Winter and Holiday Lights in Jerusalem

Winter and Holiday Lights in Jerusalem

Oh, what a week in Jerusalem, Israel!

A new survey stated that 57% of the Israeli public is unhappy with their existing work-life balance.

However, in response to various initiatives to shorten the workweek in Israel, 62% of the employees prefer leaving the situation as is – vacation on Friday and working on Sunday.

Wonder what the results of a survey asking about having three elections in a year would be?

Israeli Knesset at night with lights on

The lights of the Knesset were burning brightly Wednesday after midnight, as another government fell. Or did never get started?

Photo on King George Street in Jerusalem of future Knesset Museum

The only thing taking more time is the future Knesset Museum. Though it appears little is happening inside, the outside got a new construction fence.

Road work on Jerusalem Israel street

Construction seems to be everywhere, with streets and sidewalks closed.

One never knows when traffic will come to a stop or when you will have to walk in the street.

Road work and street closings seem to pop up as often as pre-holiday sales.

Winter morning on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem Israel

It is winter. Even Jaffa Road starts slowly on cold mornings.

New building in Jerusalem across from the Jerusalem Theater

With the short winter days, construction goes on as the sun sets.

Jerusalem is getting a new look.

Jerusalem rubbish truck

New signs for a pretty Jerusalem are displayed on the garbage trucks.

Water for fire emergency

Fire hydrants got a fresh coat of paint.

Lion of Jerusalem near Montefiore Windmill

The Lion of Jerusalem looked freshly painted and regal over the empty flower bed across from Liberty Bell Park near the Montefiore Windmill.

Cleaning the notes from Kotel in Jerusalem Old City

Record numbers of tourists in Jerusalem and visitors to Kotel, the Western Wall, means more notes to remove before the holiday crowds next week.

Jerusalem Education Week

It’s Jerusalem Education Week from December 15 -20. The opening event was held at the Jerusalem Cinematheque with the Mayor and Education Minister attending.

However, though I planned to go, I skipped that one.

Jerusalem Israel final of Talmud Israeli Hiddon participants

The same evening, in the Jerusalem Theater, Rebecca Crown Auditorium the first International Israeli Talmud competition was held.

Talmud Israeli international competition at Jerusalem Theater

From over 1000 participants, the final round winners posed with Education Minister Rav Rafi Peretz.

Mayor Moshe Lion and the Education Minister went from the Jerusalem Theater to the Jerusalem Cinematheque for the Education Week event. I decided to go home for some hot soup.

Winter festivals and events included a sports morning at First Station.

Ethiopian music festival at First Station and other Jerusalem locations

The 10th Hullegeb Festival Jerusalem is at the Jerusalem Theater and other locations from December 19-24. Ethiopian Music from the “golden age” to hip hop is to be featured.

Van Leer Institute sign for winter programs in Jerusalem Israel

The Jerusalem Van Leer Institute has a full program for December.

The 21st Jewish Film Festival is on from Dec 19-26 at the Jerusalem Cinematheque.

The International Chess championships are at the Notre Dame Center.

Chanukiah on Jerusalem street

It’s official. The winter holiday season has begun – the first Habad Hanukia popped up on a street corner.

Haunkka in Jerusalem Israel Old City

It’s almost Hanukkah – however you want to spell it this year.

Fruit in Jerusalem shuk, Makane Yehuda Market

Fruits in the Machane Yehudah Market, the shuk are plentiful and colorful.

Hanuka donuts in shuck in Jerusalem

American style donuts are out along with traditional Israeli ones

Chanuka donute Roladin

and more exotic sufganiyot.

One way to burn off some of the holiday food calories is the Jerusalem Crossroads 6th annual Night Run, which is set for December 26.

Shuk fresh strawberries in winter Jerusalem

And a favorite in Jerusalem for winter – strawberries are piled up in the shuk.

Jerusalem Snowman

This snowman was looking rather sad and worn.

Jerusalem Christmas decorations at YMCA

But the YMCA is decorated for a month of holidays.

Holiday lights in Jerusalem Armenian Quarter

In an Old City Armenian Quarter restaurant, the lights burn brightly all day.

And holiday lights will line the Jerusalem streets.

The list of events, tours and Hanukkah holiday lights of the nights – too long for now.

Jerusalem Holiday of Lights

Jerusalem Happy Holiday of Lights.

Jerusalem Sukkot Ready or Not

Jerusalem Sukkot Ready or Not

Sukkot.

Ten years ago, the first RJS blog was published on Sukkot – Holiday Crowds in Jerusalem.

The holiday season crowds in Jerusalem, Israel, have arrived again.

The first day of the holiday was a beautiful day, but the next day there was a sound and and light show the likes of  I have never seen in Jerusalem.

Thunder and lightning went on and on, long enough to finally get a good video on the 7th attempt.

Open sukkah with President Shimon Peres

The late President Shimon Peres hosted the Beit Hanasi open houses back in the early days of RJS.

Beit Hanasi sukka decorating with Ruvi Rivlin and children

This year President Reuven Rivlin invited children into his sukkah to help him decorate.

Israeli Presidential cat in garden at Beit Hanasi

The Presidential Cat was in the garden to supervise.

Sukkah at Beit Hanasi for the Israel President

Children were busy making decorations and paper chains.

As Sukkot holiday approaches in Jerusalem,

Lookup!

Jerusalem building with a sukkah

Sukkot are popping out on porches,

Jerusalem sukkah on a porch made of wood

on a low balcony,

Jerusalem sukkah on a porch

or on stilts to support the sukkah as it extends off the porch.

Jerusalem large sukkah for a restaurant

Restaurants need a large sukkah to accommodate holiday crowds.

The sukkot in the above photos have bamboo mats used on top as s’chach. 

Jerusalem boy cutting palm branch for top of sukkah

This is the time of year in Jerusalem to trim the palm trees, so that the large branches can be put on top of the sukkah.

sukkos

Searching for the perfect species in the main market near Machane Yehuda is an annual sight.

Sukkos in Jerusalem people selling lulav and estrog

In Jerusalem, also, popup shops for lulav and etrog were easy to find.

Sukkot birchat kohanim 5780 at Kotel

Tens of thousands gathered at the Kotel, the Western Wall, for Birchat Kohanim, the Priestly Blessing which was broadcast live.

These were the usual sights throughout Jerusalem, Israel this week.

But I will end with ‘not your average sukkah’  –

Sukka photo, Image unusual sukkah

While nothing has been quite like this sukkah on a camel from years ago,

here is another unique sukkah, outside of Heichal Shlomo on King George Street.

Sukkah for Jerusalem Biennale reflective on King George Street

As part of the Jerusalem Biennale, is this ‘reflective sukkah’. The outside walls work as distorted mirrors. Look closely, see if you can find me in the photo?

The plaza in front of the Great Synagogue is in the background.

I hope this last photograph does not make you dizzy.

This week of Sukkot holiday meals and the overwhelming number of events did make me dizzy.

So much happening on the Jerusalem streets on Sukkot!

And you never know what will happen next.

Thunder and lightning on Monday night and again on Tuesday afternoon!

Jerusalem Sukkot thunder and lightning storm on Sukkot

When they say something moves as fast as lightning, yes, it moves fast and is hard to capture.

Many sukkot were blown down in the stormy weather.

Jerusalem home sukkah

I am now more satisfied to share this year’s modest decorations.

Happy that our sukkah is still standing!

Moadim L’simcha! 

 

 

Jerusalem Season of Holidays

Jerusalem Season of Holidays

What a glorious week in the neighborhood!

The Jerusalem, Israel, streets were lined with fall flowers bursting with color.

After a surprise early rain on Shabbat the air is clear under a blue sky.

Yemin Moshe fall flowers

The streets of Yemin Moshe are more marvelous than usual.

Yemin Moshe tourist walking down steps Jerusalem I

I hope all those tour groups appreciated the beauty as they walked.

Pomegranates and flowers near Herzl in Beit Hanasi garden

After so many times at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence, for the first time, this week I noticed the pomegranates growing next to Herzl.

Jerusalem Valley of the Cross

What a view from the new lookout point over the Valley of the Cross!

Shana tova on Jerusalem street sgn

Shana Tova! Have a Good Year! say the signs over Jerusalem streets.

Music in the Sultan’s Pool, music in Kikar Safra, and musical selihot and songs in so many locations.

Tens of thousands filled the Kotel, Western Wall, plaza and the entire area for the annual midnight selihot before Yom Kippur. 

Selihot at Beit Hanasi 2019 with 500 people

For the sixth year, President Rivlin hosted a selihot service with music. Bigger every year, this event had 500 guests in the back garden next to the synagogue.

Selihot at beit hanasi 5780

IDF soldiers, students in pre-military programs, and members of the daily morning prayer group were all invited.

Music before the selihot prayers with Shai Tsabari and Akiva Tourgeman.

Music for selihot at Beit Hanasi

The crowd clapped and often sang along.

Large screens showed those outside what was happening inside the synagogue, and the President came out also.

By the end of the service and singing, it was close to midnight

Yom Kippur this year starts the night of October 8 and goes until nightfall on October 9.

According to IDI surveys, 60.5% of Jewish Israelis plan to fast on Yom Kippur, a significant drop from 73% in 1994.

Only around a quarter of Jewish Israelis (23%) plan on attending all the synagogue services.

But the streets should be quiet with no buses, trains or vehicles, only cyclists.

Jerusalem Israel holiday signs

New signs are up for the holiday season in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem on Sukkos signs on street

Too many concerts and activities to list now.

Holiday Parade signs on Jerusalem streets for Sukkos

The Jerusalem Parade, with thousands of international marchers and hundreds of colorful costumes, will fill the Jerusalem Streets.

So much happening in Jerusalem, Israel, this season of holidays.