From Darkness to Light, Shabbat Shalom

A week of extremes; from evel to simcha, mourning to joy:

grave of Yaakov Dan in Gush Etzion cemetery

From the cemetery in Gush Etzion and the fresh grave of Yaakov Don z”l, murdered by terrorists,

Sara Litman Biegel wedding

to the wedding of Sarah Tehiya Litman and Ariel Biegel.

Sarah, a beautiful bride, running to dance with thousands and thousands of girls, lights up the huge hall filled with people and hearts around the world.

Tragedy to triumph, darkness to light, Am Yisrael Chai.

Shabbat Shalom to all.


Jerusalem Darkness to Light

From Jerusalem will come forth light,

from the Jerusalem light festivals  to Hannukah lights,

it is an old, if not ancient theme.

However, this week we saw some unique lights.

Those red, white and blue lights on the Walls of the Old City

Knesset lit at night flag at half mast

and on the Knesset building, where the Israeli flag flew at half mast.

After Shabbat, the flag was lowered

to symbolize the link with France after the terror attack in Paris.

half mast Israeli flags

Israeli flags over Beit Hanasi were lowered as well,

French flags in Jerusalem

while French flags were unfurled over major Jerusalem streets.

I found it ironic that new signs were posted

Jerusalem sign hebrew

for a new App for Jerusalem night life–

who knows what will happen next?

When I see new signs like this one,

sign for move set

I snap photos of them,

video production on streets

only after did I realize, it was posted for the filming of a TV movie.

Make sure you know whether what you see is real or not.

The Jerusalem municipality posted hundreds of large and small signs

Kahlon budget protest

asking MK Kahlon “Do not forsake Jerusalem”

in the new budget in the Knesset.

This week in Jerusalem, while the weather is cool,

Jerusalem roses bloom in November

the roses are blooming

photo oranges

and the oranges are ripening.

However, I want to share

one other very special light coming out of the darkness.

My friend Varda wrote of the horrific terror attack last erev Shabbat.

We know the Rav of Meitar and his family,

and we have many friends there and visit occasionally.

We have driven the road from Meitar to Otniel.

Such darkness,

to drive to a simcha and get ambushed by murderers.

But, from Jerusalem, came forth light.

On Tuesday night, in the wedding hall,

at the time the wedding of the daughter of the victim was to take place,

hall for wedding

an overflow crowd of women and girls

filled the hall with prayer and music, and words of unity.

Litman Beigel wedding postponed

Tears inside during the sad, slow Shabbat song

Binyunei Hauma

and crowds of girls outside.

The Litman-Beigel wedding is rescheduled for next week,

and this time everyone is invited.

If you want to participate, check this out.

To help the Litman family, you can donate here:

Am Yisrael Chai!

May lights continue to come forth from Jerusalem

to shine and inspire the world.

Sigd Celebrated in Jerusalem

Sigd, the Ethiopian holiday which falls on 29 Heshvan,

50 days after Yom Kippur, was celebrated on the Tayelet.

view of old city

A spot with the best views of the Old City, but

with heightened security in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood.

crowd Sigd

Also, somewhat smaller crowds were out on the Haas Promenade.

Buses brought Ethiopian Israelis from all over Israel

to celebrate the annual event, a national holiday since 2008.

Ethiopian soldiers at Sigd

I love to see the young men in uniform,

three girls at Sigd

and the girls too.

But, Sigd is not just eating, dancing, and socializing.

Sigd began centuries ago in Ethiopia,

with leaders gathering on a mountaintop and praying to return to Zion.

Today they have returned.

Kessim at Sigd

 Kessim, religious leaders dressed in white,

Kessim at Sigd

were seated at this long dais and more

Kessim and umbrellas

were in the audience, under their colorful umbrellas.

Prayers and speeches by government officials are part of the day.

After President Reuven Rivlin spoke,

Rivlin at Sigd

he went down the line and shook hands with the dignitaries.

Only a small part of the crowd of thousands, mostly the elders,

crowd seated at Sigd

were seated, with politicians and dignitaries in front.

However, one woman caught my attention.

older woman praying

What was she thinking?

Did she remember Sigd from Ethiopia?

What had she gone through to get here?

view old city from Sigd

She stood during the speeches looking towards the Old City,

towards the Temple Mount in the distance.

Sigd has become one of my favorite events.

Interesting, both last year and in 2012,  I also wrote that

we were in the midst of “difficult times.”

Kessim under umbrella

I must find out what this is hair-like thing is,

 I noticed several of them this year.

two girls at Sigd on Tayelet

Sigd, where ancient blends with the modern,

selfie at Sigd

and the very modern customs and practices.

The program ended in the early afternoon.

Shabbat also starts very early

with just a few hours to prepare before it is dark.

View of Temple Mount from Tayelet

Wishing a Shabbat Shalom to all from Jerusalem,

where sometimes dreams do come true.

Jerusalem Autumn Colors

Autumn means beautiful photos of fall foliage

  from the northeastern United States.

There is nothing like that in Jerusalem, Israel.

unusual tree

 This year I found one tree with some fall colors.

But, as those US multi-colored leaves fall to leave bare limbs,

dates on palm tree

Jerusalem palm trees fill with ripe dates,

Israel fall flowers

and fall flowers burst out over the sidewalks

Flower beds are being planted,

flowers planted at Beit Hanasi

and a new flower bed has been added outside

of Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence.

Yemin Moshe

The fall flowers of Yemin Moshe are always a favorite.

With a sandstorm this week,

Montefiore Windmill

the Montefiore Windmill was turning briskly,

but hard to see against the white sky.

emek rafaim street

Some streets have been too quiet since tourism has been down.

The German Colony is sponsoring special events

every Monday evening in November and December.

tourists from Australia near Begin Center

Australian tourists were enjoying a free day to see sights.

Not far away a female tour guide was injured in a terror attack.

walking with stroller in Jerusalem

 A friend was out walking a grandchild

with her whistle handy in case of trouble.

People are more wary and careful going about their business.

Jerusalem cat

But oh, those cats, 

While I pass women walking with pepper spray

 in hand ready for whatever might happen,

Jerusalem black cat

Jerusalem cats have a special chutzpah.

Those cats hold their ground no matter what.

And in the fall,

 Jerusalem cloud formations,

with the blue and white sky at sunset.

sunset Jerusalem sky blue rays showing

Ten measures of beauty descended to the world;

nine were taken by Jerusalem.

Talmud Kiddushin 49b

Autumn in Jerusalem,

the seasons change.

Days are shorter and cooler,

the dark hours of night longer.

The cycle of life goes on.

6 Years in Jerusalem: Then, Now, Next


Riots in the Old City.

The radio announced riots in the Old City,

 and I grabbed my camera and went to see for myself.

That was 6 years ago,

and it became the topic of the first post

of The Real Jerusalem Streets.

Thanks to Facebook for the reminder


and for sharing this photo from 6 years ago.

When I got to the Old City,

if you looked very, very  carefully,

Temple Mount Jerusalem

on the roof tops security personnel dressed in black were posted all around.

Old City tourism

But down below on the streets of the Old City,

there were thousands of tourists who did not listen to

the Hebrew news that morning,

and were enjoying another lovely day of touring.

Jerusalem Israel

The scene outside the walls was also calm,

nothing like the media reports.

6 Years!

New cinema Jerusalem

Now, the Yes Planet cinema complex

planet movie complex

fills the construction site of 6 years ago.

Israeli Apartheid? had the best viral days, but

Arab Girls  is still going strong on Google search.

Arab girls

Stores in Mamilla Mall have come and gone over 6 years,

but it has become a favorite tourist site.

How many times over 6 years has the “situation”

affected so many people in the former desolate

“No Man’s Land” turned popular shopping location?

Yesterday, it rained…again,

but security was out and alert again.

Jerusalem security

Here watching the Light Rail trains on Jaffa Road,

security check

and looking and checking near buildings and buses in town.

 6 years ago, the welcome banner

sign Jewish Agency

 for the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency

was hung outside of the hotel where their meetings were held.

This week the meetings went on again,

but for the last few years

the welcome banners have only been hung on the inside.

A memorial to Yitzhak Rabin was on display on the landing

memorial for Rabin in Citadel hotel

on the way down to meetings in the hotel ballroom.

On the 20th anniversary of Rabin’s death, 

there are many official memorials being held this week.

6 Years, always something new, at first it was shocking

poster in Jerusalem

 to see this planned project for Jerusalem, Israel’s

green and famed Gan Sacher, Sacher Park.

Jerusalem sign

But on closer look at fine print at the bottom,

these are art posters popping up around town.

6 years,

578 RJS posts and 299 on Israellycool,

who would imagine that 6 years ago?

Jerusalem clouds and blue sky

After the rain the clouds part, with a blue sky and cleaner air.

Stabbings, car rammings, “random” murders, BDS,


government leaders from India, Panama, Croatia and Honduras

are here this week, plus an impressive

German cooperation with the Israel Museum.

As always, so much more than “conflict”

is happening on the Jerusalem streets.

There is always more

Good News from Israel