Rain or Shine All You Need in Jerusalem is Love

In Jerusalem, at the beginning of January, the weather was so warm, it was hard to remember previous years with snow and more snow.

But taking advantage of the sunshine and wandering a different route each day I was able to find something new.

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First I will start with a new photo of Martin Luther King Junior Street.

One of the RJS’s early posts – In Memory of MLK commemorated the US holiday which is celebrated on January 18 this year.

There is a lovely new park called Detroit Garden on Rachel Imenu Street.

The last time I was by, the park was surrounded by a construction fence of an archeological dig. The idea to have hundreds of tourists in this neighborhood and to go underground in limited numbers seems to have been nixed and a new outdoor area has been prepared instead.

The Light Rail Trains have been running through the COVID-19 lockdowns but on a reduced schedule. Posters have been added at stations with suggestions of games parents can play with their children to fill the time.

Having passed too many people walking with their heads down while looking at their phones, I hope this initiative gets people thinking and interacting.

Oh, the road work still seems to be everywhere. But here new street signs were going up off of Jaffa Road for Shaare Zedek Street.

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The original Shaare Zedek Hospital was recently the home for the Israel Broadcast Authority and now for building developers in the area.

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This “Coation Trucks Crossing” sign is in the midst of the major construction works of the Jerusalem International Convention Center and Gateway projects.

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Multiple huge cranes line the city skyline.

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But after months, or is it years already, work above ground is finally visible.

As mentioned before, building construction and road work have been allowed throughout corona lockdowns.

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However, travel for most people is limited in the new lockdown. Random police stops popped up in multiple locations, especially at entrances to city.

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This security stop on Derech Hevron was under a new sign to register for the new school year of 2021/2022. Planning for education continues even in a pandemic with students at home.

New signs went up by the Prime Minister’s Residence. Now it’s officially, France Square (not Paris Square) at Azza Street. Previously this small section of the street was called Ben Maimon Street, not Azza Street as would be assumed.

By whatever name, the fountain was being cleaned on Sunday morning, after another Saturday night of protesters partying around the fountain.

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Protesters set up shop one day this week on Balfour and Brenner Streets.

Plus their usual – every day – and not just Saturday night main location.

One thing they are is persistent, a new day and a new corner, and now in the colder and wet and windy weather.

For the first time, I saw this protest encampment being inspected today. Not what one would expect to see in Gan Ha’atzmaut, Independence Park, across from the United State Embassy building. Oh, well at least for this week it is called the US Embassy.

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After the rain, when the sky clears you can see the mountains of Jordan in the distance. The usually busy road filled with tour buses has been too empty too long.

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Takhana Rishona, First Station, had a few food places try to open, but new stricter regulations closed most of them down. Police were checking businesses as I walked through the sad scene.

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Oh but when those tourists come back, not only will they be surprised by the new skyline and roads, but also the new spots like this one near First Station.

After weeks of sun, the sky was grey on Friday over Har Hazeitim, the Mount of Olives.

As I approached the Old City, across the way on Har Hazeitim, I saw the funeral for Sheldon Adelson z”l. At the private ceremony, cars and motorcycles were parked well above the gravesite. Those specks of black in the middle are the photographers trying to get a glimpse of the funeral.

Trying to get a view of the burial site, one of the closest to the Old City walls.

It is not the big tent, but the small one on the left with men dressed in black and one in an orange United Hatzalah jacket.

In the Old City, security outnumbered the number of people allowed to pray at the Kotel, Western Wall.

Guards were at gates to exclude those who are more than one kilometer from home. More Facebook photos of Friday in Old City can be seen HERE

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While numbers of coronavirus patients are high, small businesses are shut.

But the vaccine program is racing along to over 2,000,000 inoculations. There are increased feelings of hope for the future, even as the number of coronavirus patients rises.

Even under grey clouds, windy and cold, with empty streets, there is always something new to see on the Jerusalem streets.

With a bit of music from Shalva, all we need is love and good health, and I will end with one of my favorite scenes of many this week.

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Friends of a groom were picking him up on the way to his wedding.

They saw my camera and smiling posed with a thumbs up.

I shouted “Mazel tov” to wish him well.

I love Jerusalem

All you need is love to brighten a grey day.

Take care and stay well.