Jerusalem Biggest and Best of Hanukkah

Jerusalem Biggest and Best of Hanukkah

Jerusalem, Israel, for Hanukkah is a very special place.

This year, more than in past years, there were more tourists and more things to do.

New events were planned, though some got rained out.

As the eighth-day ebbs, here are some favorites of the biggest and best Jerusalem happenings.

Hanukkah paper goods for party in Jerusalem

Jerusalem paper goods stores were ready long before Hanukkah, with all you needed for your table and parties.

Hanukkah suffganiot rising in a bakery in Jeremiahs Israel

Jerusalem bakeries had sufganiyot, donuts rising by the tens of thousands.

Hanukiah at Beit Hanasi

Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence had a large hanukkiah, Hanukkah menorah, ready outside for all to see.

There were dozens of hanukkiot, Hanukkah menorahs. placed on street corners.

Around Jerusalem and the world, Lubavitch-Habad emissaries put a hanukkiah in public squares.

Chabad chanukiah in Jerusalem near Israeli President's Residence

This one near Beit Hanasi was at Schneurshohn Square on the third night of Hanukkah.

Photo of Lubavitcher Rebbe with Chanukah in style of Ramban yle of Rmaban.

These Hanukkah menorahs come in all sorts of styles and shapes now, but this style hanukkiah was preferred by the late Lubavitcher Rebbe.

Jerusalem candle lighting at Mamilla Mall

At Jerusalem’s Mamilla Mall a large one has been lit for the past eight years.

Mamilla Mall Hanuka candle lighting crowd with live music

Huge crowds come to Jerusalem for the lighting and live music and free sufganiyot.

Jerusalem’s Mamilla Mall was full of tourists and holiday celebrants most nights.

Mamilla Mall on Hanukkah woman with puppet taking video with musician

Musicians, in more than one location, even a woman with a hand puppet making a video were entertaining holiday-goers in Mamilla Mall.

Hanukkah cafe with Arab women sitting and eating.

With tens of thousands of people crowding, pushing, standing in line to buy sufganiyot, these Arab women found a quiet table in a Mamilla cafe.

Jaffa Gate at night in Jerusalem Israel

Jerusalem’s Old City is an annual best-of Hanukkah. Near Jaffa Gate, the signs were up for special events.

Hanukkah in the Old City lights on wall of Tower of David

Light projections of a hanukkiah were screened on the wall of the Tower of David.

Large Hanukia outside a home in the Old City Jerusalem

In the Old City at night,  hanukkiot both large

Jerusalem Old City on Hanuka street with four hanukiot on wall as boy walks past

of more modest size are lit outside of homes. These four were in special boxes mounted on the stone wall.

Hanukiah at the Kotel for Hanukkah

This large hanukkiah was again placed next to the Kotel, the Western Wall.

I tried to get a clear view, but men and boys were posing continuously for photos.

Kotel Plaza on Hanuka with crowd and sign on Western Wall building

The crowds on the Kotel Plaza, both by day and by night, were impressive.

Wedding on Hanuka and couple gets photos at Kotel

But crowded or not, wedding photos were taken. Many weddings were held during the busy holiday time, to be celebrated with international guests.

Signs outside Aish Hatorah building on Hanuka

One way to get a view of the Kotel and area is from the Aish HaTorah building. This Happy Chanukah Bear was at the entrance to the rooftop observation deck

Jerusalem Old City man on bike with a menorah riding through narrow street

On a street in the Jewish Quarter, there was even a hanukkiah on a bicycle.

Hanuka menorah on top of train in Old City Jerusalem

If you looked carefully, there was another one on top of the Old City tourist train.

Free shuttle bus from Old City to First Station in Jerusalem

That train cost money to ride, but the shuttle vans from First Station to Old City are free.

They could be the only thing in Jerusalem that runs on time, on the hour, and every 20 minutes.

But they do not make stops, and they go from First Station straight to the gate nearest the Kotel.

Oh, I felt sorry for the tourists from England who found out too late and were taken far away from where they wanted to be.

Indoor activity in Jerusalem Israel new for Hanuka

At First Station, there is a new attraction. Jump Up opened before the holiday season.

Jerusalem First Startion Jump in Hanger

With rainy, rainy days of Hanuka and holiday from school, Jump Up should have been really jumping.

Fast train from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem ticket from one of first riders

The big excitement this Hanuka! Another miracle. The fast train from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was running. It took over 10 years. But the ride was 32 minutes!

Jerusalem residents one hour free parking sign at Kikar Safra

Another excitement for Jerusalem residents, one-hour free parking! This sign was posted on the main municipal building below the Mayor’s office.

Orange Lamborghini in Jerusalem parking lot on Chanuak

Perhaps free parking is not the first thing this car owner thinks of?

This orange Lembourgini matched nicely with the graffiti art.

Could it be the priciest Hanukkah gift of all?

Hanukkah events for Jerusalem nights ad signs

Big signs for a new Hanukkah Festival of Lights were displayed around the center of town.

Hanukkah Sameach on Museum of Tolerance for Hanuka

This festival light projection was shining on the yet to open Museum of Tolerance.

Across the way was a new larger than life hanukkiah with music.

Shuk on Hanuka and candles lit in a store

A more modest hanukkiah in the Machane Yehudah Market shop had candles burning.

Jerusalem Israel rainy night on Jaffa Road

Outside, the rain had kept away the crowds and dampened the streets.

But inside the restaurant was full and candle lighting added to the warm party atmosphere.

Lighting Chanukah candles at dedication of Studio of her Own on Hanuka

At Jerusalem gatherings of all sorts, as this dedication of Studio of Her Own, a women’s art center, candles were lit.

Suffganiah on Hanuka at Jerusalem family holiday party

Ah, that first bite on the first night,

First candle, first night of Hanuka as child watches the flames

or the first light on the first night.

The Greeks are long gone.

Scene of Jerusalem Cardo in time of Rome

The Romans of the Cardo are long gone.

But the Jerusalem streets and crowds at Mamilla Mall on Hanukkah were going strong.

Much more was happening over Hanukkah on the Jerusalem streets.

Jerusalem Hanuka menorah near Friends of Zion Museum

I hope you enjoyed a few highlights and this the biggest of Jerusalem Holiday of Lights.

Remember last year’s favorites?

Many are the same, to see you can click  HERE

Jerusalem Under Old Walls to New Northern Ramparts

Jerusalem Under Old Walls to New Northern Ramparts

Jerusalem, Israel, where the very old meets the new.

With so much happening on these Jerusalem streets, it is hard to keep up.

Thousands and thousands of visitors are filling the streets.

Drivers honking at the poor tourists trying to maneuver, unfamiliar with the crazy lights and the turns of the Jerusalem streets.

The Old City Walls are thousands of years old, but for this holiday season, there is also new.

New adventures and views for visitors to the Jerusalem Old City.

Damascus Gate at night of piano event in cave

Outside Damascus Gate at night, a familiar view.

We passed Damascus Gate walking around the walls on the night of Tisha B’Av.

Zedekiah's Cave in Jerusalem, Israel near Damascus Gate

Four years ago in Jerusalem, we descended into the nearby King Solomon’s Quarry,

Lights in Zedekiah's Cave for Piano concert

also called Zedekiah’s Cave, located close to Damascus Gate.

Solomon's Quarries for a piano performance

Down in the Zedekiah’s Cave was an amazing piano concert.

Piano music at Jerusalem light festival in Zedekiah Cave

For a Jerusalem Light Festival, Zedekiah’s Cave was also an impressive sight.

This week public concerts are held at night in the cave.

What else is new?

There have been popular Southern Ramparts Walks on top of the walls.

Now after 10 years of work, there is a new Northern Ramparts Path open to the public.

Roman Plaza Entrance to Old City

For our Northern Ramparts walk, we met at Zedekiah’s Cave and began next to Damascus Gate entrance, down at the Roman Plaza entrance.

First, we went down, and then up to the top of Damascus Gate.

Inside Damascus Gate at top in Old City Jerusalem

The top of Damascus Gate from the inside was another flight up.

Love the look of the stones against the clear blue sky!

Inside the Muslim Quarter on top

Looking down into the Muslim Quarter from above near Damascus Gate was a new sight.

Muslim Quarter Jerusalem Old City view from above

One view of the Muslim Quarter from above to the residential areas.

View of Jerusalem from top of Ramparts Walk

This was a view from the path on the wall toward northern Jerusalem with Hebrew University on Mount Scopus in the distance.

View from top of Old City Walls out to Jerusalem street

The newly opened walk goes around the tops of the Old City walls, on the right, a wide and straight part.

View from Old City walls to Mount Scopus

Looking out over the Rockefeller Museum from that part of the path.

View from top of Old City walls

And one more looking back toward Damascus Gate and the morning scene below.

Narrow stair way on Ramparts Walk

At times the path gets narrow with twisting metal stairs.

One place was so low I bumped my head. At 5 feet short, that was a first for me, other than on a very tiny plane.

View of rubbish inside the Old City Muslim Quarter on private land

Private land in the Muslim Quarter looks like a garbage dump.

But look not far in the distance.

View of Dome of Rock from Muslim Quarter area of Rampart Path

With a bit of zoom lens, you can see the domes of the Temple Mount.

View from Old City Walls nearing corner

Approaching the corner of the Old City wall, traffic below and Hebrew University in the distance on the left and Mount of Olives on the right.

Modern sports fields fill this corner of the Muslim Quarter.

A young woman takes a photo on Stork Tower on Jerusalem Old City Ramparts Path

At Stork’s Tower where one has incredible views.

New stones in Old City restoration marked

Not all are original stones. The new ones are marked with those black tags to show future historians what was recreated before 2020.

View from top of Old City Walls of Muslim cemetary

The new path provides an unprecedented view of the Muslim cemetery built along the northern wall.

View of Mount of Olives from Old City Ramparts Walk

Tourist buses lined up on the Mount of Olives, with the Jewish graves going back thousands of years on both sides.

View from Old City Ramparts Path of cemetery below

Storage? This structure is in the middle of the Muslim cemetery.

One more view approaching the Lion’s Gate.

Minister of Jerusalem and Heritage MK Ze'ev Elkin

MK Ze’ev Elkin – Minister of Jerusalem and Heritage Ministry and Mordechai Benita – Director-General of the ministry posed before the opening ceremony.

Opening of North Ramparts Walk

The tour guides and invited guests were waiting below.

Lions Gate from inside and above

As Zeev Elkin was speaking, I was watching a security guard leave her post and assist an old woman with a cane out of Lion’s Gate.

Jerusalem Minister Zeev Elkin cutting ribbon at opening of North Ramparts Walk

The official ceremonial blue ribbon was cut at Lion’s Gate.

Inside Lions Gate view from above

Inside of Lion’s Gate, from above, attracted my attention during speeches.

Old street in Jerusalem Israel

One old Jerusalem street on our way from Lion’s Gate inside the Old City walls.

Arab shop in Old City Jerusalem

Oops, was walking quickly and snapping as I went.

Arab man and woman sitting on side of street to sell in Old City

The scene approaching the Kotel, Western Wall Plaza, from inside Old City.

Finally, back to familiar sites and scenes.

Cleaning notes from the Kotel before Hanukkah

Special cleaning for the notes left at the Kotel,

Menorah at Kotel for Hanukkah

as Western Wall prepared for holiday crowds and Hanukkah candle lightings.

View of Kotel and Har Habayit

Another beautiful winter day in Jerusalem, Israel.

Lots more photographs, but if you want to check out for yourself, please note:

The walks are not accessible to people with disabilities and wheelchairs.

Young children should be in a carrier.

South Walk:

Sun-Thur 9:00-16:00 (summer to 17:00, July-August to 22:00)

Friday and Holiday evenings 9:00-14:00

Exits – at Zion Gate and at the end of the Tekuma Garden (Jewish Quarter)

*Southern box office: At the southern end of the Cannon Plaza (the back entrance of the Tower of David, to the right side before of Jaffa Gate square)

North Walk:

Sunday – Thursday and Saturday: 9:00-16:00 (summer to 17:00)

Exits – at the New Gate, Damascus Gate, Herod’s Gate and Lions Gate

Ticket includes the Northern walk and entrance to the Roman Plaza.

* Northern box office: at the TICKETS OFFICE on the left-hand side, just after entering the Jaffa Gate, and at the Roman Square box office

Fees:

Adult – 20 NIS, student / retiree 10 NIS, child / soldier 8 NIS

The ticket is valid for both sections, for two days.

Tickets: PAMI website www.pami.co.il and at the box offices

 

4 Stops in Shomron: See Old and New

4 Stops in Shomron: See Old and New

At first, I said no.

I had been on trips to the Shomron (Samaria) in the past.

The schedule seemed similar to previous visits to the Shomron and Barkan.

However, on Sunday morning, as the Jerusalem, Israel skies turned grey,

String Bridge in Jerusalem Israel on a cloudy winter morning

I was on a bus on my way out of town before the rain started to come down…

and come down long and hard on the very dry Jerusalem streets.

Arab village with nice and new houses in West Bank

As we drove away from Jerusalem, the morning sky was blue and clear.

Clouds gathered as we neared the Barkan Industrial Park in the Shomron.

Ariel Industrial zone from Shomron road

The view from the road to Barkan of Ariel Industrial Park was as impressive as ever.   The development and growth in the once-barren hills is amazing.

Israel Allies Foundation meeting in Shomron with Yossi Dagan and David Haivri

Stop #1 in the Barkan included greetings from the Shomron Council officials to the Israel Allies international parliamentarians.  These supporters of Israel had come from around the world.

Sierra Leone Thomas Coker and US SC Alan Clemmons take a selfie on Israel Allies tour to Shomron

I have an entire album of selfies.  Dr. Thomas Coker of Sierre Leone taking a photo with Alan Clemmons of South Carolina has to be the new favorite.

Full disclosure – one of the main reasons I decided to go was to meet Facebook friend Rep. Alan Clemmons who initiated the first US anti-BDS legislation in South Carolina. Over half the US states now have similar laws against Israeli boycotts.

 "Never Again will nations stand silent in the face of boycotts against the Jewish people," parliamentarians and sign

“Never Again will nations stand silent in the face of boycotts against the Jewish people,” stated this declaration signed by the international group of 25 ministers and parliamentarians.

MK Miki Zohar at Barkan Industrial zone for IAF lawmakers

MK Miki Zohar held up a photo of Kim Levengrond Yehezkel z”l  and Ziv Hajbi z”l as he addressed the delegation. The signing and speeches were held in the parking lot of the Twitoplast factory.

In October last year, this workplace of coexistence, that I had written about more than once, was the shocking scene of terror when the two young parents were murdered.

IAF Josh Reinstein, parents of terror victims and MK Miki Zohar at Barkan Industrial Park one year after murder

Ziv’s mother spoke as did Kim’s father (seated in center). Both asked the international lawmakers to get their governments to stop funding terror. Standing is IAF President Josh Reinstein, and sitting next to the podium is Yossi Dagan of Shomron Council.

No trip to the Barkan is complete without Moshe Lev Ran, who spoke to the international visitors in the Twitoplast factory.

Moshe’s smile and message were not new.

As I have shared in the past, these factories in the Shomron employ thousands of Arab workers. Work in these Jewish businesses means higher salaries and benefits than under PA.   If an Israel business is forced to close from the EU labeling restrictions and boycott, those hurt most are the families of the Arab employees.

Factory in Barkan Industrial Park

Each time I go to the factory there seem to be more products.

Israel Twito, the creative genius behind Twitoplast, has over 100 patents.

This graphic makes the areas A, B, C, clearer than if I tried to explain the complex situation of governance in Yehudah and Shomron.

Red signs forbidding Israeli citizens entry to Arab village

Roads in the Shomron in area “A” have red signs not allowing Israelis to enter.

As you can see the weather had changed by the time we left Barkan.

West Bank scene where person was killed by terrorist and memorial set up

The memorials of terror victims are along the road near intersections.

West Bank Israel scene from road of small village and rolling hills

Villages in the valley sit between the rolling hills that line the road.

New housing on the hilltops gets more impressive with each visit.

Stop #2 was also a repeat and as expected the Kabir Winery lunch was excellent.

The second reason I decided to go was that Leah Goldin, mother of Hadar Goldin z”l, was to speak after lunch.  For 5 years and 4 months, she has tried to get her son’s remains, held captive in Gaza by Hamas, returned to Israel for burial.

I was on a bus returning to Jerusalem from Soroka Hosptial in Beer Sheva after the supposed 2014 ceasefire. Rockets were still being fired, and we could see the Iron Dome at work.

Hamas killed and captured Hadar two hours after the “cease-fire” began- a war crime and against humanitarian rules of conduct. Goldin wanted to make the legislators aware and urged them to help in their home countries.

Stop #3 was in Shiloh.

Israeli Allies leaders at Shilon

This was done very quickly as the sun was setting soon.

Shiloh Alan Clemmons at Israel Allies IAF

Minutes after this it started to rain.

Shiloh with international IAD parliamentarians

Very quickly the group posed for a photo next to the new colorful display of the Twelve Tribes.

I went prepared for the day with an umbrella and plastic bags, however, they were on the bus.

Ancient tabernacle of Shiloh and Jewish holy ark in new hologram movie

We ran up the hill in the dark and rain to shelter in the Shiloh hologram show of ancient Shiloh, and movie reenactment with actors.

For 369 years ancient Shiloh was the site of the Tabernacle before King Solomon built his temple in Jerusalem. You will have to come to see for yourself, as rainy nights are not the best conditions for photography.

Stop #4 was the Psagot Winery.

Psagot Winery restaurant

Another ride up a winding, narrow road to a mountain top, to the warmth of a fine restaurant.

Psagot Wine bottles at Winery

And wine. Good wine. Psagot owners went to the ICC international court to try and reverse the EU labeling against Jewish businesses in the Shomron. They lost, but they plan to keep trying. With 200 disputed territories in the world, they ask why only Jewish Israelis have to be singled out with special labeling?

Having been in the Shomron, it was good to see and hear the old and new.

Plenty was happening on the Jerusalem streets, besides heavy rain.

UN Ambassadors at Israeli President's house on tour led by Danny Danon

A tour of Ambassadors to the UN, led by Israeli UN Ambassador Danny Danon was at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s House.

For most of the international diplomats, it was their first trip to Israel.

In Jerusalem a group of Arab high school students going to Islamic Museum

While they were in private discussions with President Rivlin, across the street, a group of Arab students was on their way to the Islamic Museum

More from Leah Goldin speaking about humanitarian and legal issues.

More Facebook Shomron photos of the trip HERE 

More from what’s happening in Jerusalem, Israel next time.