Too much sadness this week
From Jerusalem will come forth light,
it is an old, if not ancient theme.
However, this week we saw some unique lights.
Those red, white and blue lights on the Walls of the Old City
and on the Knesset building, where the Israeli flag flew at half mast.
After Shabbat, the flag was lowered
to symbolize the link with France after the terror attack in Paris.
Israeli flags over Beit Hanasi were lowered as well,
while French flags were unfurled over major Jerusalem streets.
I found it ironic that new signs were posted
for a new App for Jerusalem night life–
who knows what will happen next?
When I see new signs like this one,
I snap photos of them,
only after did I realize, it was posted for the filming of a TV movie.
Make sure you know whether what you see is real or not.
The Jerusalem municipality posted hundreds of large and small signs
asking MK Kahlon “Do not forsake Jerusalem”
in the new budget in the Knesset.
This week in Jerusalem, while the weather is cool,
the roses are blooming
and the oranges are ripening.
However, I want to share
one other very special light coming out of the darkness.
My friend Varda wrote of the horrific terror attack last erev Shabbat.
We know the Rav of Meitar and his family,
and we have many friends there and visit occasionally.
We have driven the road from Meitar to Otniel.
to drive to a simcha and get ambushed by murderers.
But, from Jerusalem, came forth light.
On Tuesday night, in the wedding hall,
at the time the wedding of the daughter of the victim was to take place,
an overflow crowd of women and girls
filled the hall with prayer and music, and words of unity.
Tears inside during the sad, slow Shabbat song
and crowds of girls outside.
The Litman-Beigel wedding is rescheduled for next week,
and this time everyone is invited.
If you want to participate, check this out.
To help the Litman family, you can donate here:
Am Yisrael Chai!
May lights continue to come forth from Jerusalem
to shine and inspire the world.
Sigd, the Ethiopian holiday which falls on 29 Heshvan,
50 days after Yom Kippur, was celebrated on the Tayelet.
A spot with the best views of the Old City, but
with heightened security in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood.
Also, somewhat smaller crowds were out on the Haas Promenade.
Buses brought Ethiopian Israelis from all over Israel
to celebrate the annual event, a national holiday since 2008.
I love to see the young men in uniform,
and the girls too.
But, Sigd is not just eating, dancing, and socializing.
Sigd began centuries ago in Ethiopia,
with leaders gathering on a mountaintop and praying to return to Zion.
Today they have returned.
Kessim, religious leaders dressed in white,
were seated at this long dais and more
were in the audience, under their colorful umbrellas.
Prayers and speeches by government officials are part of the day.
After President Reuven Rivlin spoke,
he went down the line and shook hands with the dignitaries.
Only a small part of the crowd of thousands, mostly the elders,
were seated, with politicians and dignitaries in front.
However, one woman caught my attention.
What was she thinking?
Did she remember Sigd from Ethiopia?
What had she gone through to get here?
She stood during the speeches looking towards the Old City,
towards the Temple Mount in the distance.
Sigd has become one of my favorite events.
we were in the midst of “difficult times.”
I must find out what this is hair-like thing is,
I noticed several of them this year.
Sigd, where ancient blends with the modern,
and the very modern customs and practices.
The program ended in the early afternoon.
Shabbat also starts very early
with just a few hours to prepare before it is dark.
Wishing a Shabbat Shalom to all from Jerusalem,
where sometimes dreams do come true.
The sun is not shining.
The sky is grey.
Buildings are lost in the fog.
The traffic backs up on slippery streets.
It is raining in Jerusalem, Israel.
As much as we need rain, it is not a pretty picture.
However, any planned Friday of ‘Rage’ is a wash-out.
When we first made aliyah a woman told me, wait,
when you are here long enough you become unlingual.
It has started. Last week, I could not think of an English word
I needed to express to a woman how much I liked what she had said.
Plus, my Hebrew gets worse and worse, by not using it often enough.
A thought posted on a Facebook comment prompted this popular poster.
Hope it makes you smile, or at least gets you thinking…
This sunset photo was taken on the road back from a visit to Gaza border.
Inspired from original text by Devorah Goodman Horev.
Hebrew version hopefully to follow next week,
meanwhile that thunder was really loud and close.
Would be nice if a rainbow would follow this storm.
Riots in the Old City.
The radio announced riots in the Old City,
and I grabbed my camera and went to see for myself.
That was 6 years ago,
and it became the topic of the first post
of The Real Jerusalem Streets.
Thanks to Facebook for the reminder
and for sharing this photo from 6 years ago.
When I got to the Old City,
if you looked very, very carefully,
on the roof tops security personnel dressed in black were posted all around.
But down below on the streets of the Old City,
there were thousands of tourists who did not listen to
the Hebrew news that morning,
and were enjoying another lovely day of touring.
The scene outside the walls was also calm,
nothing like the media reports.
Now, the Yes Planet cinema complex
fills the construction site of 6 years ago.
Israeli Apartheid? had the best viral days, but
Arab Girls is still going strong on Google search.
Stores in Mamilla Mall have come and gone over 6 years,
but it has become a favorite tourist site.
How many times over 6 years has the “situation”
affected so many people in the former desolate
“No Man’s Land” turned popular shopping location?
Yesterday, it rained…again,
but security was out and alert again.
Here watching the Light Rail trains on Jaffa Road,
and looking and checking near buildings and buses in town.
6 years ago, the welcome banner
for the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency
was hung outside of the hotel where their meetings were held.
This week the meetings went on again,
but for the last few years
the welcome banners have only been hung on the inside.
A memorial to Yitzhak Rabin was on display on the landing
on the way down to meetings in the hotel ballroom.
On the 20th anniversary of Rabin’s death,
there are many official memorials being held this week.
6 Years, always something new, at first it was shocking
to see this planned project for Jerusalem, Israel’s
green and famed Gan Sacher, Sacher Park.
But on closer look at fine print at the bottom,
these are art posters popping up around town.
578 RJS posts and 299 on Israellycool,
who would imagine that 6 years ago?
After the rain the clouds part, with a blue sky and cleaner air.
Stabbings, car rammings, “random” murders, BDS,
government leaders from India, Panama, Croatia and Honduras
are here this week, plus an impressive
German cooperation with the Israel Museum.
As always, so much more than “conflict”
is happening on the Jerusalem streets.
There is always more
Two afternoons in a row,
I got caught in the rain on Jaffa Road.
Real rain, not the wispy stuff we have had until now,
but the winter kind we get in Jerusalem, Israel.
One lucky guy found shelter today under the Jaffa Street installation.
(One section was blowing open, but more on that thing another time.)
If you are lucky your umbrella does not blow away
and neither does your pink hat cover.
Part of Machane Yehuda Market, the shuk,
looked like a waterfall as collected rain water came down.
Slippery puddles did not stop the shoppers
or the workers from doing their jobs.
In the shuk, somewhat dry inside.
were piles of fresh figs,
and suffganiot ready for Hanukkah.
A mix for hot apple cider sounded good,
but paper napkins that said ‘Pesach Sameach’
When the rain stopped the sky was filled with clouds,
but I failed to find a rainbow.
Seems that winter is here, and
you never know what will happen next
or what you will find on the Jerusalem streets.
Last week was such a roller coaster week.
The President of India visited our President at Beit Hanasi
and signed the official guest book.
Now President Margvelashvili of Georgia
and the President Grybauskaitė of Lithuania are among thousands of visitors.
It is hard to keep track of the changing flags
which greet each country’s president at Beit Hanasi,
the Israel President’s Residence.
The Conference of International Mayors met here,
and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
is getting most of the media attention.
Five US Congressmen were here too,
expressing bi-partisan support for Israel
at a Town Hall style meeting before they returned to US.
Leaders of Jewish Federations of North America
paid a short visit to Israel after trip to Berlin,
and made a stop to meet President Rivlin on their way back to the US.
A few hours later the Rivlins switched roles,
and as doting grandparents hosted
the young children of police and security personnel.
This little fellow playing golf on the grounds was my favorite.
Was this a first for golf in Jerusalem, Israel,
this very mini-mini putt-putt?
Security is increased and visible.
Guards are back at this restaurant,
a site where a suicide bomber killed diners.
I saw this bag and took a photo.
I guess a careless delivery person put it there.
There was no explosion, so it was not blown up.
I am trying to remember whether the Ben and Jerry’s freezer was always
just off the street or was moved front and center
because of the “situation,” as many are eating more ice cream.
Meanwhile, thousands have arrived for the
World Zionist Congress and Hadassah Convention,
both to be held this week in Jerusalem.
I also want to get to Open House Jerusalem,
which features public visits of
of many beautiful sites in the city.
Plus, must get to the Israel Museum,
where five new exhibits are opening!
Oh, and on Thursday all movies are 10 shekels.
Am Yisrael Chai!
So much is happening in Jerusalem, Israel.