Jerusalem More Than Dream

Jerusalem More Than Dream

“Next year in Jerusalem”

has been for centuries,

the mantra of the Jewish people.

At the conclusion of the Passover seder

and at end of weddings by breaking a glass,

 the destruction of Jerusalem was remembered.

From May 1948 to June 1967,

the years under Jordanian occupation,

Jerusalem Old City Walls

reaching the Kotel, Western Wall or

walking near the Temple Mount,

was only for the imagination or in a dream.

A view from a look out at Notre Dame,

over a dangerous No Man’s Land,

was as close as a Jew could get.

For those under the age of 60,

the drama and trauma of the Six-Day War,

and the resulting victory are taken for granted.

The rush of feelings, of a miraculous deliverance

against giant Arab armies attacking on all sides is lost.

The significance of

Jerusalem 50 and its many celebrations are shrugged off,

Birhat Kohanim at Kotel on Pesach 5777

for today tens of thousands can reach the Kotel Plaza to pray.

However, the Six-Day War,

also saw the return to Gush Etzion,

At Harel Memorial distance to Gush Etzion lost in 1948 to Jordan

a distance 16 kilometers south of the Knesset.

And in the north,

Kinerret at Sunrise

 the beautiful Kineret, Sea of Galilee,

Golan, Kinneret

had Syrians in those Golan Heights towering above.

 Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus

was closed after a convoy of medical staff was ambushed

and 73 people were murdered in April 1948.

Memorial at Hadassah hospital to the convoy which was attacked and murdered in 1948

This memorial wall in the Mt. Scopus memorial garden

was backdrop for a reenactment of Hadassah getting its keys back

from Mayor Teddy Kollek, in June of 1967.

And the West Bank,

which was for centuries known as Judea and Samaria,

Benyamin region of Judea and Samaria

 the land of Benjamin,

West Bank land of Bemyamin

stretches as far as the eye can see,

Tel Shiloh in Judea and Samaria

and includes Tel Shilo,

which for 369 years was location of the Holy Ark,

before the time of King David and the Temple in Jerusalem.

50 years.

Half a century.

This is a wondrous time to be in Jerusalem, Israel.

The days of choking polluted air

from vehicles stuck in heavy traffic on Yaffa Road,

Jerusalem light rain train Israel Yerushalayim

are vanishing memories, as the light rail trains run by.

50 years,

things are far from perfect,

but I would not want to go back to 51 years ago.

Significance of Yom Yerushalayim,This Year in Jerusalem

Significance of Yom Yerushalayim,This Year in Jerusalem

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day,

saw tens of thousands celebrating on King George Street,

as it filled with a sea of blue and white Israeli flags.

Yom Yerushalayim on King George Street before Flag Parade to Old City

Afternoon shadows were not good for photos,

but the shade from hot sun was appreciated.

King George Street Yom Yerushalayim

 The Flag Parade, with its singing and dancing,

is mostly known for rowdy young male participants.

Last year I walked the entire route,

and as usual, if RJS is there, nothing bad happened.

This year what was significant was

not the guys, but the girls.

There were so many girls.

Yom Yerushalayim girls dancing on King George STreet

The crowd of girls stretched far into town,

 farther than the eye or zoom lens could see.

There were two bands for separate dancing,

 with their Israeli flags,

King George Street Yom Yerushalayim Flag Parade

 these girls were next to the guys’ circles,

 but the guys seemed to take no notice of them.

Also significant to note concerning this day,

more than just teenage exuberance,

Yom Yerushalayim family in march with flags

is the young families, who were walking,

Yom Yerushalayim

and watching,

hundreds of families, many dressed in blue and white.

Yom Yerushalayim Flag Parade

While thousands of older people lined the streets to watch.

Yom Yerushalayim visitors from overseas

From around the world they came,

Costumes at Yom Yerushalayim from Africa

to join in the celebrations

Yom Yerushalayim 50 years in flowers near Windmill

of Jerusalem being liberated and reunited,

on 28th of Iyar, June 1967,

as Israeli paratroopers reentered the Old City by way of the Lions’ Gate.

All the street closings

for flags and dancing and parades,

and the Trump presidential visit caused less

Traffic came to standstill in Jerusalem, Israel on Thursday May 4, 2017

traffic havoc than two accidents and

an overload of cars on Thursday, causing gridlock,

 making Jerusalem look like one big parking lot.

Tens of thousands of international visitors are still around.

Jaffa Gate Plaza tourists dancing.

A group of Christian tourists were dancing at Yaffa Gate,

to the Hebrew song “Moshiach.”

Rova on spring day

Under a clear blue sky the Old City

was serene and picture perfect.

On Shavuot, 5 Sivan, Tuesday, May 30,

the streets will again be filled, not with cars,

Traffic in Jerusalem at stand still

but with throngs of people walking,

Kotel in afternoon before shavuot

to the Kotel, Western Wall for holiday prayers.

During the Six-Day War, all of Israel was united,

 fearing destruction.

The defeat of the invading Arab armies has often been

described as miraculous.

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could come together again,

in good times, not just bad.

Shema Yisrael prayer on back of Jerusalem, Israel public bus

A timely message on this Jerusalem public bus.

Chag Sameach, Happy Holiday.

Presidential Visit Trumps Jerusalem Day

Presidential Visit Trumps Jerusalem Day

  Jerusalem, Israel,

prepared for Yom Yerushalayim,

Jerusalem Day,

Flag for Yom Yerushalayim on hospital Jerusalem Israel

with large Israeli flags draped on old buildings,

Yom Yerhushalayim, Jerusalem Day flags painted on side of light rail train

and painted across the modern light rail trains.

The footbridge over Derech Hevron, Hebron Road,

Jerusalem Israel large flags for Yom Yerushalayim

was covered by a long Israeli flag on one side

Yom Yerushalayim flags

and the Jerusalem city flag on the other.

Yom Yerushalayimi school outing to Old City Yemin Moshe

School trips this time of year are a common sight.

But this year,

US President Donald Trump was visiting.

Israel and US flags on King David Hotel

US and Israeli flags flew over the King David Hotel

where the Presidential entourage secured the entire building.

Trump visit to Israel

Big red signs lined King David Street, warning of closings.

By Tuesday,

Stairs in Yemin Moshe leading to Montefiore Windmill

only a bird could move freely around the area.

Now a beautiful, prosperous and popular neighborhood,

Mishkanot Shaananim Yemin Moshe Jerusalem Israel

from 1948-1967

Yemin Moshe – Mishkanot Sha’ananim, and the King David Hotel,

were on the border of No Man’s Land

and in the sights of Jordanian snipers.

Security from old days in Jerusalem, Israel

This bollard was left as an example of the old security measures.

Trump street closing.

For this presidential visit, metal barriers lined

the route of the motorcade.

Jerusalem Israel for Trump visit

It was a good week for the people who rent metal barriers

Trump visit to Jerusalem, Israel

and these fancier barriers too,

but many local businesses suffered from the street closures.

The first stop in Israel for the US Presidential visit

was at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence.

Red carpet at Beit Hanasi for Trump

The red carpet was rolled out and covered to stay clean.

Trump visit to Jerusalem Israel

The media came early, and watched Air Force One

land in Ben Gurion Airport and waited.

Trump visit to Jerusalem Israel

I lost count of how many times the red carpet was cleaned.

Trump visit at Beit Hanasi

Here is the signing of the official guest book,

 the US delegation had not yet arrived.

But for the official speeches

Trump visit to Israel Ivanka and Jared Kushner

everyone was in their assigned seats.

Tree planted in garden of Beit Hanasi in honor of Trump visit to Jerusalem Israel

The Presidents and First Ladies went to the garden,

to see a tree planted in honor of the visit.

The ceremony was over,

and the Presidential motorcade sped off to the Kotel,

the Western Wall, for the next stop on a packed itinerary.

Security for Trump visit

Pedestrians were permitted to start walking.

But not even this official Israeli limo could leave until

 the buses blocking the roads were given permission to move.

Most of the US Presidential visit was live-streamed,

 so you can find it all on line.

For the grande finale,

after what seemed like dozens of Israeli police helicopters flying over,

Trump visit to Jerusalem, Israel

a military helicopter flight parade started,

Trump visit to Jerusalem, Israel

accompanying Marine One

Trump visit to Israel

and ending with more helicopters and flares.

I have not seen the official number of helicopters,

but they were noisy and flew in a long convoy over

Jerusalem, Israel, as they escorted the

US Presidential visitors away.

Jerusalem and Israel large flags on buildings

Now, back to flags

and Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, and major celebrations

 marking 50 years after the Six-Day War victory

and the liberation of the Old City from Jordanian rule.

What a week to be on the Jerusalem streets!