Cease-Fire #12: Now What Next

After 11 cease-fire attempts this summer,

where Israel ceased and Hamas kept firing,

this last one seems to be holding.

Almost a full day without red alerts and sirens,

after 50 days Israel is quiet.

People in south can go more than 15 seconds from shelter.

But before Hamas stopped aiming at Israeli civilians,

sadly two men were murdered and

a four-year old boy was killed on his kibbutz,

near the end of this summer barrage of Hamas mortars and missiles.

image Yemin Moshe

Though Jerusalem, Israel was not hit

and “only” aimed at a few times,

the streets were eerie quiet this summer.

image street old stones

This summer tourism was way down,

but those tourists who did not cancel had a great time.

image happy tourist

One US friend shared photos of her family

image boys in water

enjoying themselves at tourist locations.

Quiet night time on Nasi Street with colored lights on

On Nasi Street the patriotic flags are gone,

but light poles are covered with blue and white lights.

“Did you know that if you post photos of cute little kittens,

the world will become safe?” a friend posted on Facebook.

 I had never heard such a thing,

image street cat

but it was good to see our neighborhood bully cat was back.

As “normal” returns to Jerusalem, Israel streets,

school starts next week.

image welcome to first grade sign in Hebrew

I love the “Welcome to First Grade” signs.

Only in Israel is starting first grade a bigger deal

than some university graduations in other parts of the world.

Finally a slow news day.

With the southern border quieter now,

the northern one is warming up with

 “spill over” from Syrian fighting.

Cannot help but wonder,

what will happen next on Jerusalem, Israel streets

Jerusalem Getting Back to Normal

This summer was not normal.

Rockets were falling and tourism was way down

But those tourists who did come had a great time.

The Tourism Ministry recorded 218,000 visitor entries in Israel in July 2014.

Groups from southern Israel were brought to Jerusalem for fun days.

President Reuven Rivlin and his wife hosted more children this week.

Slowly we are returning to “normal.”

The last two weeks in August there is no regular child day care,

which makes some workplaces look like day care centers.

 Grandparents, cousins,

 or any family member or friend can be called to help out.

 A popular summer activity was the view from Big Bambu at the Israel Museum.

image Big Bambu

Some ‘seniors’ finding out they had to go up with their young children,

were not so thrilled about having to make the climb.

image children play ground

The new play area at the Israel Museum was much easier to experience.

 The Bloomfield Science Museum, an  old favorite, is always great for a day outing.

image science museum water

The water activities on a hot day are always a winner.

image sand play area

The new sand area is usually a busy place,

but not this early morning in July,

image children playing

though learning activities led by staff were well under way.

image hand meat grinder

I wonder how many of the children ever saw a meat grinder like this,

or would have any idea what it is?

It was seen on my way to a new building for a special exhibition:

The Machine Within: Bio-mechanics,

image science museum

the machine inside is built to survive.

image science museum

Using small screens

image science museum

and large ones,

image child and grandmother in museum

and animals to attract attention and teach.

image Jerusalem science museum

This shows the outside of a pouncing animal,

but walk around it,

image Jerusalem science museum

and the exhibit shows how it works inside.

image child in science museum

One of my favorite scenes was this boy,

image child at science museum

who figured out how to interact

image child in science meusm

with all the right moves.

image Arab girl Jerusalem,

During the month of July with all the troubles and tensions you heard about,

at places like the Science Museum, where this Muslim girl is on staff,

image Muslim men Jerusalem

and in the Israel Museum where Muslim men worked and rested on Ramadan,

life went on as “normal.”

That was the real Jerusalem, Israel streets.

Will the cease fire and quiet hold?

We will all have to see what happens next.

18 Signs of our Times

The last week has been another roller coaster one,

with so much attention centered around Gaza,

which in Hebrew is Azza.

image street sign hebrew

There were even jokes about Azza,

Street that is, which is near where we live.

image Operation Protective Edge

No jokes, as 64 Israeli soldiers died,

and one went to this Jerusalem, Israel school.

The death notices posted and displayed inside are in his memory.

Many more soldiers were injured.

gifts outside room of injured Israeli soldier

You could spot the hospital rooms of injured soldiers

by the collection of gifts near the room and

the well-wishers in the hall waiting to enter.

hebrew sign

The banner reading

“Soldiers of Israel, we are with you the whole way, return in peace,”

was displayed on many Jerusalem buses this week.

image large Israeli flag

This synagogue had its flag flying at half mast.

image Israeli flags on cars

Small Israeli flags were flown from cars,

flags on building for Opertaion Protietive Ege

and the Jewish Agency Building brought out their large flags

and this special sign, all in support of Israeli Army.

image signs in Hebrew

Flags and signs were hung in Paris Square,

image signs Operation Protetive Edge

even hand painted ones were allowed to stay.

image Hebrew signs

Children’s summer activities were moved inside,

Tisha b av

while signs announced free admissions in August.

In spite of everything, there were signs of development,

032b dig for construction

 as construction continued deep into the ground.

Tisha B’Av with its signs of mourning,

image Israel Tisha Bav

  sitting on the ground

while reading Eicha, in Gan Ha’atzmaut, Independence Park.

9 Av5774 050b  tisha b av in Jerusalem

Hundreds joined the 20th walk around the Walls of the Old City

on Tisha B’Av night, with many waving Israeli flags.

The route was changed this year.

A funeral was being held on Mount of Olives for a young father

who was killed by a terrorist driving an excavator on a Jerusalem street.

Security was high,

iamge Kossel

but the crowds were not as large as usual

near the Western Wall, the Kotel,

a sorry sign of these times.

poster #EyalgiladNaftali

And this sign,

 it was just  announced that Hussam Kawasma,

the Hamas terrorist who planned and commanded the terror cell

that kidnapped Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Sha’ar and Naftali Fraenkel

has been arrested.

image for support of Israeli army

“We Are Strong Together,” in bold letters on another sign.

What a time it has been.

Today the strange winter clouds have lifted,

the sky is again a clear summer blue.

From people passing on the street you hear the words

“shooting” and “ceasefire,”

but tension felt in the air seems to be lifting too.

image Hebrew sign

Next time we plan to share photos from the new exhibit

at the Bloomfield Science Museum,

as everyone gets back to ‘normal’

on the real Jerusalem, Israel streets.

Photos of happy, smiling  family reunions as soldiers return home

are filling Facebook pages.

 Oh well that was quick, red alerts are going in the South,

36 hours into 72  Gaza is firing rockets again!

Now saying false alarms.

What next?

Week 3: Crazy Times of War and Weddings

   Another crazy week trying to keep everything going.

image Golani soldier support

Signs supporting Golani soldiers are appearing

image Israeli flag

and Israeli flags are flying, with more out every day.

Israel is under threat.

Those tunnels from Gaza into Israel have proven deadly,

and last night five young soldiers were killed in Israel

by terrorists emerging from the ground near a kibbutz.

The tunnels have to be destroyed.

Meanwhile, countless missions, private and public,

are driving south to give food and personal items to

reserve soldiers who are on duty.

Family members have gone to visit my son-in-law more than once.

Even an unexpected call from a soldier can take a few minutes to appreciate,

after the ‘what is wrong’  feeling is over.

Everyone wants to do something, give money, bake, cook,

but there was one unusual “war effort” I had to go check out and share.

story teller

Morah Roc is a professional story teller.

She offered to entertain children one afternoon,

with all the donations going to a good cause

to support those affected by the situation.

image sign in Hebrew

Signs are up for the annual International Puppet Festival in August

and we continue to plan for our August wedding.

This evening there is a funeral at Mount Herzl Military Cemetery

for a soldier from our synagogue,

and at the same time, the Great Synagogue is holding

the shloshim (30 days of mourning) observance for Eyal, Gilad and Naftali.

At this roller coaster time, we often think of  words of Golda Meir.

image child sitting on floor

If only they cared for their children as much as we do.

Embedded image permalink

Two soldiers on reserve duty get engaged,

and there is another wedding to plan.

It’s good to have good news to share,

even as more rockets are fired at southern civilians.

Shabbat Shalom

Quietly the 10th President of Israel was sworn in July 24, 2014.

Flying outside Beit Hanasi, the official President’s residence,

the new home of Reuven Rivlin,

along with Israeli and Jerusalem flags, are those of Zahal,

the Israel Defense force of Israel.

image IDF flag handing in Jerusalem, Israel

 Wishing all a Shabbat shalom.

Ceasefire? #Firgun Day from Jerusalem

Cease fire?

Israel ceases.

Hamas keeps firing.

Firing so many rockets,

it was impossible to catch all the names of the locations.

Israel was still under fire,

50 rockets in 6 hours to which Israel did NOT respond.

The photos posted by Arab propaganda have featured

wailing women and blood covered babies.

Of course many of them are from Syria.

There’s one with a baby in a wool winter hat and a heavy sweater,

in the heat of this past week a baby dressed like that

would have died from heat stroke.

Not gory enough? Now they are using

scenes from Hollywood horror movies.

While damage has been limited, all of Israel has been affected.

Thousands of children were brought to Jerusalem from southern Israel for fun days,

and large groups were hosted at the Knesset and Israel Museum.

image children running

 At a special day camp at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence;

Shimon Peres with children in Beit Hanasi

President Shimon Peres sat with a group from Kibbutz Saad.

I went to see what was really happening on the Jerusalem, Israel streets,

instead of staying in and listening to all the alerts today.

image women sitting in shade

Sorry Hamas, but these ladies do not look afraid of you,

image two women sitting on bench in jerusalem

they were looking for shelter from the sun.

two women sitting in shade in Jerusalem, israel

As were my friends who were sitting and talking near a main street.

The big trend on the Jerusalem, Israel streets was staying in the shade.

Not so great for photos, but the cool breeze was nice.

image Jerusalem Street scene

This woman went to the grocery store and returned with her cart full.

image young family in Jerusalem

And this visiting family said they were concerned,

but not so afraid to be here now,

image Jerusalem, Israel taxi

their taxi arrived and they were off for a fun day.

What a different perspective one has when you arer here,

than that of concerned parents watching from overseas.

(I did love finding out that her family were our old neighbors.)

image transportation Jerusalem

This woman had her own transportation,

with an Israeli flag and עם ישראל חי sign.

Arab woman Jerusalem,

A woman wearing a hijab crossed Azza Street

image two friends meeting.

 while at midday two friends met nearby.

Some cafes were almost empty,

but that was because it was a fast day.

image woman walking with cane, photo Jerusalem street scene

Just another ol’ day on the Jerusalem, Israel streets,

not newsworthy with no violence,

after the sirens and rockets of last week, we hope it stays that way.

The Hamas rockets have hit Arab houses in Hebron,

injured Bedouin girls near Beer Sheva,

and knocked out their own electricity.

Each rocket aimed at civilians is a war crime.

All of this must stop.

But as always there is something more…

coming from Jerusalem, Israel.

(please let me know if you hear it here first.)

The International #FirgunDay is on July 17th,

and you are invited to join from anywhere in the world!

Firgun (pronounced FEER-GOON, פרגון)

is a Hebrew word that means a compliment

or act of kindness performed solely to make another person feel good

and without any intention to get something in return.

What do you do on #FirgunDay?

 Pick a person or organization which you find inspiring and worth a “Firgun.”

Post on Facebook, twitter, instagram, or any other social media

 and explain why that was your choice.

Don’t forget to add the #FirgunDay hashtag!

 Help spread the #FirgunDay love and share with your friends,

so they can post there own #Firgun, making another person happy!

Happy #FirgunDay!

בואו נפיץ קצת פרגון! יום פרגון שמח