Jerusalem in August, Everything but Singing in Rain

Jerusalem in August, Everything but Singing in Rain

   Jerusalem, Israel in August.

While it does not rain in Israel,

Sunset colors Israel

the humidity makes for interesting colors at sunset.

gold dome view of Old City at night from Har Hazeitim

Of course, some sights are colorful at any hour.

Four new Ambassadors to Israel presented their credentials

this past week at Beit Hanasi, to the Israeli president.

The IDF band plays the national anthems of each country.

Israel IDF band member at Beit Hanasi

Time for one last minute rehearsal, before

Diplomatic reception at Beit Hanasi

the new Ambassador from Australia arrived.

Reuven Rivlin and Christopher Cannan at Beit Hanasi with twin sons

Chris Cannan brought along his two sons.

The King David Hotel was also busy with international visitors,

US Congressmen and the head of the Organization of American States,

 joined the ranks of thousands of summer tourists.

King David Hotel Pool

Out in back of the hotel behind the pool,

in the Bloomfield Gardens,

Shakespeare in Motion Bloomfield Gardens

you will find the annual Shakespeare in Motion.

Taming of the Shrew is being performed in English,

August evenings before the sun goes down.

Jerusalem Israel performance near Windmill

I still have not found the story behind this song and dance,

happening in Yemin Moshe,

Montefioure Windmill Yemin Moshe Jerusalem Israel

 near the Montefiore Windmill.

As the sun was setting,

Yemin Moshe Yerushalayim Yisrael

I was walking through Yemin Moshe,

Khutsot Hayozer

 to see the International Arts & Crafts fair.

International booths arts & crafts

The set-up for international booths

Khutost Hayozer

seems to be the same as usual.

Artist Colony Jerusalem Israel

Fewer people seemed to be on the main path,

yet tens of thousands attend this annual end of summer event.

During holiday time, Jerusalem parks are popular.

sunset over Teddy Park Jerusalem, Israel Old city wallls

As the sunset sets on Teddy Park,

with the walls of the Old City and Tower of David in the background,

the park fills with families on outings.

Jerusalem, Israel Old City Yafo Gate segwey riders

Segways have become a common sight.

Two boys in Mamilla Mall near Jaffa Gate Jerusalem Israel

But watch out in Mamilla Mall,

for these contraptions racing through

Two Muslim women in Mamilla Mall walking in crowd Jerusalem Israel

 the hundreds of people walking and shopping.

Musical events in Kikar Safra, Municipal Square.

are held every summer,

but this year in honor of 50 years of Jerusalem unification

3 major musical events are set for August 17, 28 and 31.

Then, there is the Oud Festival

and Mekudeshet, which starts in August and ends September 15,

Sign for Rikudim, Dancing in Jerusalem in August

and there is dancing at the Jerusalem Theater,

plus Hansen House has evening events.

Festivals, singing and dancing…but no rain.

Two soldiers near Zediakuh Cave Jerusalem Old City

When you see security out dressed in heavy protection,

a reminder that singing and dancing in the rain

was only found in old movies.

Meanwhile, there is so

much great stuff happening in Jerusalem,

I will have to save more for next time.

Favorite New and Old Sukkot for 5775

The holiday of Sukkot,

image for sukkos

involves intense preparation,

image luvav

and checking of many specific details.

As soon as Yom Kippur is over,

image sukka on sidewalk

sukkot seem to pop up all over.

Thousands of tourists arrive in Jerusalem, Israel,

many want to sleep in a sukka and many more to eat in one.

image round sukka

At the Kings Hotel the familiar sukka is up on the roof

image plain sukkah on roof

and a simple wooden sukka cna be seen at the King Solomon Hotel.

image sukka on roof Inbal Hotel

At the Inbal Hotel, look up for the fancy private sukkot.

This year due to the Formula Road Show,

iamge security

outside the King David Hotel had a different look,

image large sukka construcition

but the large porch out back was getting ready as usual to be a sukka.

image new sukkahs this year.

New buildings near the YMCA

have sukkot up on porches and down in the courtyards,

image sukkah

and new Touro restaurant at the Jerusalem Press Club is ready to use.

But also new this year is the Waldorf Astoria Hotel,

photo flowers Jerusalem Israel

where I still have trouble getting past the gorgeous flowers,

image Waldorf AStoria Jerusalem special lobby

and the birds and fountain below.

Their sukka,

image sukka in atrium of Waldorf Astoria

in the Atrium

image special sukka

is the new wow must see sukka this season.

I must get to working on holiday details here,

time to clean and decorate our sukka!

I’ll end with two old favorites,

our sukka on a camel photo was posted by Times of Israel on Facebook,

Sukka photo, Image unusual sukkah

it received so much attention that here it is again.

image Hebrew sign on Bus

RJS along with the buses

wishing all a happy holiday.

Journeys to Jerusalem

Spring is usually the perfect season for a trip to Israel.

However, this year 15,000 runners in the Jerusalem marathon events

"marathon", "runners", "Old City"

ran in the cold and rain as they entered the Old City through the Jaffa Gate. 

Marathon runners were not the only visitors to Jerusalem,

as tourists from all over the world have been coming in record numbers.

"J Street", "view", Old City, "steps"

I met up with one tour group called The Land and Spirit Mission sponsored by

 the Jewish Learning Institute, the educational arm of the Chabad movement.

"runner", "crowd at race", "marathon runner photo",

Near Jaffa Gate, they were able to learn about the Tower of David

and cheer on the leaders of the 10 Kilometer race.

Kosel, "men at Wailing Wall"  , "Western wall raining"

No matter the weather, visitors near the Kotel, Western Wall

"wailing wall"

 want to pose and smile for photos.

"men at wailing wall"

As one of the rabbis with the tour group spoke,

"women wailing wall"  "rain"

 some of the women climbed on chairs to see and hear.

 From the United States and from around the world, 150 participants

came to experience and learn more about Judaism and Israel.

"posed photo"

Rain, cold weather and grey skies could not dampen their spirits.

"group photo"

For some participants it was their first trip to Israel;

others had visited many times.  Jerusalem is always changing, 

 every day there is something new to see and discover.

"Mamila Mall", Old City, "east jerusalem"

One stop on the tour of the Old City was Mamilla Mall, 

once part of “no man’s land” during the years under Jordanian rule.

Now the new pedestrian shopping area has many restaurants

and is a popular destination for both tourists and locals.

"Muslim market", "Jews in Muslim Quarter"

It is quite a contrast to the old Arab shuk.

"view", "Dome of the Rock", "muslim", East Jerusalem"

Going through the narrow streets of the Old City,

we found one of the most incredible views …and a bit of blue sky.

"street in Old City", "Hurva Synagogue" , "tour guide'

A few minutes later outside the entrance to the Hurva Synagogue,

while listening to the story of the restoration of the historic building,

it started to hail.

"big shul", "shul door", "open door"

A perfect time to go inside to see the impressive sanctuary.

"view", ""chandelier", "women sitting"

As women listened from above in the women’s section,

"photo Hurva", "Hurva synagogue picture"

 the Chief Rabbi of the Western Wall, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch,

spoke to the group.

He began by praising the Chabad rabbis in the audience

and their organization for their important work around the world.

There is wisdom of the head, the rabbi told the group, 

but the “Jewish people also have wisdom of the heart”. 

"Runners" , "running picture"

In the cold rain and hail, it is heart, not the mind, that kept the runners going.

Throughout the centuries the longing for Jerusalem inspired many

to take the difficult journey to Jerusalem.

So how could a little bad weather possibly ruin a trip to Israel?

The Land and Spirit Mission was organized by Zev Jacobson

and his team at Israel Maven Tours.

Israel Maven, dedicated to providing a high-quality trip to Israel

for individuals, families, communities, and corporations,

ran a great program despite the lousy weather.

 It was great fun to see some old friends and former neighbors,

"bag" , "tour bag", "people in the rain"

even if it was hard to photograph them dressed for the weather conditons.

Hope to see you too in Jerusalem…soon.