Shabbat Shalom

At the Kotel, Western Wall, early Friday morning,

Shabbat shalom poster

not just on holidays, the Birkat Kohanim, Priestly Blessing,

knew this photo had to be the greeting this week.

שבת שלום

Shabbat shalom.

Jerusalem Funeral of Murdered Frenchmen: Photos and Flags

Today the large French and Israeli flags were coming down.

flags FRance

They had been hung for a show of unity with France,

as Israeli leaders,

along with French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal,

joined thousands of mourners in attending the funeral yesterday

at Givat Shaul Cemetery in Jerusalem, Israel.

closed Highway

The road leading to the cemetery was closed

 and traffic was backing up with unhappy drivers.

police motorcycle

But the special free shuttle buses had a police escort

and went around the stopped vehicles.

female solders

Security lined the roads

cemetery

and much of the cemetery.

water

Free water bottles were piled high in several locations.

photo media

International media and TV cameras were set.

crowd at funeral

Crowds tried to get past guards to enter,

but only those with invitations were allowed to pass.

talit for funeral

Here a family member was carrying a talit,

which is used to cover the body before burial.

French signs

There were a few signs

image funeral crowd

in the crowd,

I am signs

one with the faces and names of four men murdered,

because they were Jews,

Yohan Cohen,

Yoav Hattab,

Philippe Braham,

Francois-Michel Saada,

Israeli flag at funeral

and Israeli flags.

people inside funeral

Immediate mourners and dignitaries were behind barriers,

Frenchmen funeral

inside other barriers.

Sephardi rabbi kiss hand

Everyone rose when the Chief Rabbi entered,

and many stopped him to kiss his hand.

scene of Funeral

One by one Zaka members carried in the men,

murdered in terror attack in Paris, France on  erev Shabbat.

funeral speaking

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat escorted a family member,

who lit a flame and spoke.

The Chief Rabbis,

Israel President Reuven Rivlin

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin,

funeral French security

French Minister Segolene Royal,

Benjamin Netanyahu speaking behind bullet proof glass

and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

spoke in a protected area where only a special photographer

could get a photo without distorted reflections.

funeral French crowd

It was a sad day,

funeral

for all involved.

Inside the main area it did not seem like so many people came,

crowd at Givat Shaul cemetery

but upon leaving it was obvious that thousands could not get in.

They filled the streets as they filed out slowly.

I am Charles

Waiting shuttle buses returned us to town,

where more signs lined the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

Sadly, Jerusalem has had large funerals before

and has learned how to prepare for the huge crowds.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this was the last one

for innocent people murdered by terrorists?

After Jerusalem Blizzard 2015

Last week it was exhausting waiting for the snow to start.

School was closed, then opened, then closed.

Supermarkets ran out of chicken and yeast.

It snowed a bit and then stopped.

It rained and rained, it poured.

The heaters do not work when it really gets cold,

but we waited for Jerusalem covered beautifully in white.

Finally, around 4:00 pm on Friday,

snow Jerusalem

the snow began to fall,

and so heavy the Knesset could not be seen.

photo Jerusalem snow Israel Museum

The Israel Museum blurred into white.

But Shabbat was starting,

and the camera was put away,

so you will have to believe me that on Friday night and Shabbat

we saw some of the most gorgeous scenes ever.

There was no wind and the snow stuck to all the tree branches,

for what would have made classic photos.

Then,

photo after snow

all that was left on Sunday was the remnant of this poor old snow man,

I assume those carrots were his/her nose.

photo water tanks on roof

But not only do heaters not work well in the cold,

as usual there were water problems with parts of the dood freezing,

so seeing someone working on the roof tops was common.

We only lost power for a few minutes and had

running water all Shabbat, though it was soo cold.

But then the sun came out,

and Pollyanna time.

Along with the tragic news from Paris, France,

image Jerusalem theater

girls from Beit Shemesh were excited to be at the Jerusalem Theater

to rehearse for their show “Pollyanna.”

Blizzard of 2015 did not happened,

 feeling still like a bear coming out of hibernation,

but back to “normal.”

Israeli Media Snow Jerusalem Blizzard

They were calling it #IsraelBlizzard.

Jerusalem, Israel, was prepared for #WhiteJerusalem.

Schools were closed, meetings cancelled,

everyone was ready.

We were braced for power to go out,

just hoping for less time than the full week last year.

image hail storm knesset

First, there were hail and fog, with very strong winds.

photo hail stones on ground

Hail stones fell after loud thunder and lightning.

photo snow on roof tops Jerusalem Israel winter storm

Snow covered roof tops quickly,

#whiteJerusalem

and was sticking to cars and roads.

And then,

after ten minutes,

image Knesset in snow

it stopped and a slight powder of snow

that could be seen on the Knesset grounds.

All day we waited for more,

#WhiteJerusalem

by night fall the streets were quiet.

image snow in Jerusalem

 at bed time this was the best snow photo of the day.

No blizzard.

It felt like those old days in the DC area,

where the government and schools shut for snowy weather

that made every Northerner and Canadian laugh

and go into the details of their memories of a real blizzard.

image snow on ground outside Knesset

In the morning the Knesset had a thin cover of white,

and no serious accumulation of snow.

#WhiteJerusalem still might come over the weekend.

thermometer low house temp

It is cold though, this indoor thermometer,

 read 50 degrees first thing this morning,

so the temperature has been rising.

Outside,

image bad weather

it is another grey, wet, sleet and slippery day.

After a late school opening,

the kids are out of the house,

making the parents very happy.

#WhiteJerusalem was not an #IsraelBlizzard,

even with that loud thunder all day.

Hard to believe that only four days ago,

there were those rainbow colored flowers,

Snow in Jerusalem

Snow in Jerusalem, Israel.

Is there anything else to share today?

Is there anything else people are talking about?

Yesterday the mayor called a special press conference

iamge Jerusalem prepares for snow

 to show the world the city’s new salt spreaders,

all gassed up and ready to hit the streets the with first flakes.

image Jerusalem snow

As the press closed around for their close ups,

the residents of Jerusalem were getting prepared.

image snow prep Jerusalem

This man was not going to get caught short of essentials.

image grey sky over Jerusalem

Today the sky clouded over as a grey fog came in.

Remember Varda?

image snow pep

She is all tied up in knots now.

image street clean up

City workers are preparing and cleaning streets,

as the wind is gusting and blowing harder.

image city worker

At least one city worker was getting her last shopping in.

image man running with a heater

And this man was running home with his new heater.

Cancellations are hard to keep track of!

Sure hope we do not lose power for a week like last year,

because if there really is so much snow,

how will we share those photos tomorrow?