Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov

The Jerusalem Municipality has invested a lot in landscaping and vegetation.

Flower beds are planted near many Jerusalem, Israel streets, and intersections.

Chodesh tov, Rosh Hodesh Elul poster made from floral butterfly at Sacher Park

This floral butterfly near Gan Sacher, Sacher Park is in full bloom.

Though similar to four years ago, these are new flowers.

Shabbat Shalom written on Jerusalem Israel flowers

שבת שלום

חודש טוב

Jerusalem after Tisha B’Av: Mourning to Celebrating

Jerusalem after Tisha B’Av: Mourning to Celebrating

Oh, Jerusalem!

Jerusalem has just completed another Tisha B’Av.

Kotel on Tisha B'Av night during COVID-19

Instead of past years with crowds of tens of thousands, there were 1,000 people allowed at the Kotel,  the Western Wall, at night.

Jerusalem, Israel during corona men siting on ground for Eicha

Sections were divided off and marked to permit the small groups allowed to follow the latest COVID-19 restrictions.

Kotel Women's section divided for COVID-19 regulations

The women’s section which in the past was crowded with thousands had barriers also.

Reading Eicha, Lamentations, in Gan Haatzmaut, Independence Park, had a much smaller attendance.

Jerusalem Damascus Gate at night

Damascus Gate at night was quieter than usual as the 26th annual walk around the Old City Walls, limited this year to 50 participants, passed by.

Walking in Jerusalem at night of Tisha B'Av during COVID-19 regulations

On the other side of the street, the shops were all open late for Eid al-Adha preparations. The Muslim fast day coincided with Tisha B’Av this year, and at sunset they began a 3-day celebration.

Good news. The social workers and nurses are back to work after short strikes.

Israel Museum employees protest prolonged closing and no pay

Israel Museum employees held a peaceful protest holding up signs to passing traffic.

The only loud noises were cars honking in support.

Due to coronovirus restrictions Israel Museum closed

The Israel Museum has been closed since the coronavirus crisis began. On Thursday, museum director Ido Bruno announced a $4million donation from the American Friends of the Israel Museum. Plans to reopen are said to be underway.

Olive tree in Jerusalem Israel park

On the hill below the Israel Museum, olives are on the trees.

Gan Sacher in Jerusalem no Pele in the morning

Last week Jerusalem’s Gan Sacher, Sacher Park was empty.

The end of school year summer outings were not happening.

This morning, it was good to see children back in the Jerusalem park.

Jerusalem’s usual summer conferences have moved online, to Facebook and Zoom.

StreetBal competition in Bell Park Jerusalem Israel

The annual Jerusalem sport event of Street Ball has been canceled.

Flags from around world in Jerusalem March on chol hamoed Sukkos

Thousands of flags of the Jerusalem Parade will not fill the Jerusalem streets this year. The official cancellation was announced this week.

The day after Tisha B’Av, fifteen years ago, 8,500 Israeli citizens were forced out of 21 Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip and four communities in Samaria.

photo of photo of Gush Katfi before it was destroyed

These beautiful homes were destroyed 15 years ago. The expulsion did not bring peace.

Instead, thousands of rockets, missiles, and destructive burning balloons.

I went to see the rebuilding starts of Gush Katif victim nine years ago 

From Gush Katif Museum memorial for destroyed communities.

and the Gush Katif Museum five years ago.

That is an ongoing unpleasant chapter of Israeli history.

Jerusalem Israel Hurva Synagogue Old City

However, a much more pleasant story is what happened at the Hurva Synagogue 100 years ago. The historic and memorable first visit of the first British High Commissioner, Herbert Samuel, after his installation.  Samuel was a knowledgeable Jew who participated in the Shabbat morning service.

"photo Hurva", "Hurva synagogue picture"

Today at the rebuilt and re-inaugurated synagogue which was destroyed by Jordanian Legion in 1948, a special ceremony is to be held in honor of the centennial. However, attendance will be extremely limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Coronavirus safety sign in Hebrew

Highs and lows. And new Corona signs have been posted.

Jerusalem First Station sign for Leonardo da Vinci summer 2020 exhibit

New signs were up for “Leonardo da Vinci -The First Start-up entrepreneur,” the theme of a new exhibit at First Station for this summer.

Hebrew sign in Jerusalem for love not hate.

The next day this sign – “Needed Now “Baseless Love” sign was posted.

The protests near the Prime Minister’s residence have gone on unabated.

They are loud and they disturb the residents well past the 11:00 pm noise curfew.

I think the police have used great restraint with these provocateurs.

On to much better news to share, a notice for יריד היין הגדול של ירושלים.

At First Station, the Jerusalem Wine Festival is planned for  August 11– 13, 6 pm – 11:55 pm.

In local sports news, Israeli soccer is to return at the end of August.

Online tours galore can be found for those who are home-bound.

Jerusalem National Library building under construction

The National Library construction site had workers busy on the roof areas.

Now that Tisha B’Av is over, it’s almost Tu B’Av and time for celebrations and music.

Next Year in Jerusalem!

 

Celebrating Yom Yerushalayim 2020

Celebrating Yom Yerushalayim 2020

Yom Yerushalayim 5780, Jerusalem Day 2020, marks the 53rd year of the liberation of Jerusalem from Jordanian rule and the return of Jews to the Old City after 19 years of exile.

With restrictions due to pandemic COVID-19 still enforced, the usual large public musical gatherings did not happen. However, multiple events were held and broadcast live. The backyard minyan in the back of our house concluded their morning prayer service with the singing of HaTikvah.

Music going around to neighborhoods on Jerusalem Day

A truck blasting holiday music went around Jerusalem streets on the eve of Yom Yerushalayim. I noticed later all the Israeli flags on the cars following behind.

Israeli Ethiopian memorial in cemetery on Mount Herzl

It has become a tradition on the eve of Yom Yerushalayim to remember the Ethiopians who died on the treacherous journey to reach Jerusalem. The annual ceremony is held at Har Herzl near the monument in their memory.

Ethiopians who died on journey to Israel remembered before Jerusalem Day
Photo credit: Mark Neyman

Here President Rivlin greets the religious leaders after the official state event, held before a much smaller audience this year.

New olim from Ethiopia arrive in Israel
photo credit: Shlomi Amsalem

Later in the day, Jewish Agency Chairman of the Executive Isaac Herzog and the new Minister of Aliyah and Integration Pnina Tamano-Shata welcomed 119  new olim from Ethiopia to Israel. Each year for Sigd, I marvel at how they prayed toward the holy Temple in Jerusalem,  yearning to return to Zion, long before Herzl and political Zionism.

Kotel for Yom Yerushalayim restricted for COVID19

At night the scene at the Kotel, Western Wall, was also different than in the past, divided into sections and numbers greatly limited.

Kotel for Yom Yerushalayim with large Israel flag

This Israeli flag displayed before the evening prayers was not small at all!

Jerusalem Day special prayer book at Western Wall

There was a live broadcast of the special evening service, with a special prayer book,

Rabbis at Kotel for Yom Yerushalayim prayers

and with the Israeli Chief Rabbis in attendance.

Cantor Shai Abramson once again led the service with his powerful and impressive voice.

Flagdance at the Kotel on Yom Yerushalayim coronavirus

Thousands of people singing and dancing with flags – not this year.

But there was an enthusiastic FlagDance of coronavirus proportions.

Remembering fallen soldiers at Ammunition Hill official state ceremony

At Ammunition Hill the official state celebration of the liberation of Jerusalem 53 years ago began with remembering fallen soldiers.

President Rivlin speaking on Yom Yerushalayim
photo credit: Mark Neyman (GPO)

President Rivlin spoke and also Prime Minister and Jerusalem Mayor.

Ammunition Hill on Yom Jerusalem 2020

Fireworks ended the program which included musical performances.

The traditional celebration at Yeshivat Mercaz Harav was held outdoors this year, and featured the Prime Minister as a speaker.

Each year the Mayor of Jerusalem rushes from one event to another.

The rest of us have to decide where to go and how to get around the crowds.

This year it was not such a big problem.

Everything was new and different this year and most of it online!

Musical performance near old City walls for Jerusalem Day

Want more? See 2 hours of Jerusalem songs from Yom Yerushalayim   HERE

I love Jerusalem on Tel Aviv municipal building

Even Tel Aviv lit up its love for Jerusalem on Yom Yerushalayim.

This video was taken 5 years ago, but it’s worth sharing again to hear such beautiful voices.

I posted the video on LinkedIn for Yom Yerushalayim, and surprise!  I found out that the ‘soldier’ on the left is the cousin of an old friend!

On or off the Jerusalem streets, there is always something happening.

Yom Yerushalayim Sameach!

Happy Jerusalem Day