In Jerusalem, Hanukkah lights in the darkness

Hanukkah was over Friday night at sunset.

In Jerusalem, sirens sounded over the Jerusalem streets at 5:01 pm, as Shabbat services were to begin. People had to seek shelter. A stark reminder that the rockets from Gaza could still be headed to Jerusalem, Israel, not just along the Gaza border or the border in the north.

These large flags are displayed all over the roads, a reminder that we are at war.

These silent construction projects are a reminder of the Arab workers, who are not working.

But the clean-up crews from the Jerusalem municipality keep going strong to collect the trash.

On Hanukkah Cinema City was a popular family recreation site.

The OU Hanukkah event for Olim filled the Nefesh BeNefesh hall with young families.

A shortcut through the Supreme Court to the Knesset was not a good idea.

The gate to the path through the Rose Garden was locked.

Who knows if and when the Rose Garden will reopen again?

Or when the protest tent with the families of the hostages will close?

The National Library of Israel is gaining popularity and more readers are in the reading room.

The circulation desk is open and appears to be responsive.

A small coffee shop also is now open for people to drink and eat, and sit and talk.

These chairs and books are ready and waiting for the hostages to finally return home from captivity.

The Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein National Campus for Archaeology of Israel is across the street from the National Library and the Israel Museum and is next to the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem, all near the Knesset.

It was open briefly to the public for two hours on Hanukkah. The entrance might appear modest.

Tours begin with the mosaic on the floor as you enter the building site.

But the outside appearance does deceive. It goes down 8 stories! I have waited to see what has been accomplished since my first visit in 2016!

The spaces were designed to be open to see the work being done.

The library had been a shell, with bare cement walls, but is now very impressive.

Multiple labs are open and appear to be operating.

This year was not a perfect festive eight days of Hanukkah.

The first night lighting the first candle on the Jerusalem streets,

and other nights I missed doing the usual big tours and crowds.

However, I noticed the lemons were turning yellow against the blue sky,

and the new winter grass is bright green.

While the clouds at night have been mostly pink.

A simpler eight days of Hanukkah 5784 have passed.

The colorful candles of Hanukkah have burned down and are put away for this year.

However, we continue to believe good must triumph over evil.

Ready for Hanukkah or Chanukah in Jerusalem

What a week this has been.

From as far away as Sydney, Australia,

we hear that an armed man “claiming political motivations”

took hostages,


image clouds

 something as simple as the cloud formations

against a blue sky can be appreciated.

Last Friday, coming from the Gush to Jerusalem, Israel,

we stopped for a traffic light.

The same as we have done many times.

That signal was installed after many traffic accidents.

image security

We saw this police vehicle blocking our view,

and we heard a man scream, then he was down on the road.

Israeli soldiers

As the security forces arrived in force,

it was clear this was no simple accident.

Acid (yes, vinegar is an acid!) was splashed on Israelis

by a terrorist and he had run to this spot.

I had been looking for cars involved,

but it was stopped a few meters away.

We got through quickly,

as the traffic in the other direcion stopped and backed up.

 I sit here now,

watching a live news feed of a cafe in Australia,

under threat by a person with an ISIS flag.

We cannot be sure when or what will happen next!




Hanukkah is coming.

After finally deciding to spell it as spell check goes,

the Government Press Office is using Chanukah this year.

Oh well, people are getting their chanukiot, menorahs

ready to light.

Chanukaih, street lights Jeryusalem

As always I love the streets lights,

and signs filling the streets.

banner in Hebrew for Hanukkah

“A Great miracle happened here.”

The school holiday is shortened this year,

but the school extravaganza productions

are bigger and better and longer than ever.


Suffganiot, millions of all types of donuts and

fried foods will be consumed over the eight nights.


But also strawberry season has begun

and the markets are filled with the sweet red berries.

Happy Hanukkah,

image hanukah semach on bus, picture Hanukkah in Israel, , photo egged bus sign for holiday

Chanukah sameach

however you spell it,

the first candle is tomorrow night.