Rosh Chodesh Sivan
good time to visit Jerusalem, Israel.
Chodesh tov and Shabbat Shalom
Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day,
started early this year
with the official opening extravaganza on Sunday night.
The preparations for the major event were extensive
near the Jaffa Gate and the walls of the Old City.
Not only a presidential visit requires extra security.
Viewing stands were in the Teddy Park Garden
where an impromptu maariv minyan
was held prior to the start of the speeches and show.
The lights and music
and speeches were projected on the walls
for the tens of thousands gathered on the streets to view.
changed with each song,
and the fireworks
ended with drones writing ‘Jerusalem’ in the sky.
The most exclusive view was from Bet Shmuel,
but the crowds standing on the surrounding streets
audibly appreciated the sounds and the lights and more.
This was an event where photos could not capture the moments.
Listen to one of the songs to give you an idea of what you missed.
Now off to see more Yom Yerushalayim celebrations,
as flags, singing and dancing fill the Jerusalem streets.
prepared for Yom Yerushalayim,
with large Israeli flags draped on old buildings,
and painted across the modern light rail trains.
The footbridge over Derech Hevron, Hebron Road,
was covered by a long Israeli flag on one side
and the Jerusalem city flag on the other.
School trips this time of year are a common sight.
But this year,
US President Donald Trump was visiting.
US and Israeli flags flew over the King David Hotel
where the Presidential entourage secured the entire building.
Big red signs lined King David Street, warning of closings.
only a bird could move freely around the area.
Now a beautiful, prosperous and popular neighborhood,
Yemin Moshe – Mishkanot Sha’ananim, and the King David Hotel,
were on the border of No Man’s Land
and in the sights of Jordanian snipers.
This bollard was left as an example of the old security measures.
For this presidential visit, metal barriers lined
the route of the motorcade.
It was a good week for the people who rent metal barriers
and these fancier barriers too,
but many local businesses suffered from the street closures.
The first stop in Israel for the US Presidential visit
was at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence.
The red carpet was rolled out and covered to stay clean.
The media came early, and watched Air Force One
land in Ben Gurion Airport and waited.
I lost count of how many times the red carpet was cleaned.
Here is the signing of the official guest book,
the US delegation had not yet arrived.
But for the official speeches
everyone was in their assigned seats.
The Presidents and First Ladies went to the garden,
to see a tree planted in honor of the visit.
The ceremony was over,
and the Presidential motorcade sped off to the Kotel,
the Western Wall, for the next stop on a packed itinerary.
Pedestrians were permitted to start walking.
But not even this official Israeli limo could leave until
the buses blocking the roads were given permission to move.
Most of the US Presidential visit was live-streamed,
so you can find it all on line.
For the grande finale,
after what seemed like dozens of Israeli police helicopters flying over,
a military helicopter flight parade started,
accompanying Marine One
and ending with more helicopters and flares.
I have not seen the official number of helicopters,
but they were noisy and flew in a long convoy over
Jerusalem, Israel, as they escorted the
US Presidential visitors away.
Now, back to flags
and Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, and major celebrations
marking 50 years after the Six-Day War victory
and the liberation of the Old City from Jordanian rule.
What a week to be on the Jerusalem streets!