Passover in Jerusalem: Old and New

There are the old familiar images for Passover in Jerusalem, Israel,

image garbage bin, photo rubbish, picture holiday mess

garbage bins are overflowing, even though there are extra pick-ups;

image Passover, photo Passover,

shopping carts are overflowing;

image kosher for passover, photo getting ready for Passover, picture Peashc preparations

and lots of large pots of water are boiling with steam rising.

But always there is something new.

image red flower, photo yellow flowers, picture wild flowers

Spring wildflowers have grown in the weeds,

a site where last year a brush fire left only scorched earth.

photo warning signs, picture street crossing, image new crossing signs

New warning signs at some major street crossings were painted on side walks.

But as most everything in Jerusalem, Israel, there was a bit of contention,

a corner near the Old City had the words only in Arabic,

but was painted over yesterday in Hebrew before I got there.

Then there are those construction cranes popping up like weeds

photo new building in Jerusalem, photo Jerusalem, picture new housing.

and many new luxury buildings.

But with any new construction

photo Old Jerusalem, picture old columns

are the findings from ancient times that were hidden under the streets.

This Passover one very hot spot to visit is

photo Cinema City, picture inside Cinema City, image Cinema

the new Cinema City complex.

More than just movie theaters,

you can find all kinds of food,

and I assume plenty of it will be kosher for Passover.

image Moses, photo Moshe Rabenu, picture of Bible story

For Passover and all year round, there is Moses,

not crossing the Red Sea, but with 10 commandments.

And posted all over are the new holiday signs,

image Passover, picture Pesach, photo sign Passover

happy holiday of spring in Jerusalem, Israel.

חג שמח!

Happy Holiday!

Have a great Passover all,

I really must get back to my cleaning.

Passover Has Passed Over

What a busy two weeks have passed!

If we can still find a rocket left over from President Obama’s visit 

in a Sderot school yard, then it seems not too late 

   to post a few favorite photos of the presidential visit

to Jerusalem, Israel just before Passover.

,photo Obama in Jerusalem

People waited on the roof tops to get a view 

Obama visit to Israel

of the presidential motorcade as it arrived in the city.

female Israeli soldiers photo

Agippas Street, like so many other places, had lots of extra security,

Agrippas Street with no traffic

and a lot less traffic for a day so close to a major holiday –

or any day.

Street without cars. one man crossing empty street

No danger of getting hit crossing usually busy Ramban Street,

NO cars were allowed.

If you could walk there, then

Passover preparation

 it was a perfect time to go to the shuk, the Machane Yehuda Market,

kosher for passover candy

which as always is a colorful place to shop.

Passover is such a busy time as there is so much happening,

 especially this year with the Barak Obama visit.

As helicopters whirled overhead,

image of cat, cat resting photo

this cat really had the best idea, to crawl up in corner and hide.

Barak Obama in Israel

President Barak Obama gave his speech at Jerusalem Convention Center.

One stand out moment,

Barak Obama in israel

 was after a heckling Arab student from Haifa University shouted out,

 secret service agents on both sides of the stage emerged from the flags.

Barak Obama in Israel

This was a serious public event with serious camera lenses,

Palestinian students in Israel

and many smiling faces,

but more about Barak Obama’s speech another time.

Such an Only in Israel moment occurred 

Israeli ambassador in photo

as Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren left the speech

on his way to the State Dinner at Beit Hanasi, the President’s House.

While standing on the street corner waiting to cross, no one recognized him.

Night in Jerusalem photo

Oh, when they opened those streets that night was there traffic!

 Passover night arrived,

Table set for holiday Passover

and the family Seder was the main event for millions of people.

Israelis love to go to nature spots when there is a holiday.

Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, was almost empty

the week before Passover because of the Obama security,

Holiday clothing in Jerusalem

but on Passover it was filled with thousands of families dressed up for 

Passover in Gan SAcher

their holiday outings.  This Minnie Mouse bag seemed photo worthy.

Again a very special favorite,

ALEH photo

as last year Aleh Jerusalem crossed the Bridge of Strings,

ALeh Jerusalem on string bridge

on their annual March to raise funds and awareness for the very 

 special education they provide severely disabled children.

It was a traffic and heart stopper,

Alech releases balloons

as hundreds of green and purple balloons were released.

photo children in wheel chairs

Students, their families and dozens of young enthusiastic volunteers

brought  a woman I spoke with to tears.

Sorry that it loses much in the translation, but 

 she slowly shook her head back and forth, repeating “Really something!”

The Old City was busy and crowded.

Kotel, western wall, wailing wall photos

The crowds at the Kotel, Western Wall, were big, really huge,

Kosel on Peasch, Kossel on Passover

with the Ethiopian leaders under their colorful umbrellas

arriving at the end of Birkat Cohanim, the Priestly Blessing. 

Kosel birchas kohanim

They managed to slowly move through the crowd as they do every year.

Centuries ago when crowds came to the Temple in Jerusalem on Passover,

photo of passover food

  how did they manage without kosher for Passover pizza,

Kosher for passover food

super kosher hot French fries, known as  chips,  

Old City Jerusalem photo

and plenty of ice cream for sale like there are now? 

Passover was a great holiday time.

photo mall

People were smiling in Mamilla Mall and taking photos every day.

And then, 

Sand storm covers Knesset

 a terrible sandstorm came in the last afternoon of Passover.

This was no April Fool’s joke, that is what the Knesset looked like.

The air quality made breathing outside difficult.

Winds blew away most of the sand the next day,

and as the rest of world celebrated an eighth day of Passover.

In Israel, Passover was official over, but still a school holiday.

The Moroccan custom of Mimouna has become increasingly popular,

Jerusalem mangal, BBQi n park

so again Gan Sacher was filled with families grilling 

cooking in park image

and smoke filled the air.

Passover has passed.

Now it is time for the Mangal or BBQ season.

Since I started working on this, yesterday and today

there have been several more rockets

and new “projectiles” fired from Gaza into southern Israel.

Hamas starts firing just as children return to classrooms.

It looks as if things are heating up down there again,

 

For more ALEH photos, please click HERE.

Jerusalem Spring

 Syria is lifting emergency law after 48 years and

the ‘Arab Spring’ is grabbing headlines coming from the Middle East.

News of the murder of an anti-Israel Italian ISM member in Gaza,

came as Jews were busy shopping before the Passover holiday.

Many Arab shoppers were also in the stores buying the potato noodles and matzah.

 Daniel Viflic, the 16-year-old riding on a school bus who was injured by an anti-tank missile from Gaza,

died from those injuries and was buried just before the holiday began.

A tragic beginning…

for the Jerusalem spring.

There were photos of President Peres visiting the Shalit family and reports of new negotiators, but

 Gilad Shalit missed the Passover seder for the fifth year,

the protest tent was dark and empty on Tuesday night.

Nevertheless, Jerusalem spring

 is a time of families get-togethers,

 

and fanning

the flames

of the mangal in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park–

that has evolved into a Passover holiday tradition.

While millions of people take to the roads to travel North,

many others descend on Gan Sacher to picnic,

to play ball,

to relax,

to take a walk,

and enjoy nature.

It is a place

 where even used coals can be shared and the news can be forgotten…at least for a bit.

Happy Passover… it’s time to eat.