Passover in and out of Jerusalem

  Passover time in Jerusalem, Israel,

sees a population exchange.

Many locals rent (or try to rent) their homes

to holiday visitors for large sums,

and go away for the week.

Even more take day or overnight trips

view from park in Zichron

to one of Israel’s amazing nature spots

like this one near Zichron Yaakov in Ramat Hanadiv park.

Estimates were as high as 75,000 people

for Monday morning’s holiday annual

Birchat Kohanim, the Priestly Blessing.

But huge crowds were at

Kotel on Pesach

the Kotel, the Western Wall all day the next day as well.

 Not only were prayer services held at the Kotel and at regular synagogues,

but impromptu minyanim for the afternoon prayers

mincha minyin

sprung up just about everywhere.

people at Tachna

It was good to see First Station busy again,

Luna Park to be built in First Station

but this was the only sign of the new Luna Park.

parking lot Tachanah

The free shuttle bus service was finally being used,

with a full size buse to accommodate the crowds,

in addition to the special vans.

The route was different and it went to a different Old City Gate.

While walking to Kotel, you could see

Silwan

people on top of the Walls looking down at Silwan below.

Street blocked in Old City

Streets were closed and blocked to cars,

 while some places were even blocked to pedestrians.

police block way in Old City

I was not allowed to walk up this alley,

but the guy in white shirt was allowed to smoke.

The closings caused a lot of extra walking for people.

Pesach 5775

This little girl is watching a man from an Arabic tour,

who is taking a video of the hasid, religious Jewish man,

while I was taking photos of the Arabic writing on the back of his vest.

Warm, clear weather was perfect for

crowd Passover Jerusalem

 the large and diverse crowds,

Jaffa Gate plaza view of Tower of DAvid

and for photos in Jerusalem on Passover.

Maimilla Mall on Passover

Mamilla Mall had extra balloon people

and we hear they did a great business.

And of course, there was food.

Parks were filled with picnics and BBQ grills,

and the sky filled with smoke.

Many food places were closed for the holiday.

The ones that were open did just about anything with potatoes.

Peasch Potato Pizza

 However,

this pizza did not seem to be too popular

with one young family.

But, always popular

is the holiday greeting on Jerusalem buses,

Happy and Kosher passover

Happy and Kosher Passover.

New Color in Jerusalem

Passover preparations and Israeli children

  being out of school on vacation all week,

plus the arrival of holiday visitors,

are keeping people very busy.

The 120 members of the 20th Israeli Knesset

were sworn in yesterday,

and then they all went on a month long recess.

There were two special ribbon cutting events

that I want to make sure you know about.

Sunday was the special launch of an

 environmental program called the “Green Knesset.”

The dairy cafeteria inside the Knesset building has

image Knesset inside

 large windows to let sun in to heat the room and floor,

and special shading to keep heat from sun out in summer.

But now the “Green Knesset” has added

image bins to recycle bottles

special bins for recycling,

and at meetings water will no longer be served in bottles,

 saving 60,000 plastic bottles per year.

Water, paper and electricity are to be conserved.

No more large mountains of paper for the budget,

as each member will get a disk on key instead.

Those responsible for the first stage of the

 sustainability project gathered together on the Knesset roof.

image Yuli Edelstiein and other dignitaries at Kneset

 Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein, smiling on the left side,

was the featured speaker

Israel Knesset building

and was honored to cut the ribbon on the roof

roof of Israel Knesset solar panel field

in the middle of the 1,406 solar panel field.

The next day a very different green project was opened,

the Jerusalem, Israel, nature reserve – the Gazelle Park.

opening Gazelle Valley nature park

The area where gazelles had roamed free,

did not go to real estate developers,

Jerusalem, Israel new park large water area

but back to nature and the people.

On opening day, thousands of all ages attended,

walking trail in Deer Valley Park

 walking nature trails,

Jerusalem Israel park

and listening to stories near the restored Orchard site.

sign in Valley of Gazelle water system

The water system is designed to sustain the plant and animal life.

Green spot in Jerusalem, Israel

In Israel, the end of winter means green grass,

dotted with colored wild flowers.

gazelle puppet on opening day of Gazelle Park

This was the only gazelle I saw on opening day,

but real ones are to have an area in which to roam free once again.

Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat smiling with children taking photos

Mayor Nir Barkat was smiling and posing for photos,

Nechama Rivlin cuts ribbon at Gazelle Park

and the ribbon was cut by First Lady Nechama Rivlin.

large nature park in Jerusalem, Israel

This Passover one does not have to drive or sit in car for hours to visit a park,

as the nature reserve is large, free to the public,

and open from 7:00 am to dark, 7 days a week.

Gazelle Valley 302b

Happy Spring Holiday.

פסח שמח

Happy Passover!

Israeli Opera in Jerusalem Shuk

When Shakespeare wrote

that ‘the whole world is a stage,’

Israel opera singer at cheese shop in shuk

somehow I do not think a cheese shop

opera singer

or fruit and vegetable stand was what he had in mind.

However, the Israeli Opera had

Israel opera singers

performers in Machane Yehuda Market,

the shuk on Monday singing arias.

picture nut selling stall in shuk

The man selling nuts was smiling,

vegetables in market

as was the green grocer across the way.

So was I after they found my cell phone.

Trying to get a good shot with so many photographers

pushing in the crowded and narrow alleyways,

I almost lost my phone there.

Israel opera singer

There was more than one place used as a stage,

performance Israel opera in shuk

 some shoppers were determined to keep going,

man in shuk who sang for the Israeli opera singers

while others in the market became part of the show.

Israel opera couple perform in shuk

“L’elisir d’amore” by Gaetnao Donizetti

is to be performed in the Sultan’s Pool the end of June,

and some Jerusalem shoppers got a preview.

As cameras rolled,

image Israel opera singer uses girl in crowd in act

one girl in the crowd was serenaded to by this opera singer,

but after an hour the surprise show was over,

fresh garlic piled high in the shuk

and it was back to time for holiday preparations.

people shopping for fresh garlic

Mountains of fresh garlic have arrived in the shuk

shuk vegetable display

and piles of fresh fruits and vegetable are ready,

fresh fish stall in market

and one fresh fish store was really popular.

I loved this sign,

ready for Passover in machane yehuda

this store is ready for Passover and

NO ONE is to bring in anything that is not for Passover.

Now if only my house was nearly as ready.

Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov

Chodesh Nissan,

Passover in two weeks,

Yemin Moshe neighborhood

beautiful time to be out on the Jerusalem, Israel, streets,

as here on the steps of Yemin Moshe.

שבת שלום

חודש טוב