Balancing on a Tightrope

We moved to Jerusalem, Israel in August,

that hot time of year when the windows are open all night.

For weeks, when I heard noises in the night of firecrackers and gun shots,

I would run to the window to see what was happening:

another Arab wedding, another party, another random celebration.

It took awhile, but I eventually stopped listening and looking.

On Friday night there were noises again,

but this time I got up out of bed to look.

I saw nothing, all was quiet.

Around Israel 6 people have been killed in less than a month,

by the terrible “car intifada” and “knife intifada” attacks.

I try not to be political here at RJS,

but incitement has been fueled and fed for a long time.

However,

image sunny day in Jerusalem  Israel

most of Jerusalem is quiet

Yet everyone is watching carefully for what could be next.

image Tzomat Hagush bus stop

This man dressed in white at Tzomet Hagush bus stop

got more than a second glance from a passing police car.

Last Friday Abu Mazen called for a “Day of Rage.”

image men playing music on street

But the music for Einstein on Azza played on,

as hundreds of people listened to university lectures

and gathered in restaurants,

image people at street cafe

including music at this location, 100 meters from the Prime Minister’s residence,

where 11 people were killed and 54 injured

by a suicide bomber in 2002.

image boys window shopping in Mamilla Mall

In Mamilla Mall you could window shop and dream.

image people walking to old city by Jaffa gate

 Jaffa Gate looked the same,

only the beigele sellers were missing.

people walking in old city

Inside Jaffa Gate people were out,

image going into arab shuk

with extra security entering the Arab shuk.

Image western wall plaza entrance

But huge  protests and rage were hard to find,

as this security team was more interested in checking their cell hones.

image Kossel plaza

Certainly police and lots of other security personnel were visible

around the Western Wall plaza.

image women in colorful clothing at kotel

Fewer visitors made it easier to get a place to pray by the Wall.

I heard noises coming from Silwan,

image Arab boy on roof top

and found boys on the roof tops looking for the source:

firecrackers, tear gas shots or real bullets?

But there were no reports of serious incidents there.

Perfect weather in the fall is the time to be outside,

and not inside these old stone buildings that do not warm up.

image Liberty Bell Park

The Liberty Bell Park was empty.

Usually on Fridays the park is filled with Arab families picnicking,

image a bird in empty Gan Paamon playground

and the playground filled with Arab women and children.

They should be raging – that they are stuck inside on a glorious day,

leaving the playground for the birds.

image new Hebrew sign

In Jerusalem, there is a new cinema,

image Jerusalem road

new roads,

image Jerusalem new bridge at Malha Mall

 new walkway to cross from Malha Mall to Teddy Stadium,

image new park in Jerusalem

and new park nearby under construction.

image oud festival

And now is the annual Oud Festival time celebrating Arab music.

Today I followed two young men speaking Arabic.

They went into same building I did, to their bank.

One was wearing an Israeli army backpack.

image of Hebrew sign

Signs celebrating “Aliyah for Everyone ” are up near the Jerusalem Theater.

New immigrants are arriving in November,

to add the the strange mix of old and new that is Jerusalem, Israel.

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem

I am on an overcrowded El Al plane.

People are standing in the aisles.

The man next to me asks me to change my aisle seat

with his male friend to middle one in next row.

I laugh and say no way.

We leave two hours late,

no ultra-Orthodox Jews involved.

End of story.

image unusual sunset

From 37,000 feet, we could see clouds and sunset,

 now back in Jerusalem, Israel,

more clouds and rain before Shabbat.

שבת שלום

Good News – Bad News from Jerusalem

Good News – Bad News from Jerusalem

  Good news first.

I was in the US for birth of a grandchild,

baby photo

his name is Yisroel Tzvi,

and he already is trying to figure out this world.

In the last two weeks I’ve had no computer time,

no down time and little sleep.

I hope you missed the updates from RJS these past two weeks?

image of sky from El Al plane

As always it is an adventure to fly El Al

and arrive back to Jerusalem, Israel.

But as I arrived home I heard terrible news:

Rabbi Yehuda Glick had been shot

and seriously injured

in an assassination attempt.

I posted on Israellycool  asap,

and you can see the background story and updates

HERE

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In June at the Begin Center,

Yehuda Glick sponsored his first LIBA conference,

where I was shocked to learn that Jews are allowed

only 20 hours a week on the Temple Mount,

while Muslims have almost free access.

Today access to the Muslim masses was limited,

though tomorrow restrictions are to be lifted.

Helicopters are flying overhead,

and in Jerusalem that usually means trouble.

Much has been written about “Price Tag” attacks,

today there was graffiti painted near a church.

price tag in Jerusalem

 Months ago this photo was taken across from the Begin Center.

It did not fit the media spin of “Price Tag”

so it was never reported.

On my next photo walk in the area

I saw that it was whitewashed.

Abu Mazen is spinning the story of one of his followers

shooting a man in cold blood

into “Israel is bad,”

 another thread in his narrative;

while Yehuda Glick, a great guy with wonderful sense of humor,

is hanging on to life by a thread.

Join in praying for the recovery of

יהודה יהושע בן רבקה איטה ברנדה

Will this world be easier to understand when Yisroel Tzvi is older?

Favorite New and Old Sukkot for 5775

The holiday of Sukkot,

image for sukkos

involves intense preparation,

image luvav

and checking of many specific details.

As soon as Yom Kippur is over,

image sukka on sidewalk

sukkot seem to pop up all over.

Thousands of tourists arrive in Jerusalem, Israel,

many want to sleep in a sukka and many more to eat in one.

image round sukka

At the Kings Hotel the familiar sukka is up on the roof

image plain sukkah on roof

and a simple wooden sukka cna be seen at the King Solomon Hotel.

image sukka on roof Inbal Hotel

At the Inbal Hotel, look up for the fancy private sukkot.

This year due to the Formula Road Show,

iamge security

outside the King David Hotel had a different look,

image large sukka construcition

but the large porch out back was getting ready as usual to be a sukka.

image new sukkahs this year.

New buildings near the YMCA

have sukkot up on porches and down in the courtyards,

image sukkah

and new Touro restaurant at the Jerusalem Press Club is ready to use.

But also new this year is the Waldorf Astoria Hotel,

photo flowers Jerusalem Israel

where I still have trouble getting past the gorgeous flowers,

image Waldorf AStoria Jerusalem special lobby

and the birds and fountain below.

Their sukka,

image sukka in atrium of Waldorf Astoria

in the Atrium

image special sukka

is the new wow must see sukka this season.

I must get to working on holiday details here,

time to clean and decorate our sukka!

I’ll end with two old favorites,

our sukka on a camel photo was posted by Times of Israel on Facebook,

Sukka photo, Image unusual sukkah

it received so much attention that here it is again.

image Hebrew sign on Bus

RJS along with the buses

wishing all a happy holiday.