Rosh Hashannah, Rosh Hashana,
maybe spelled many ways in English,
and some Shana Tova greetings are new
while some are old favorites,
wishing all a good, happy and healthy new year
from The Real Jerusalem Streets.
Driving in Jerusalem, Israel, can be difficult,
with too many cars on too narrow roads,
especially in the Old City.
Today four cars wanted to drive in the same small place at the same time,
I did not even notice the little child
in the scene until I saw the photos at home,
I had been watching a boy on a bike go through the cars.
During holidays the situation gets worse
when traffic is restricted
and entry is forbidden to non-residents.
But there is something new for the new year 5775,
located in the parking lot adjacent to First Station,
easy to find stations
for free shuttle buses to the Dung Gate,
which is near the entrance to the Kotel, the Western Wall.
The buses leave every 20 minutes,
Sunday to Thursday,
8:00 am to 8:00 pm,
Friday until Shabbat and after the end of holidays.
The van I took only had two other passengers, but it left on time.
On the way we got to see the construction near Ir David, the City of David.
Outside the Old City Walls near the Dung Gate, the station was easy to find.
The service is meant to encourage parking at First Station,
and at least for now it is free for anyone.
Thanks for the tip Fun in Jerusalem.
fun and free in Jerusalem–
what could be better?
The end of 5774 is in sight
and signs of the new year are everywhere.
The municipality has posted signs wishing a good year to Jerusalem 5775.
This morning, there are dark circles under many eyes of those
who stayed up late for Selihot prayers, and then woke up early this morning.
The Selichot prayers are scheduled almost non-stop,
and there are even tours to see those who recite the special prayers.
One is to be held in Kikar Safra, the Jerusalem Government Square.
These new signs are for free buses to the Old City,
I had to try one and not walk every time.
Many pre-holiday parties include “raising a cup” to toast the new year,
which makes it a perfect time for road stops to test vehicles and drivers.
But not all police were busy with ticketing or crime this week.
So much to do this short week before Rosh Hashana,
food shopping is crazy and time is stretched to limits.
This man is often seen on skate board walking dogs,
but for first time I saw him pushing a baby stroller.
I wondered ‘his own, or some family short on time?’
Friends who are visiting had time for brunch.
Signs were up for sales, but this restaurant got the first sukka photo for this year.
Every organization is looking for end-of-year donations,
this woman held a sign asking for charity in the Old City,
and this man on Jaffa Street had no sign.
He just held an empty cup.
But there are much prettier sights this time of year,
like these new limes on the tree ready to be picked,
and wonderful flowers, not just outside on the streets,
getting ready for holiday tables as well.
Public parks have been cleared and private gardens are ready,
since shmita, the year of not working the land, begins at Rosh Hashana.
The notes in the Western Wall,
were overflowing before the holiday clean up,
but no one was going to peek at this message wrapped tightly in blue thread.
New chairs were delivered, all ready for the holiday crowds on the plaza.
It is shofar time,
and after 5774 years
עם ישראל חי
Am Yisrael Chai,
It did not make headlines.
Afternoon traffic was heavy and slow Monday in Jerusalem, Israel,
with some streets like this one blocked to traffic for hours.
No one was driving onto Emek Refaim Street with this truck parked,
buses were rerouted and taxis blocked.
There was a large blue arch on the other side of the truck,
a blue man,
and men in blue too,
as the police formed a brass marching band.
The US Embassy had a booth in red, white and blue.
It is estimated that as many as 30,000 people attended this community street fair,
where second hand goods were for sale.
many musical groups played,
and here one little dancer is moving to the music.
Actors on platforms,
standing on stools above the street,
and sitting on chairs performed to young audiences.
This group was learning about cooking.
Thousands of people took photos.
This usually busy neighborhood street
was full of barriers blocking side walks.
It was grid-locked by people and double strollers.
There are so many places in Jerusalem and on Emek Refaim Street
that are impossible and impassible for disabled,
it was great to see so many out for this event in wheel chairs.
Please let me know if you hear of anyone who actually
paid 50 shekels to sit in these chairs.
The sign asks for 50 shekels to sit.
That is what was happening on the real Jerusalem streets
and it all went on well into the night,
but no violence, not news,
School has started and another week has whizzed by.
The countdown for Rosh Hashannah has begun.
You can feel the seasons starting to change with cooler nights.
Headlines were made when Light rail trains were attacked
in some Arab neighborhoods,
and also of attacks in the French Hill neighborhood.
Sadly, French Hill residents have had trouble with some Arab neighbors for years,
but it was not newsworthy until this recent escalation of violence.
However, this Arab woman was waiting to ride the light rail this week.
There were fewer Arab girls on the streets over the summer,
and there were fewer people on the streets tourists were missingl.
Now, Jaffa Road is looking busier every day.
This week Jordan complained about a “wooden bridge.”
Someone decided to build a second wooden ramp to reach the Temple Mount.
The wooden structure on the left is the only access for non-Muslims.
Though this new one is much smaller, it is coming down.
For a $15 billion gas deal, Jordan gets its wish?
The summer concerts at Kikar Safra
featured music of the Beatles and ABBA.
The last free music concert of season is tonight,
at the Pianos at Jerusalem Theater.
But the big, really big, biggest news in the Middle East,
is opening of the new Jerusalem Arena tonight.
The first press conference was held in the special press conference room,
with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and leaders of the massive project.
Built next to Teddy Stadium and near the Malha Mall,
the view from main lobby of Jerusalem is impressive.
The main floor can be changed for events – sports, recreational and cultural.
There is seating for 11,600 people,
and 16 executive boxes.
I wondered if I would get back to a VIP suite,
and assumed it was my last chance to hang in a locker room with the Mayor.
Workers were all over trying to finish up for the opening tonight.
70% of the 400 million shekel cost was covered by the Israeli Lottery,
but many wish some of that money would go to finish up school construction.
We lived near Washington, DC on September 11, 2001.
As the world remembers those lost in NY Trade Towers,
we also remember those killed in the Pentagon that day.
Sept 11 should have been a wake up call
for US & for the world to terrorism.
Meanwhile, in Israel,
though there have been a stream of terror attacks,
we have two things in our favor,
as shown here.
The inaugural ceremony of the new Jerusalem Payis Arena
will be a salute to soldiers of IDF.