Jerusalem: Roses, Riots, Politics and What Next

I am always concerned about what to share

on the weeks between holidays and special events.

roses and fountain

The Jerusalem roses are in bloom.

road construction outside Jerusalem

Construction on the new main road to Jerusalem, Israel,

is a massive on-going project.

Would anyone outside of Jerusalem care

inactive mail boxes

that the regular mailboxes are no longer going to be used?

mail box in Yemin Moshe from British

Tourists trying to mail a letter tried these

British Mandate post boxes in Yemin Moshe.

They gave up and went to find a Post Office.

Old and new, progress?

Restaurants open and close so often

I could fill a book with those photos.

mall Ben Yehuda

But Cofizz, the 5 shekel coffee and food place on Ben Yehuda,

has changed the center of town.

Cofizz is always busy, while the place next door has empty seats.

Copy cat places have mushroomed,

from King George Street to Yaffo Street.

It is easy to get a 5 shekel ice coffee now.

There were riots and plenty of press on that.

But, did you hear that there were thousands out Friday morning

for a biking event that went around the Walls of the Old City,

up to and through the Zoo in Malcha

from Jerusalem ibking evern

and back to First Station?

Israelis are far away in Nepal.

But at home did you hear about

Intel and EU science prize winner

the 12 teenagers who met with President Reuven Rivlin in

Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence?

5 high school students are to go to US to an Intel Science Competition,

and another 6 are to represent Israel in an EU science program,

and 1 is to attend a special science camp in Germany over the summer.

Israel ranked 11th for the happiest nation.

It seems hard to imagine if all you see are media reports of “the conflict.”

Karen Bass and Alcee L Hatings

Karen Bass and Alcee Hastings are two of many US Congressmen on tour

in Israel this week to see for themselves

what is happening.

SAcher Park Arab family eating

Everyday is not a picnic in the park,

Arab woman driving a man in her car

A Muslim woman driving a man is unusual,

Muslim man praying

but a Muslim man praying on the streets is not.

For the past few weeks,

wood for Lag Bomer bon fires

all pieces of wood on the streets, large or  small,

have been collected for

Lag B’Omer bonfires.

Meanwhile,

we wait to hear if there is a new government.

Old and new, always something on these streets.

Museum for Islamic Art: Old and New

 I have walked by the L.A. Mayer Museum for Islamic Art thousands of times,

located near the Jerusalem Theater and Beit Hanasi, 

the Israeli President’s residence.

I was always curious to see what was inside,

but until now I never went in to see.

L.A. has nothing to do with the city in California,

but is short for Leon Aryeh Mayer,

the mentor of museum’s founder, Vera Bryce Salomons,

who wanted to “promote with the Israeli public an interest,

appreciation and understanding of the cultural heritage

and artistic achievements of the Islamic peoples.”

islamic museum

Information on Muhammud’s life, 570 C. E. – 632,

picture of mohamad

and yes,

there were pictures from days long before Charlie.

text museum

Also on display are basic information,

ancient text

 old manuscripts,

book in Islamic Museum

and ancient maps.

This one, much to the delight of a tour group from Indonesia,

was open to a map of Indonesia.

The museum is also home to the

Sir David Salomons Collection of Watches and Clocks.

Sir David was the father of museum founder Vera Salomons.

The fascinating story of the watches being stolen and returned,

and now deposited in a safe room in the Islamic Museum,

 unfolded over decades.

Breguet watch for Marie Antoinette

This is perhaps the most expensive watch in the world,

made by a master craftsman, Abraham-Louis Breguer,

for Queen Marie Antoinette.

It is displayed along with the other clocks and unusual watches.

watchfan

The delicate time piece in this ornate fan,

is the dark rectangle located near the base.

There is also a  room for temporary exhibits,

Islamic Museum

which are often advertised on side of the museum.

donkey exhibit at Islamic museum

Recently it was the “Diary of a Donkey,”

and at present, a different and unusual one,

called “Threatened Beauty.”

Collages by Andi Arnovitz, a Jerusalem artist born in the US,

combine old magazine cut-outs with ancient Persian designs

and watercolors to make her statement.

For example,

Islamic Museum art exhibit

 Arnovitz here explains

“8000 Books,” her new work on the right.

After ISIS destroyed so many valuable old

and irreplaceable manuscripts in Mosul,

she felt compelled to express her distress.

art in Islamic museum

Another example of her art form is “13 Boys.”

13 teenage boys in Mosul, Iraq,

who were murdered by ISIS for the crime of

watching a soccer game between Iraq and Jordan,

thus the soccer ball with red as splashed with their blood.

This exhibit is to stay until the middle of May.

The Islamic Museum has a new director,

which explains the recent expanded publicity.

Though it has been more popular with Arab tourists,

students from Muslim schools,

and second-time Israel visitors,

it is a valuable resource

as it expands its reach in the future.

New for Yom Ha’atzmaut and Yom HaZikaron

“As long as in the heart, within,

A Jewish soul still yearns,

And onward, towards the ends of the east,

An eye still gazes toward Zion.

Our hope is not yet lost,

The hope of two thousand years,

To be a free people in our land,

The land of Zion and Jerusalem.”

On the eve of Yom Hazikaron,

On Israel’s Remembrance Day for Soldiers and Victims of Terror

flame for memorial days Israel

flames are placed high above on many buildings.

It is a Day to Remember  every year.

military grave

 the young lives lost in too many wars.

There will be 23,320 Israeli flags placed,

one for each of those graves in cemeteries

located throughout Israel.

This past year 116 people were added to the list.

 Year after year much is the same,

as the sadness of Yom Hazikaron,

 is then transformed at nightfall into the celebrations of

sign Israel birthday

Israeli Independence Day.

I love the flyovers.

Knesset building with four planes flying near

 Even the dress rehearsal of the planes

woman looking at sky

attracts attention.

But you have to be quick to get a great photo

view of Jerusalem with 4 planes in formation

 and this year a bird got in my way.

Flags and planes are not the only symbols,

as you can see from this large Star of David hanging on the Chord Bridge.

In Israel, and especially in Jerusalem,

where there are so many ceremonies,

it can be hard to decide which one to attend.

 Some are prayer services.

This new Koren Yom Haazma’ut Mahzor,

with over 900 pages

new Koren mahzor

is a far cry from the xeroxed pages that we

used to use for Yom Ha’azmaut services.

This quality volume not only has all the prayer services

with full English translation and explanations,

but also includes services for

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day.

Included in the 248 pages of essays,

are both original writings and some English translations

 of works first published in Hebrew.

The essay “Six Knocks” by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik,

was written for Yom HaAtzmaut 1956,

but all you need to do is change some of the names

and it could have been written today.

This post began with the Koren translation of Hatikva.

It is difficult, even with photos,

to explain,

 year after year,

what happens in Israel on these holidays.

Perhaps this volume will help those in the Anglo world

to better understand the words of Hatikva.

Full disclosure,

I was pleased to see that so many people 

 I know were involved in preparation this book.

חג שמח

Passover in and out of Jerusalem

  Passover time in Jerusalem, Israel,

sees a population exchange.

Many locals rent (or try to rent) their homes

to holiday visitors for large sums,

and go away for the week.

Even more take day or overnight trips

view from park in Zichron

to one of Israel’s amazing nature spots

like this one near Zichron Yaakov in Ramat Hanadiv park.

Estimates were as high as 75,000 people

for Monday morning’s holiday annual

Birchat Kohanim, the Priestly Blessing.

But huge crowds were at

Kotel on Pesach

the Kotel, the Western Wall all day the next day as well.

 Not only were prayer services held at the Kotel and at regular synagogues,

but impromptu minyanim for the afternoon prayers

mincha minyin

sprung up just about everywhere.

people at Tachna

It was good to see First Station busy again,

Luna Park to be built in First Station

but this was the only sign of the new Luna Park.

parking lot Tachanah

The free shuttle bus service was finally being used,

with a full size buse to accommodate the crowds,

in addition to the special vans.

The route was different and it went to a different Old City Gate.

While walking to Kotel, you could see

Silwan

people on top of the Walls looking down at Silwan below.

Street blocked in Old City

Streets were closed and blocked to cars,

 while some places were even blocked to pedestrians.

police block way in Old City

I was not allowed to walk up this alley,

but the guy in white shirt was allowed to smoke.

The closings caused a lot of extra walking for people.

Pesach 5775

This little girl is watching a man from an Arabic tour,

who is taking a video of the hasid, religious Jewish man,

while I was taking photos of the Arabic writing on the back of his vest.

Warm, clear weather was perfect for

crowd Passover Jerusalem

 the large and diverse crowds,

Jaffa Gate plaza view of Tower of DAvid

and for photos in Jerusalem on Passover.

Maimilla Mall on Passover

Mamilla Mall had extra balloon people

and we hear they did a great business.

And of course, there was food.

Parks were filled with picnics and BBQ grills,

and the sky filled with smoke.

Many food places were closed for the holiday.

The ones that were open did just about anything with potatoes.

Peasch Potato Pizza

 However,

this pizza did not seem to be too popular

with one young family.

But, always popular

is the holiday greeting on Jerusalem buses,

Happy and Kosher passover

Happy and Kosher Passover.

Israeli Opera in Jerusalem Shuk

When Shakespeare wrote

that ‘the whole world is a stage,’

Israel opera singer at cheese shop in shuk

somehow I do not think a cheese shop

opera singer

or fruit and vegetable stand was what he had in mind.

However, the Israeli Opera had

Israel opera singers

performers in Machane Yehuda Market,

the shuk on Monday singing arias.

picture nut selling stall in shuk

The man selling nuts was smiling,

vegetables in market

as was the green grocer across the way.

So was I after they found my cell phone.

Trying to get a good shot with so many photographers

pushing in the crowded and narrow alleyways,

I almost lost my phone there.

Israel opera singer

There was more than one place used as a stage,

performance Israel opera in shuk

 some shoppers were determined to keep going,

man in shuk who sang for the Israeli opera singers

while others in the market became part of the show.

Israel opera couple perform in shuk

“L’elisir d’amore” by Gaetnao Donizetti

is to be performed in the Sultan’s Pool the end of June,

and some Jerusalem shoppers got a preview.

As cameras rolled,

image Israel opera singer uses girl in crowd in act

one girl in the crowd was serenaded to by this opera singer,

but after an hour the surprise show was over,

fresh garlic piled high in the shuk

and it was back to time for holiday preparations.

people shopping for fresh garlic

Mountains of fresh garlic have arrived in the shuk

shuk vegetable display

and piles of fresh fruits and vegetable are ready,

fresh fish stall in market

and one fresh fish store was really popular.

I loved this sign,

ready for Passover in machane yehuda

this store is ready for Passover and

NO ONE is to bring in anything that is not for Passover.

Now if only my house was nearly as ready.

Jerusalem Marathon 30 Photos

Again this year, some love it and some hate it.

The Fifth International Jerusalem Winner Marathon

was run on Friday morning.

While I love some aspects of this event,

at the same time some parts are hard to like.

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With over 26,000 runners from 60 countries,

in many various races, many streets were closed to traffic.

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This year I tried to take fewer photos,

and ended up with over 300.

Then I hated trying to get down to just a few to share.

You see how long it took to publish this post.

Now I hope you will enjoy a few favorites.

My favorite selfie was of these two men

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whose finish time was not as important as their photo.

There were many good causes that raised money,

but Shalva was the first.

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Shalva took part in the half-marathons before there was a full marathon.

Walking with children of ALEH were uniformed police.

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ALEH was first at the starting line for a special “race.”

Please take a minute to look and appreciate

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 the police officer and child on the left.

Amazing.

I am so proud to know the woman whose

  design made it possible for that child to “walk in a marathon”

 more ALEH photos here.

I hate that there were too many great causes

and charities, and I had to cut out many pictures.

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Chai Lifeline had a large group with bunches of balloons,

lots of walkers and great spirit.

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One Family’s red shirts could also be seen everywhere.

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Karen Or was walking again this year.

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These girls got my attention,

they seemed to be having a great time,

 I am not sure which group they were with,

but photos of them are going viral.

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The crowd in the park was so large

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and colorful, but it was hard to get a good photograph.

So many people.

So many came from around the world.

@RealJStreets #JLMMarathon 137

The media was interested in the half-marathon winner.

 But my favorites visiting runners were

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this man and his wife from Philadelphia, PA.

They came with 6 family members,

just to run in Jerusalem marathon races,

to raise funds for lone soldiers,

and to celebrate his 80th birthday this week.

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Thousands of runners passed the finish line,

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and entered the Gan Sacher lined with water bottles.

In the park there were teams of supporters;

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AACI,

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 the Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin,

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and Yachad were just a few of dozens.

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While the marathon winners were popular with the news crews,

there was more going on.

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The annual hand bike race, for example,

and exercises and music and of course – food.

Two finish lines were confusing to new comers.

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The finish line for only the full marathon was at one end of the park,

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 lined with supporters,

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here as the third and four place Israeli winners came in.

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The men’s full marathon winners had their moment of glory

and got trophies from Mayor Nir Barkat.

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The 10K and 5K runners were coming

up the hill to the finish line,

with the Knesset in view in the background

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in crowds of thousands.

I did not find all of my family members,

and I did not see friends from near and far who ran

for the first time,

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yet this one man I had seen at the start,

there he was again as he came into the home stretch.

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“If you can dream it, you can do it”

seemed like a perfect motto to start this day

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and this smile a good one to end with.

Photos had to be cut to keep this from becoming another marathon.

If you want to see more of Jerusalem Marathon 2015,

additional pictures are posted on RJS Facebook page.