100 Years – Israel Going & Growing

100 Years – Israel Going & Growing

From Jerusalem, Australia, and New Zealand,

government leaders traveled to Beer Sheva

for the 100th-year reenactment of the charge

of the Light Horse Brigade,

Australian soldiers in Beer Sheva 100 years

when those brave Aussie horsemen defeated the Turks

and turned the tide in World War I for the Allies.

Then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

went to London for the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration,

which called for a Jewish Homeland to be established in Palestine.

For those who study the Bible,

these two events 100 years ago were of great significance.

Christian Zionists were in Jerusalem, Israel,

this week to commemorate with Israelis.

Meanwhile,

outside the PM’s official residence in Jerusalem, Israel,

there was a protest tent and hunger strike.

Protest outside of Prime Minister's house in Jerusalem

Leaders from Judea and Samaria want

more services and better roads as promised.

Special programs around 100 years since Balfour

Israel Knesset building flags, no people

have been held at the Knesset.

Finally back in session after long break,

the Knesset is the scene of multiple sessions daily.

MK Avraham Neguise

One committee headed by MK Avraham Neguise

heard testimonies of recent growing antisemitism.

From left to right, wearing translation earphones, are

Knesset committee on antisemitism German, Austria and EU speak

the Ambassadors of Germany, the European Union, and Austria.

Also on the road this week is

President Reuven Rivlin, who was in Spain

meeting with Jewish leaders, and was hosted

by King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia at a state dinner.

100 years ago Jews were allowed to enter Spain

after being expelled in 1492.

Last week at Beit Hanasi, the President’s official residence,

New security at Beit Hanasi Jerusalem

new security covers were down.

Protesters from South Tel Aviv outside Beit Hanasi for Supreme Court new President

Loud protesters from South Tel Aviv

took to the streets shouting,

in stark contrast to what was happening inside.

Outgoing Israeli Supreme Court President Miriam Naor

Two female Israeli Supreme Court Presidents kiss at Beit Hanasi ceremony

kissed and hugged incoming President Esther Hayut.

Israel Supreme Court Judges at Beit Hanasi

Israeli Supreme Court Judges sat on the side

Front row dignitaries at Supreme Court swearing in ceremony new President

as former Supreme Court Presidents sat with

with other government leaders.

After the loud Knesset opening,

Mew Israeli Supreme Court President

this dignified, hand shaking,

Herzog and Hayut kiss at Beit Hanasi ceremony

kissing and hugging event did not make international news,

but Israel media had live coverage.

The room was as crowded as it was for President Trump’s visit.

Israeli head of police at Beit Hanasi

The Israeli Chief of Police did not seem

thrilled while he waited for the official photos of

Official pose of new and former Israel Supreme Court Presidents with President Rivlin and Justice Minister Shaked

the present and past Supreme Court Presidents

with President Rivlin and Justice Minister Shaked.

close up of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

But even the Prime Minister had to sit and wait

Official photo full court from new Israeli Supreme Court ceremony

for the expanded official Supreme Court photo.

One more of the many memorable scenes at Beit Hanasi

Salim Joubran at Beit Hanasi as he retires from Israel Supreme Court

was that of recently retired Supreme Court Judge Salim Joubran,

who was interviewed after the ceremony for Israeli TV.

He was the Arab Judge who oversaw the last Israeli election.

Who would have imagined any of these things 100 years ago?

Palestine was a barren desert under Ottoman rule.

Today as we still await the rainy season,

the only umbrella I saw out this week

Umbrella rain statute in Jerusalem Mamilla Mall

was on this art piece in Mamilla Mall.

And as always it seems,

Jerusalem Israel cultural festival

 there is another new cultural festival ahead.

Who could have imagined any of this 100 years ago?

Who could have imagined it 70 years ago?

A short video, part of German Ambassador’s testimony in Knesset:

 More on legislation here,

but this is getting way too long, as always.

The three millionth tourist for 2017,

entered Israel, receiving a royal welcome,

they will certainly see for themselves,

what is happening on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

Jerusalem Preparing for Yom Kippur

Jerusalem Preparing for Yom Kippur

Rosh Hashanah is over.

It is back to work and school and routines

after three days of eating and praying for some,

and trips to state parks and nature reserves for others.

Now in Jerusalem, Israel,

it is time to prepare for Yom Kippur.

The late night Selihot are a major tourist attraction.

These special prayer services are now accompanied by music.

Most of the words are the same as boring recitations of old.

To get you in the mood, and save you hours of sleep,

here are a few short videos from recent years.

I was on my way home from the Kotel, the Western Wall,

going through the Old City late at night,

when I heard the beautiful sounds of these selihot.

I had to stop and listen to Chizki Sofer,

and share the beautiful service he led.

Another star is Yitzhak Meir,

who was invited to lead the services at Beit Hanasi,

the Israeli President’s Residence, two years ago.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin got up to participate.

Last year there was a different musical tradition

with Sephardi Chazan Chaim Israel.

Once again President Rivlin sang, this time

 calling for “charity and good deeds.”

The traditional greeting this time of year

גמר חתימה טובה

May all be sealed for a good year

bus sign Yom Kippur

will again be displayed on Jerusalem buses.

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.