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.

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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.

Jerusalem: Sounds & Photos in the Old City

The annual Sounds in the Old City,

music festival is going on this week.

old city Jerusalem

Signs are posted leading the way

tower of david

from outside the Jaffa Gate,

music

and inside, with stages set up

music

for musicians to perform.

music

Down in the moat of the Tower of David,

there were music, tables and chairs and food.

lights on wall for art

These lights were on the way to the Jewish Quarter,

music

where again this year the Cardo provided a dramatic venue.

music

Various singers

children music

inspired some little dancers,

Hurva Shul at night

in the Rova, the square of the Jewish Quarter,

by the Hurva Synagogue.

I almost went out the wrong way.

Thousands came to the Old City,

and the route I wanted was closed off.

lights on wall of festival

Good thing, or I would have missed the “fiddler on the roof,”

near Muristan Square.

big sign at Jaffa Gate for marathon

Not all the music was great, though it was all loud.

The festival will run until the end of the week.

Then Friday am bright and early,

 it will be the time for the running of the Jerusalem Marathon.

Protesting the Histadrut Protest

It is Israeli election season.

Again.

And way too soon for most of the people that I know.

Anglo Voters  are not being ignored for a change.

Among the numerous election banners,

political sign in Hebrew

 was this sign, “Us or Him”

opposing Bibi for Prime Minister

posted across from his house in Jerusalem, Israel.

Mostly I have tried to avoid sharing the unpleasantness.

street closed near PM house protest

But today a large Histadrut rally was taking place,

protest Jerusalem

in front of the Prime Minister’s official residence,

and streets were closed off for more than two hours.

protest near Israeli Prime Minister house

These men were blowing loudly on their whistles.

Pepe Alau

Jerusalem Council member Pepe Alalu

of Meretz political party

Histardut rally

was on his way to join the bus loads of protesters.

I was on my way back home from a meeting

after the protest rally ended,

protest sign by garbage

and I saw this sign by a trash can,

people leaving rally

as bus loads of people wearing white Histadrut hats left.

Freedom of speech.

Protest away, as loud as you want,

block traffic and inconvenience others,

garbage left after Histadrut rally

but how dare they leave our streets lined with liter!

At least one person got employment from today’s event.

Look who was cleaning up afterwards,

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a Jewish man wearing zizit under his yellow safety vest.

Bibi was not even around for the event,

as he was on his way to the airport and his flight to the US.

His parting remarks:

“A few days before the Fast of Esther,

I am leaving for Washington on a fateful, even historic, mission.

I feel that I am the emissary of all Israelis,

even those who disagree with me, of the entire Jewish People.

I am deeply and genuinely concerned for the security of all Israelis,

for the fate of the nation, and for the fate of our people

and I will do my utmost to ensure our future.”

At least the Histadrut could clean up after themselves.

Shemitta in Jerusalem Botanical Gardens

Most people know there are Jewish dietary laws

which require the separation of meat and milk.

But I just separated sweet potatoes, peppers and carrots,

from cucumbers and tomatoes.

Why?

image Shmitta in Hebrew

Shmita (or spell it shemitta) is Biblical law.

Shmita park sign with source

We are well into the shemitta year,

which takes on special meaning for those who live in Israel.

Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Rimon has written books on the subject.

He composed colorful charts and calendars to simplify the laws.

image Botanical Gardens Jerusalem Israel

Now in the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens,

Shimita park

Rav Rimon has initiated a special section

to show the laws of shemitta.

image Rabbi Lau talking to girls in Shmita park

For the opening ceremony, Chief Rabbi David Lau spoke,

and then took time to speak to a group of students who participated.

garden for shmitta

The park is aimed to get children’s attention,

image shimita park

 and to make things simple enough

image shemitta

for anyone understand.

image shemitta

With information in Hebrew and English,

image in shmita park

there are many examples of what is permissible

and what is not to be done in gardens this year.

shemitta

The Shemitta Park is simple to reach,

Jerusalem Botanical Gardens shmita park

and it is an attractive area

image shmita park

 with more interactive features to come.

Check it out if you are in Jerusalem, Israel.

The Botanical Gardens are a great place to visit.

Once  a garbage dump,

it is now a beautiful and educational outing.

Jerusalem Destruction and Return

A fascinating new exhibit has opened

at the Bible Lands Museum (BLMJ)

in Jerusalem, Israel, called

image sign Bible Lands Museum

 “By the Rivers of Babylon” or Al Naharot Bavel.

Though located across from the Israel Museum and near the Knesset,

image Museum

I had not been inside the BLMJ for a few years.

The new exhibit starts with the story of the siege of Jerusalem

found in the Bible

cuneifrom tablet

and  recorded on this ancient stone tablet.

image BLMJ video

This video begins with a warning

that there are indeed sad parts to the story.

image destruction first temple

 The end of Jewish kings and life in Jerusalem,

end of first temple

 and the end of the First Temple in 589 BCE.

image broken pottery

Destruction so complete,

ancient jug

that the intense heat of the burning of Jerusalem

 deformed this earthen storage jar.

 The Jewish people were exiled to Babylonia,

image return to Zion

and there on the rivers of Babylon told their story,

for generation after generation.

Many Jews returned to Zion with the prophets Ezra and Nehemiah,

but many wealthy families remained.

Now 2500 years later,

image ancient writing

these small cuneiform tablets finally tell us their story.

Though they look more like breakfast cereal or doggie biscuits,

these are well-preserved ancient business records of rentals, loans and taxes,

that parallel the names, places and dates of Biblical stories.

Over the centuries, Babylon became Iraq,

 where descendants of those exiled Jews lived until 1950-1952,

when their communities were forced to leave for their safety.

For the first time in over two millennia

there are no Jews in exile in Babylon,

as they have returned to Zion.

Israeli flags

As some try to rewrite history with “narratives,”

here are real records,

written in stone,

found and shown to public for first time

in this exhibit at the Bible Lands Museum.

In Jerusalem, Tu BiShevat Traditional and New

Spring-like weather

warmed the Jerusalem, Israel, streets this week.

birds on minaret

Birds stopped to rest on their migrations.

almond flowers

The almond blossoms did indeed burst out,

white roses

and roses opened.

Jerusalem Israel gan Sacher park

Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, was the spot for school outings.

People could be found in the sunshine,

two men exercising in Gan Sacher on nice day

 upside down

Muslim man at prayer

and bowing down.

image girl taking photo in garden behind King David Hotel

It was perfect weather for a photo walk

new light bulb in old neighborhood of Yemin Moshe

to find the traditional mixed with new.

All perfect for Tu Bishevat,

the 15th day of Hebrew month of Shevat,

the Jewish New Year for agriculture,

the birthday of trees.

image fruit basket

At Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence,

the holiday fruit baskets overflowed,

with special Israeli treats.

Rivlin host seder

A seder hosted by President and First Lady Rivlin

 was set for students and farmers to celebrate.

two men taking selfie at Bat Hanasi

Early arrivals had time for a selfie.

man looking like Ray Charles

No, Stevie Wonder did not drop by to entertain,

but there were Hebrew songs by Israeli singers.

This photo was taken last month while waiting for

John Baird to arrive on his official visit.

US Senators led by John McCain were to come in the afternoon.

US flags were ready and we, well, just had fun doing this.

Even Shimon Peres was back at Beit Hanasi,

not for a Tu Bishevat seder,

image new bust of Shimon Peres in Presidential gardens

but his likeness is now on display in the gardens

image Israel president house garden

along with the other former Israeli presidents.

image man with hat over face

At least one of the men in this small old cemetery in town

did not want his photo taken,

man making sushi in cafe window

and it was sushi week at cafe in Mamilla Mall.

So while we were watching the snow scenes in US,

all this and more

was happening on the Jerusalem, Israel, streets.

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Hope you enjoyed Tu BiShevat too.