Jerusalem Green and Accessible

Wow, did I make a mistake;

 I thought this was going to be a quiet week.

Israeli flag image

It began as the extra Israeli flags were taken down. 

(Make sure you did not miss all blue and white photos

from Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day in Jerusalem.)

Then came unseasonable, heavy rains and cold temperatures,

 it felt more like winter than spring.  

David Citadel Hotel rain

The doormen of the Citadel Hotel had out their large umbrella stand,

 it was not an easy time to stay either dry or warm.

 Then the rain finally stopped on Sunday evening and the sun came out,

and everything in Jerusalem turned green.

Image of Cool Globes, large world globe photo

First, I went to see the Cool Globes on exhibit near Jaffa Gate.

Large globe picture

These 18 large globes, each a unique work by a different artist, were

installed for Earth Day and will remain in place through the summer. 

Then I walked over to the YMCA for the opening of  the first

 International Jerusalem Symposium on Green & Accessible Pilgrimage.

There were way too many events and speakers to list here, but

DSC_4748b

 Forsan Hussein, CEO of the Jerusalem International YMCA

welcomed the many international visitors to the city of Jerusalem.

official tourists with deputy mayor

 Deputy Mayor Naomi Tsur, who started the green and accessible initiative, 

posed with Dr Jose Bernal-Stoop from Mexico on the left

and Count Phillippe Piccapiertra, 

the Grand Chancellor of the Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem.

While there are always thousands of international visitors

who arrive in Jerusalem, Israel, daily, this

photo man with walking shoes.

 gentleman is the only one who I know who walked here from Sweden,

and I have to add that

WAlk for peace

 Nilsson Jorden, a Brother of the Military and Hospitaller Order

of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem, has a great sense of humor too.

When I told him what I had written about him on the opening night

I was very relieved when he laughed.

I had not heard of this Order before, but their plan to make

  The Old City accessible to all by way of special scooters sounds amazing.

Many Interfaith sessions and discussions were held,

Black Imam with female rabbi

Imam Farid Ansari of the Muslim America Dawah Center of Rhode Island,

seen here with Rabbi Amy Levin, came in specially for this symposium.

Picture Green Pilgrim

There was such an ambitious program with so many initiatives and

progressive ideas to improve use of natural resources for the future,

that I will have to share more on this another time.

But now on the Jerusalem streets, it is that time of year,

picture getting ready for Lag B'Omer

when young people have started gathering every bit of wood, old trees,

or beware, even watch out for your outdoor furniture,

and anything else that that will  burn for the Lag B’Omer bonfires.

Ilan Shochat image

  Safed Mayor Ilan Shochat, in his excellent presentation, 

did mention what the four ancient Israeli cities have been known 

for centuries for four elements,

Tiberias = water,   Safed = wind,    Hebron = land

and  

Jerusalem = the city of “fire.”

Watch out for those fires this weekend!

Let’s hope we can keep Jerusalem green and accessible to all.

More photos from conference HERE

Lag B’Omer Fire and Smoke

Meron and the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai

may be the #1 most popular place to be on Lag B’Omer

but celebrations in Jerusalem are a close second. 

"photo Lag Ba'omer", "picture lag ba'omer", "photo Jerusalem"

Collecting wood for a medura, a bonfire, began before Passover.

"picture wagon","photo Gan Sacher", "image Lag Ba'omer"

Wood in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, was carried in a little wagon,

"image Lab Baomer", "photo Jerusalem", "image car'

but I really liked this pile of wood being transported on top of a car.

"image Hebrew sign", "photo sgin", 'picture Jerusalem sign"

The sign says no fires, but before Lag B’Omer the dry grass is cut short,

because this park is one of the most popular places to make a medura.

"picture lag ba'omer", "photo fire", "image Jerusalem"

 Wednesday night small fires were lit all around Jerusalem.

In the Har Nof neighborhood preparations for large fires began in April,

"photo smoke","picture lagbomer","image Jerusalem"

 smoke from one of these fires could be found well into the day on Thursday.

As I said before some love this and some do not  and

miraculously once again there were no reports of major accidents.

There was one thing that was different this year,

"photo Netanyahu house","picture Netanyahu house", "image house Jerusalem"

the house of  Benzion Netanyahu z”l, was covered in black.

The house is located near one of  the busiest Lag B’Omer spots.

What a mess it would have been

if the Prime Minister was sitting shiva this week.

However,

"photo lag b omer", "picture  balloon", "image balloon"

 Lag B’Omer is a happy time,

so we will end with a colorful photo.

Hope you had a good and safe holiday too.