15 Favorites of Sukkot

The seasons have changed,

 days are shorter

and evenings are cooler.

 Children are back in school

 after a long break for holidays.

It was, as always, a busy holiday season,

but before getting back to business,

I want to share a few favorites from Sukkot 5744.

Sukkos in Yerushaylim

Many share photos of Jerusalem, Israel’s religious neighborhoods

where every residence has a sukka,

Unusual sukka photo, image sukkah that is different.

but my favorite this year was this sukka in a forest outside Jerusalem.

So many sukkot are on the streets, one year I did Only Sukkot,

image sukkah with people in it

but it is so nice to pass by a new sukka in a spot which was empty in recent years,

and see someone you know sitting inside. 

Israeli president garden image

Thousands waited to pass through the Presidential sukka,

view of sukkah inside

but be it ever so humble, our sukka is also a favorite.

Eating in sukkah

For some, Sukkot was the holiday of pizza in a hut.

pile of boxes from pizza

I wonder how many thousands of pizzas were consumed over the holiday?

People gathered from all over the world for family celebrations.

It started to rain on this bar mitzvah party,

Sukkah open walls image

and then the wind blew a shade umbrella on top of sukka.

The weather was almost as crazy as we remembered in Melbourne,

but nothing could dampen holiday parties.

Decorated sukkah image, large sukka photo

The huge public sukka in Kikar Safra was again a favorite this year.

For weeks a friend has been asking,  Have you seen the bikes?

bicycles that show energy use, image special bikes

These are the special bikes that share the plaza with the sukka

and they were a favorite for all who came to government square.

The Jerusalem March went from Gan Sacher through Jerusalem,

it was a huge international event.

Jerusalem march Nigeria

There seemed to be fewer participants from Nigeria this year,

but Israel is a favorite destination for Nigerians all year-long.

Many Israeli groups marched also,

Jerusalem March El Al pilots

two of my favorites were the El Al pilots who stopped to dance

Jerusalem March with football club

and the Jerusalem football club members who came dressed in uniform.

There were more rain drops during the parade, 

but spectators did not seem to mind,

people watching a parade

and loved cheering and receiving flags.

spectators with signs image.

Some held signs showing just how much they appreciated the marchers’ support,

tens of thousands watched the parade, see more photos.

view of Jaffa Road, J Street image, photo real J Street

Meanwhile Jaffa Street was still busy.

Two more favorites,

Sukkot in Jerusalem image, photo man and luluv

 were people who carried their lulav and etrog all day

man in Jerusalem with lulav and esrrog

and those who held the lulav and etrog waiting for those who did not.

Teddy Park and view of Old City

As the water fountain at Teddy Park went on at the hour,

you could hear squeals of delight from children.

What a favorite it has become with all!

When there are large crowds,

White and brown police horse

 those beautiful police horses can be seen on the streets;

they always are a favorite.

man smiling for photo, image guy in Bezek shirt

It was great to see Ben Yehuda Street so busy over the holidays.

This man was sitting alone and asked me to take his photo,

Jerusalem Marchers

but there were tens of thousands more smiles.

Sukkot is a favorite time of year in Jerusalem.

Crazy dancing, boys on ground feet up

Thousands sang and danced on the streets all week, 

but these guys with their feet in the air were really something special.

Moedim l'simcha on bus

Jerusalem on Sukkot was indeed a happy season.

Wish there were more?

 See The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook Sukkot album.

After the Holidays, What Now?

For months people have said “after the chagim

well, the time has now arrived and the holidays are over.

Yesterday the winter session of the Knesset began in Jerusalem, Israel,

only to shut down a few hours later, to prepare for elections in January.

Knesset

However, the lights were still on in the building when I went to sleep.

Over 40 rockets fired from Gaza fell already this week in the South.

There is the nuclear threat from Iran.

No one knows what will happen next on the Jerusalem streets,

but there certainly are many cameras on hand to record it.

Muslim Quarter

Sukkot holiday crowds pushed through the Old City to the Kotel,

 the Western Wall,  for Birchat Kohanim, the Priestly Blessing.

photographers Jerusalem

Photographers were ready for action in the crowded Muslim Quarter.

photographers Jerusalem

Serious cameras were there to get close-ups of the faces.

Old City

Thousands of smiling visitors posed for their moment.

Meir Goldreicht

There were so many phones out taking photos,

Kosel crowd

 many were photos of the holiday crowds at the Kotel.

In the sukkah at Beit Hanasi, the President’s residence,

sukkah

not only people posed for photos,

seeing eye dog

but even this dog stopped and posed.

kids camera

There were children taking pictures

Shimon Peres

and official photos with President Shimon Peres as well.

Having your camera handy is a good thing, 

mime

as you never know when you will need it on the Jerusalem streets.

Jerusalem parade

At the Jerusalem Parade, marchers took photos with and of the spectators.

Nigerian tourists

Who knew so many Nigerians were camera crazy?

Jerusalem streets are narrow,

a car on the corner can make it impossible for a truck to pass.

cars

This looked like possible trouble, so I took a photo of the scene.

Not everyone wants me to take their photos, that is for sure.

pose for camera

 In fact, this man jumped out of his truck and started towards me!

I sure was relieved that all he wanted was for me to take his photo!

Most people are back to work.

School classes are in session until Hanukkah,

the universities start next week.

One might expect quiet streets, 

but yesterday there were crowds and shofars and cameras

bar mitzvah

and drums for a bar mitzvah boy’s celebration.

Gotta love those Jerusalem streets,

where you never know what or who you will find.

10 Special Smiles in Sukkot Holiday Crowds

While the mainstream media did an extensive job of covering

 the “riots on the Temple Mount,”  there was far less coverage of how

Jerusalem, Israel, was crowded with visitors for the Sukkot holiday.

It was impossible to count the huge numbers in the Old City,

 as Birchat Kohanim attracted crushing crowds.

Palestinian woman Jerusalem

This Arab woman may not have smiled,

but she did not fear revenge as she tried to pass through the crowd.

 Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence, held a sukkah open house.

crowd

 Thousands of people waited in long lines to see dancers and singers

perform in the outside gardens,

Shimon Peres

while Israeli President Shimon Peres sat and smiled on stage.

Thousands and thousands of visitors were on the Jerusalem streets, 

smile

but this stunning beauty made me think to share a few of the faces 

smile

and smiles that stood out in the crowd.

Jerusalem parade

For the Jerusalem Parade over 6000 people from all over Israel

and from 60 countries marched through the center of town.

There were only two participants from India,

but many countries had very large delegations.

Spectators, including many young children, were excited 

to see the costumes and receive small flags from around the world.

smile

This young woman offering a snack to marchers

received many smiles and thanks. 

For more parade photos see The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook page.

As usual there were countless meetings with friends

and family reunions during the holiday vacation week.

smile

How special to be able to smile when organizing a group

that does not show at the right place or the right time.

Many people stopped and smiled in the Kikar Zion, Zion Square, 

kids

as Chabad had young boys offering lulav and etrog to those who passed by.

smiles

There were so many smiling faces of children on family outings.

This mime on a street corner got attention, a smile and money.

There were too many concerts and musical events to mention,

but one of the last ones was Hakafot Hasheniot, the second Hakafot.

For the 31st year, live music and dancing

energized Gan Hapa’amon, the Liberty Bell Park.

hakafos

Hundreds without tickets had to stand in the back,

but some were still able to smile at the end of a long holiday week.

Both of Israel’s Chief Rabbis addressed the gathering,

as did Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

Seven times men were called to the stage to dance with the Torah scrolls

and women were dancing and smiling too.

 More photos in The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook Hakafot album.

There were colorful characters

clowns

even clowns on the streets,

family smiling

but I especially liked the many families with big smiles.

That is it.

 Holiday time is over.

Now it is back to school and back to work.