the streets of Jerusalem, Israel is a long one.

"photo Free Pollard" ,"J Street" , "image protest sign"

The ‘Free Jonathan Pollard’ protest banners across from Bet Ha’Nasi,

the President’s Residence, were removed before President Putin’s visit,

so they were long gone when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came to town.

"photo protest' , "picture protest sign", "Image protest"

Not long ago, even the social workers were protesting on the sidewalk

outside the National Labor Court for a decent salary.

This year’s social protest demonstration drew a fraction of last year’s crowds

 as it marched to protest the lack of public housing on July 14 in Jerusalem .

"protest sign", "image protest",  "J street'

When protesters blocked a major street and made loud noise late at night,

 some people were so unhappy that they came out to complain.

Sadly, the way to get media attention has become more drastic

and the copy-cat aspect is even harder to comprehend.

The media loved the ultra-Orthodox rally against an army draft proposal,

but did you hear about a protest against racism?

Image Israeli flag", "photo Israeli flag", "Israeli flag"

In February, a lone man with an Israeli flag and a sign reading,

“no separation in nursery schools” for Ethiopian children

took over the same corner near the Prime Minister’s Residence

that  Gilad Shalit’s family occupied for so long.

"photo tent" , "image protest tent", "picture tent"

A tent was set up to protest against racism in Israeli society.

I even saw Gilad Shalit’s brother there once,

as one of the thousands of people who have come by,

"image protest tent", "image deputy mayor", "photo tent"

 including Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Pepe Alalu.

"photo tent" , 'image protest tent" , "picture Jerusalem street"

The tent structure grew to this before it was removed by court order.

"photo sign", 'protest image"

Holidays have been noted and observed.

"image protest:, "photo protest"

Groups are learning ways to be more inclusive and tolerant.

As we observe this week before the Tisha B’Av,

it is a perfect time for everyone to try harder to get along.

There will be more protests, but it is time to end discrimination.