Wishing all an easy fast and healthy and good year
גמר חתימה טובה
From The Real Jerusalem Streets
Yet another red alert in southern Israel!
Talk of SodaStream ads and photos of Scarlett Johansonn
have made headlines around the world.
But I want to share some photos of real women in Jerusalem, Israel,
that did not make the headlines this week.
Thousands gathered on Thursday evening
at the Kotel, the Western Wall,
for a special service with silver trumpets,
with tehilim, psalms, and prayers,
ending as the sun was setting with the Shema Yisrael.
Housing Minister Uri Ariel was one politician who showed his face.
But did you read anywhere
that the women’s section at the Kotel was full?
Thousands of women were
praying for the future of Israel.
Also, this week was the Jerusalem Conference.
Out of the ten Jerusalem prize winners awarded there,
Geulah Cohen was only woman to receive the honor.
Avraham Duvdevani was presented a certificate by Naftali Bennett.
Interesting that younger attendees had never heard of Duvdevani
and his contribution to Zionism and aliyah.
Last year I thought the lively “discussions” were because it was pre-election season.
But, with Rav Yisrael Rozen in the middle,
MK Avi Wurtzman and former MK Michael Ben-Ari had quite an exchange
over government funding for education and families.
The entire panel got involved,
but when MK Ayelet Shaked got the microphone
and started to speak, everyone quieted down.
We may have had the driest January in history,
but this week we had enough rain to make tires spin on wet streets.
The week- long Mothers say YES to Israeli Sovereignty vigil
near the Prime Minister’s House started off on a gloomy, wet day.
But there were plenty of cookies and drinks as former MK Arieh Eldad spoke.
All week long there has been a schedule of speakers.
The sun was shining when Rabbanit Shani Taragin led a class.
Even a neighbor coming to complain of noise could not stop her.
In an amazing Torah class she talked of Esther and Vashti,
so timely as Purim is coming.
Every child has had a special day of fun this week in school.
The story of Esther is one of taking action, not giving in to an evil decree,
of not obeying a monarch, and of our survival and hope for future.
And finally to end on a bright note, the strawberries that were piled high in
the shuk, the Machane Yehuda market, were so red I had to stop and look.
Maybe John Kerry keeps coming back to get away from the snow in US
and because he loves the strawberries that are in season in Israel?
Much of the world is experiencing freezing temperatures,
but yesterday it was so warm here, that is hard to believe
that snow covered the city just two weeks ago.
The palm trees against the blue sky made for a great photo.
Some Cypress trees are still bent from the weight of the snow,
but the YMCA tower stands straight as usual.
A new exhibit on satire and humor (humour) opened in Mamilla Mall,
making it hard to get through there quickly to meet friends.
So many tourists were out enjoying the day and the weather.
The regular Thursday Bar Mitzvah crowds included many
that came from overseas to celebrate at the Kotel, the Western Wall.
While yesterday the topic of discussion for some
was the meaning of the Israeli election results,
what was truly impressive was the color and diversity on the streets.
Was this woman with green herbs getting ready for Tu Beshvat?
In the Old City I saw nuns dressed in blue,
monks in brown passing Arab women dressed in pink,
and groups os Christian tourists following a red and white flag.
People were eating outside and walking around.
Not everyone was smiling the entire time,
and these boys were riding golden lions?
There were lots of soldiers in green uniforms,
they came for a special swearing-in ceremony in the evening.
At least one soldier took the time to pray at the Kotel, the Western Wall.
On the way home I saw a sign announcing that the Kaiser
is coming to the Tower of David Museum.
Would the Kaiser in 1898 or anyone else imagine that Jews
and friends from all over the world would come to Jerusalem, Israel.
And who a few years could ago imagine that at the Kotel
people would Sykpe on an iPhone to families back home?