Tu B’Shevat in Jerusalem

Tu B’Shevat in Jerusalem

Tu B’Shevat,

the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat,

is often called the “New Year of Trees,”

and marks the beginning of spring in Israel

and the birthday of the Knesset.

Growing up in the United States,

 I remember receiving dried, hard, brown carob pods

 called buxor to chew on, or rather to try and chew.

How different is Tu B’Shevat celebrated in Jerusalem!

Buksor for Tu B'Shevat

Thousands of carob pods fall to the ground untouched.

Stores are filled with many varieties of dried fruit.

Every year I have tried a different spelling of Tu B’Shevat,

so I know language translations are not simple,

Prunes with nucleus instead of pit on label

but “Dried Plums without a nucleus”?

In honor of Tu B’Shevat,

almond blossoms, Jerusalem photo tour

along with almond trees bursting into bloom,

let us see a bit of what is new for this year.

President Reuven and Nechama Rivlin hosted

a Tu B’Shevat seder for agricultural growers

and representatives of OneFamily.

Orphans who had lost both parents to terror participated with

Reuven and Nechama Rivlin Tu B'Shevat sedar at BEit Hanasi for One Family and agriculture growers

 red and white wines, wheat, figs, pomegranate, almonds

and more, and in the blessings, readings and song.

But that was a small and private gathering,

as for the real streets,

 Liberty Bell Park, foliage has been cut back.

Sculpture painted yellow in Liberty Bell Park

This old sculpture was painted bright yellow,

image Bell Park

but I hope they used better quality paint than this blue.

The new walking trails along the old train tracks

Bike path and walking trail from Old Train station to Malha Mall

will be filled with pedestrians and bikers.

New neighborhood gardens are being planted,

Community garden in Baka, Jerusalem , Israel

similar to this new community garden in Baka.

Long awaited, this improved play ground

Boy playing in new Jerusalem, Israel park

is appreciated for its play and climbing features,

and also for its accessibility features,

New play equipment in Jerusalem, Israel park

such as this swing.

A new and important addition are these shade covers

Fitness equipment in Jerusalem, Israel park

 and the fitness equipment.

It took months,

Park in Baka Jerusalem, Israel

 but this improved park will be busy soon.

Gan Sacher on Lag B'Omer

For years, Gan Sacher, Sacher Park,

was the main green space,

 then Gazelle Park opening two years ago.

Gan Haatzmaut, Independence Park

has seen its share of picnics and protesters.

 Teddy Park became one of the most popular for its fountain,

Tower of David view from Teddy Park sculpture with boy taking photo of sky

but for photographers there is always a new angle.

Near by in Yemin Moshe,

Yemin Moshe tree replanted Jerusalem Israel park

 old olive trees were in dire need of re-potting.

And finally there is a serious effort trying to keep

these wonderful green spaces clean. 

There is much more happening, but for now,

Happy Tu B’Shevat from Jerusalem.

Jerusalem This Summer

It is August, in Jerusalem, Israel,

and it gets hot.

Sure we are in the midst of summer in the Middle East,

cat resting in heat, Jerusalem Israel

but during this past week’s heat wave,

this cat photo sums up how I felt much of the time.

Many Israelis are away.

Overseas visitors have arrived for their Israeli holiday time.

Rush hour like traffic can be any time of day or place.

Not many people noticed,

presenting new credentials

but four new ambassadors to Israel presented their credentials

to President Rivlin at Beit Hanasi, 

the official residence of the Israeli President.

photo 52 Frames

Some will notice that this Katamon street was paved,

but only after the workers checked their messages.

With daytime temperatures so high,

most people come out in the evening,

Mamilla Mall

going to malls,

Jerusalem Israel park Palestinians

and parks all over the Jerusalem area.

Especially on Thursday nights,

there are too many things to do.

I hope to get to the month-long events soon.

 Contact Point at the Israel Museum

last Thursday was unique in so many ways,

besides being from 8:00 pm to 3:00 am.

Pop culture exhibit at Israel Museum

In the Pop Culture gallery, pillows were placed on the floor,

and a microphone was positioned in the center of the room.

On the wall was a projection of a man

who was elsewhere in the museum.

The Man on the Wall talked with the audience,

as people got up to ask him questions at the microphone.

I still cannot get over what a small world it is here.

I saw a woman and her daughters whom I had met a few years ago.

As we spoke near the microphone,

another woman got up and came over to say hello to her.

They had known each other years ago.

People coming together from so many places around the world.

Israel Museum old statures

I almost deleted this photo because of the blue lights.

Later I saw visitors to the Museum standing in line

to have colored lights wrapped around them.

They became one of the unusual exhibits for the evening,

“randomly” lighting up the galleries.

Israel Museum 3D copier

This is one of three 3-D copiers that were on display.

It took me a third look to realize that this one was making a small statue.

Israel Museum outside music and lights on statures

Outside there was live music and

the sculpture garden was lit up with colorful lighting.

Shrine of Book in colored lights

Even the Shrine of Book was a canvas that night,

Israel Museum

as strobes lit up the sky.

The diversity of summer events

can be seen in these signs for big summer festivals,

summer in Jerusalem

with festivals as diverse as International Puppets and Wine.

There are more new signs for Hansen House at night,

the City Center for shopping and a new movie theater complex.

So different are the streets to last summer and bombs from Gaza.

Last summer First Station at night was dark, sad and empty.

Last night cars circled and stalked for a parking spot,

it was full of people and music.

Not far away at the Kotel, Western Wall,

an overflow crowd of thousands gathered,

torah scrolls

for a special dedication of Torah scrolls,

75 of them,

Torah scrolls at Western Wall

 one for each fallen soldier and civilian killed last summer,

in Operation Protective Edge.

So much more is happening in Jerusalem, Israel,

but, it will have to wait for next time.

For many the first day of school

is what they are really looking forward to,

sign welcoming to first grade

and the “Shalom Kita Aleph” posters are up and ready.

Nice to be able to leave you with Torah and education

as important features of this past week.