from Jerusalem, Israel.
The end of 5774 is in sight
and signs of the new year are everywhere.
The municipality has posted signs wishing a good year to Jerusalem 5775.
This morning, there are dark circles under many eyes of those
who stayed up late for Selihot prayers, and then woke up early this morning.
The Selichot prayers are scheduled almost non-stop,
and there are even tours to see those who recite the special prayers.
One is to be held in Kikar Safra, the Jerusalem Government Square.
These new signs are for free buses to the Old City,
I had to try one and not walk every time.
Many pre-holiday parties include “raising a cup” to toast the new year,
which makes it a perfect time for road stops to test vehicles and drivers.
But not all police were busy with ticketing or crime this week.
So much to do this short week before Rosh Hashana,
food shopping is crazy and time is stretched to limits.
This man is often seen on skate board walking dogs,
but for first time I saw him pushing a baby stroller.
I wondered ‘his own, or some family short on time?’
Friends who are visiting had time for brunch.
Signs were up for sales, but this restaurant got the first sukka photo for this year.
Every organization is looking for end-of-year donations,
this woman held a sign asking for charity in the Old City,
and this man on Jaffa Street had no sign.
He just held an empty cup.
But there are much prettier sights this time of year,
like these new limes on the tree ready to be picked,
and wonderful flowers, not just outside on the streets,
getting ready for holiday tables as well.
Public parks have been cleared and private gardens are ready,
since shmita, the year of not working the land, begins at Rosh Hashana.
The notes in the Western Wall,
were overflowing before the holiday clean up,
but no one was going to peek at this message wrapped tightly in blue thread.
New chairs were delivered, all ready for the holiday crowds on the plaza.
It is shofar time,
and after 5774 years
עם ישראל חי
Am Yisrael Chai,