Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, Raise Your Glass

Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, Raise Your Glass

In Jerusalem, Israel, it seems everyone is

is getting into the holiday mood,

as Rosh Hashanah,

the Jewish New Year, approaches.

Finally on Sunday, it felt cooler, as

Beit Hanasi symbol

  I was at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence

and noticed this new arrangement in the front garden.

Major renovations have been underway for months,

Beit Hanasi renovations

both outside and inside the building.

But the mess of construction has not interrupted

Beit Hanasi getting cleaned by power-wash

holiday preparations or official receptions.

Flowers with pomegrante

The flower arrangements included a fake pomegranate,

as the First Lady and the wife of Chief of Staff of the IDF

hosted 30 lone soldiers.

It was a rather modest event,

Walter Bingham ai Beit Hasnasi

with the highlights of the day being Walter’s outfit

Box for phones

and this box for soldiers’ cell phones to be deposited during the program.

New Year reception at Beit Hanasi for lone soldiers

The program was held in the formal meeting room,

Fist Lady Nechama Rivlin with lone solders at Beit Hanasi

with a group photo at its conclusion.

Then on Monday, it was back to Beit Hanasi again

Beit Hanasi new emblem

 where glass pieces had completed this design.

Ambassadors at Beit Hanasi

At the President’s reception for foreign Ambassadors

business cards were exchanged and

newly arrived diplomats from around the world met.

Beit Hanasi food

There was no comparison to the simple food served the day before.

It was disappointing that the US Ambassador was back in the US,

Ambassadors at Beit Hanasi

but Egyptian Ambassador Hazem Khairat

and Jordanian Ambassador Walid Obeidat

were seated in the front row

and greeted me later with “Shanah tovah.”

Rosh Hashana table at Beit Hanasi

The holiday treats were impressive

Tzipi Hotovely taking a photo of the food at Beit Hanasi

enough for Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely

to take a photo of them on her cell phone.

Rosh Hashana at Beit Hanasi reception for Ambassadors

Israelis do take “raising a glass’ seriously,

from lone soldiers to diplomats,

businesses and organizations,

reception after reception,

l’Chaim,

to celebrate Jewish New Year.

I finally got used to year 5777,

5778 Shana tova on Jerusalem Israel bus

and now it’s changing to 5778

Shanah tovah

Good New Year to all.

Spring in Jerusalem

Spring in Jerusalem

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,

Flag near Beit Hanasi for President of Slovakia

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,

Passover food boxes

brought holiday provisions and volunteers to Beit Hanasi.

Boxes of Pesach food for poor packing at 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.

Spring blossoms Jerusalem Israel

Blossoms are popping out on trees,

Pot of flowers at beit hanasi

not just in pretty planters

Pink flowers in garden at Beit Hanasi

and flower beds.

In honor of the spring planting again this year,

Nechama Rivlin at Beit Hanasi

First Lady Nechama Rivlin invited students,

Arab and Jewish girls, to help her plant

Children's corner garden at Beit Hanasi

in this corner of the President’s gardens.

For those of you who were not there today,

Orange and olive trees in Beit Hanasi gargen

this was one view of the gardens,

with olive and orange trees in the distance,

View of synagogue of Beit Hanasi Arden

and the synagogue across the lawn.

But my favorite

Garden table at BEit Hanasi

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,

Tower of David night time inside Jerusalem, Israel

day or night,

and now has new special programs in English.

Check them out HERE.

As always so many things happening in Jerusalem!