Jerusalem Preparing for Yom Kippur

Jerusalem Preparing for Yom Kippur

Rosh Hashanah is over.

It is back to work and school and routines

after three days of eating and praying for some,

and trips to state parks and nature reserves for others.

Now in Jerusalem, Israel,

it is time to prepare for Yom Kippur.

The late night Selihot are a major tourist attraction.

These special prayer services are now accompanied by music.

Most of the words are the same as boring recitations of old.

To get you in the mood, and save you hours of sleep,

here are a few short videos from recent years.

I was on my way home from the Kotel, the Western Wall,

going through the Old City late at night,

when I heard the beautiful sounds of these selihot.

I had to stop and listen to Chizki Sofer,

and share the beautiful service he led.

Another star is Yitzhak Meir,

who was invited to lead the services at Beit Hanasi,

the Israeli President’s Residence, two years ago.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin got up to participate.

Last year there was a different musical tradition

with Sephardi Chazan Chaim Israel.

Once again President Rivlin sang, this time

 calling for “charity and good deeds.”

The traditional greeting this time of year

גמר חתימה טובה

May all be sealed for a good year

bus sign Yom Kippur

will again be displayed on Jerusalem buses.

Jerusalem: Good & Bad, Hot & Running

Jerusalem: Good & Bad, Hot & Running

  Jerusalem is having a September heat wave.

Not so good for me,

I complain a lot and slow down.

But things are still going strong,

and Jerusalem is busier than ever.

Flowers in shape of Jewish star in Bloomfield Park

Not sure if these raised arrangements like the heat

or if they are good or bad,

but this new flower display is near the Montefiore Windmill.

I passed it on my way to the Jerusalem Press Club to hear

EU and Israel relationship discussed at Jerusalem Press Club

Dr. Michael Borchard, the Director of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung,

who reported on a survey of Israelis’ opinions of the EU.

The conclusion:

good news and bad news, but pretty much the same.

Economic missions, trade missions, and overseas delegations

seem to be everywhere, all the time.

US Congressmen were at the King David Hotel recently,

Iowa Economic Development Authority mission meets Jerusalem JLMBIOCity starups

and this week the Governor of Iowa Kay Reynolds

led an Economic Development Authority mission to Israel.

Iowans really are some of the nicest people,

here a group met to hear about Jerusalem based bio-startups.

The amazing innovations seek US collaboration to grow.

But besides back to school,

there is much more happening on the streets.

Sign in Hebrew for Jerusalem street fair second hand goods before New Year

Another Second Hand Fair was on Emek Refaim St.

Arab and Jewish music festival Kulna Season of Culture

Kulna, part of Mekudeshet, a festival of varied events

of the Jerusalem Season of Culture,

was set up in Mitchell Gardens.

Kulna Jerusalem Season of Culture Kulna music event

Those who came early to the had the option of seats

and food and drink to buy,

Mitchell Garden in Jerusalem, Israel ready for music festival featuring Arab music

with the walls of the Old City across the street in the background.

Jerusalem music festival with Arab music

One Arab family came early to get a good spot,

Amman is 71 kilometers from Jerusalem Israel

and much of the program featured Arab music.

Amman is 71 kilometers from us, one slide informed us.

Members of Mada, emergency medical staff at Mitchell Park for music festival

As always, emergency medical care was on site.

Arab family in Jerusalem, Israel park for musical performance

But though there were hundreds, maybe 2000 people,

there were no reports of injuries or emergencies in the crowd.

Jerusalem Marathon for Women

Signs were up all along the way to the park for

a first-ever Jerusalem Run for Women,

Main street Cerech Beit Lehem closed to traffic Jerusalem Israel

but not everyone saw those warnings of major streets to be closed.

Jerusalem Night Run map and times.

Security checked out their locations

for the 5k and 10k races.

Arab girls running in Jerusalem Women's Night Races

Women and girls came from all over to run.

I tried to take one of those water bottles,

but it felt so hot, I put it back.

Running in night in Jerusalem Israel Women's Night Run

After dark the women, and a few men,

started running.

Here goes the winner of the 10K

Ilana Guttman before winning the 5K race in Jerusalem

and my friend who won the 5k

was already smiling on the way to starting line.

Runners in Jerusalem Women's Night Race

I love when people race by and scream out “Sharon.”

If you know who is waving please let me know.

One of my favorite runners

Jerusalem Israel Women's Night Races young child and father follow running in closed street

was this cute little guy.

His father was right behind with the stroller making a video.

Jerusalem Festival in Jerusalem Park free with music

These posters tell of events in parks with live music,

Sign for special selihot at Kikar Safra before Rosh Hashana Jerusalem

and special musical nights in the Municipal Square,

 Opening the Gates Of Prayer,

with seasonal High Holy days songs.

So much is happening on the Jerusalem streets,

now if would just cool off a bit so we can enjoy it.

But at least no one is complaining about no rain this year.

and I guess that also could be good.

Herzl’s Vision at 120

Herzl’s Vision at 120

As the First Zionist Congress ended on September 3, 1897,

Theodore Herzl wrote in his diary,

“At Basel I founded the Jewish State.

If I said this out loud today,

I would be greeted by universal laughter.

In five years, perhaps,

and certainly in 50 years,

everyone will perceive it.”

Exactly 50 years later, on September 3, 1947,

the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine,

UNSCOP, submitted its report which became the Partition Plan.

Herzl’s vision was on its way to reality

with the UN vote on November 29, 1947,

and on May 14, 1948, the State of Israel was proclaimed.

In 70 years, in spite of wars, terrorist attacks, missiles and boycotts,

things Herzl could never have dreamed have happened.

On the tiny, arid, barren hill that Herzl saw

Knesset at night as seen from the Israel Museum

today sits the Knesset building.

Across the road,

Night lights at Israel Museum

is the Israel Museum,

Dome of Book at Israel Museum at night

with its Shrine of the Book

housing the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls,

Night time view at Israel Museum

and a host of sculptures on the grounds outside.

For the visit of UN Sec-Gen Antonio Guterres

a special presentation was held at the museum

near the Archaeological Wing,

featuring five Israeli Start-Ups.

HomeBioGas uses waste for clean fuel for cooking Israel startup

1. HomeBioGas turns organic waste into

clean and usable cooking gas and liquid fertilizer.

Israeli startup does blood test with out waiting for Malaria

2. Sight not only can test blood for malaria,

but its technology enables doctors

to do a full blood workup in the office.

Aqwise uses plastic pieces for more size efficient cleaning of waste water

3. Those little plastic pieces in the aquarium,

from Aqwise make waste water clean efficiently.

Water from air at Israel Museum for UNSc Gen Guterres

4. ‘Standing around the water cooler’

Israel Museum for start up presentations for UN Secretary General Guterres

not at the office, but at this meeting with

the Secretary-General and the Israeli Prime Minister,

Meron Reuben with glass of water from air Israel Startup Watergen

took on a whole new dimension,

with Watergen, which makes water from nothing,

converting humidity in the air to drinking water.

UN Sec-Gen Guterres and PM Netanyahu raise glasses of water to drink, water made from nothing, but taken from air

L’chaim, to life.

Remote locations in India and Africa, Gaza,

and drought-stricken regions around the world

could benefit from these Israeli technologies.

5. Innovation Africa  has brought solar

and agricultural technologies to remote African villages.

“Our sages said, ‘From Zion will emerge Torah,’”

Netanyahu noted, adding,

“Well, from Zion emerges Torah, software, progress;

I hope with your help. So welcome, Mr. Secretary General.”

Problems in Israel,  for sure.

But so much good is happening.

Herzl could never have imagined how far

 and what  has developed from his vision over 120 years.