After Fasting and Praying for Rain, Shabbat Shalom

The tenth day of tenth Hebrew month,

Asara B’Tevet is a fast day.

It marks the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem

which culminated in the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE

and the exile to Babylon.

Beit Hamikdash model at Israel Museum

This model of the Holy Temple sits outside the Israel Museum

Corner stone from Beit Hamikdash in Israel Museum

and this inscribed corner stone from the Second Temple is on display inside.

Jerusalem Israel Old City model to Second Temple on roof of Aish Hatorah overlooking Dome of Rock

Another model sits on the roof of the Aish HaTorah Center in the Old City,

with the Dome of the Rock showing in the background.

Thousands of people attended

special prayers for rain held yesterday at the Kotel,

the Western Wall, as Asara b’Tevet was coming to an end.

Farmers are complaining of poor growing conditions

because of the lack of rain and the warm weather.

But the weather was good for weddings this week.

Jewish wedding ceremony

So many weddings,

and each night the blessings ended with

 “Soon, Lord our God, may there be heard in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem,

the sounds of joy and gladness,

the sounds of the bridegroom and bride…”

The sun set, and the fast was over.

Time to prepare for Shabbat.

Poster Shabbat Shalom on Jewish Temple model at Israel Museum

From the days of old

to the present,

may there always be singing

in the streets of Jerusalem.

Shabbat Shalom.

View of Western Wall, Kotel, Shabbat shalom poster

שבת שלום

Jerusalem: Looking Back and Forward

Jerusalem: Looking Back and Forward

Jerusalem, Israel:

the autumn clouds are white,

and look like puffs of cotton in the blue sky.

Jerusalem, Israel blue sky, white clouds over the Western Wall in Old City Jerusalem Israel

It’s after the busy fall holiday season,

and the record crowds of visitors have returned home.

On a weekday afternoon,

Lone man praying in afternoon at Kossel Yerushalayim

it is possible to find a time at

 the Kotel, Western Wall, to pray in solitude.

This is in contrast to the main lightrail route,

along Jaffa Road.

At the start people complained.

Rechov Jafo in Yerushalayim people waiting for light rail

Who remembers the Saga of Light Rail?

Today crowds can be found along the route day and night.

Remember when George Mitchell was going to

work out a peace deal in the Middle East?

It did not go as Mitchell planned.

However, remember when the

Nature Museum was to be closed?

work and music in garden museum in Jerusalem Israel

Well, the protesters prevailed over the developers,

and today new signs tell of new projects

that are happening on those Jerusalem grounds.

children in fountain

In Jerusalem new parks have been developed

and old playgrounds are being leveled and upgraded.

Looking back just a few years

we can see and feel the difference,

but there are too many examples to list now.

This week I was on the helicopter landing pad

at Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem,

to take photos – not as a patient – thanks.

You will hear about their plans soon,

View of Jerusalem Israel from top of helicopter landing at Hadassah Ein Kerem

but what a view there is from up there.

As we commented on all the new building going on,

Cab driver asked to take his picture

my taxi driver on the way home wanted me to take his photo.

All around there are new Jerusalem roads

 which are too often overloaded with traffic.

Wait until the next holiday season,

the suffganiot have been out for weeks,

Suffganiot in window of bakery in Jerusalem

and soon it will be Hanukkah.

With all the centennial events,

yet another big one is ahead.

Allenby 100 years entering Jerusalem

General Allenby made his way into the Old City

of Jerusalem on foot on December 11, 1917,

one hundred years ago.

It was also Hanukkah then,

but I would bet the window displays were not filled

with suffganiot weeks before the holiday.

Oh, Yerushalayim, 

Jerusalem looking back and to the future.