It’s spring in Jerusalem, Israel.
Purim is over.
The Jerusalem Marathon is over.
While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in China,
the streets were a bit quieter without his noisy PM motorcades.
Also last week, President Reuven Rivlin was in Vietnam.
But now we hear new, noisy motorcades:
Slovakian President Andrej Kiska is visiting Jerusalem,
and flags marking the official visit are flying near Beit Hanasi,
the Israeli President’s Residence.
Actually, thousands must be visiting Jerusalem,
judging by by the large number of buses on the streets.
Newspapers are filled with ads for everything from paper dishes
to electronics, before the Passover holiday.
Sales abound, but many cannot afford the holiday necessities.
Tuesday was the official Good Deeds Day,
and school children all over Israel participated.
But for some, everyday is good deed day.
For the third year, Rav Yitzchok Grossman of Migdal Ohr,
brought holiday provisions and volunteers to Beit Hanasi.
President Rivlin joined in preparing packages
for Israelis who are in need of assistance for the holiday.
Another name for Passover is the Holiday of Spring.
Blossoms are popping out on trees,
not just in pretty planters
and flower beds.
In honor of the spring planting again this year,
First Lady Nechama Rivlin invited students,
Arab and Jewish girls, to help her plant
in this corner of the President’s gardens.
For those of you who were not there today,
this was one view of the gardens,
with olive and orange trees in the distance,
and the synagogue across the lawn.
But my favorite
was just sitting here and enjoying the warm weather
while taking a photo on Instagram with my new phone.
Photos do not capture the beauty of spring in Jerusalem,
but will have to do,
as rain and cooler temperatures are forecast.
Now – what next?
For those of you who asked to be informed:
Beit Avi Chai has a Maghreb Festival going on,
celebrating North African Jewry, from March 27 – 30,
with a variety of programs, some with no entrance fee.
Kikar Safra again has matzah baking and activities,
on March 29-30 afternoons, and is also free.
Children are out of school for holidays starting soon,
and museums are gearing up and getting ready for them.
The Bible Lands Museum has special exhibits to learn about ancient Egypt.
The Tower of David is always a great place to visit,
day or night,
and now has new special programs in English.
Check them out HERE.
As always so many things happening in Jerusalem!