Best of Purim in Jerusalem

This year, Jerusalem celebrated Purim officially Thursday night and Friday. While the rest of the world moved on, Jerusalem neighborhoods came alive on Thursday night with Shushan Purim celebrations.

In a new touch, birds flocked to Jaffa Road across from the Tzahal Square. The colorful avian visitors landed the week before Purim.

Remember what was there last year? No? Don’t feel bad, I had to check.

The Purim 2021 RJS post written during Covid lockdowns is linked at the end of this blog. Oh, those corona blur events.

Those birds reminded me of the expression ‘shouting from the rooftops’ which is apparently a very old one.

Corner stone from Beit Hamikdash in Israel Museum

I wonder if it came from the proclamation of the onset of Shabbat in Jerusalem from the Temple precincts. Remember the cornerstone found in the Israel Museum?

The monster was back over Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence.

However, today Purim is over and it was taken down.

Kikar Safra, Safra Square, was lined with Purim posters early in the week.

Celebrations were held by the Municipality from 11-2:200 pm with planned entertainment. On Friday Purim celebrations are complicated because of Shabbat. When to read the megillah, when to eat the meal, and more?

I decided to make hamantashen this year, peanut butter and chocolate, blueberry jam, and homemade strawberry jam. They came out great and quickly disappeared.

I liked how the synagogue was decorated for Purim and the megillah reading when we entered at night.

And how the people came ready to celebrate in style.

Readings of Megillat Esther were too numerous to count, at night, and every hour during the day in multiple locations in many Jerusalem neighborhoods, both inside and outside.

The costumes that appeared on the Jerusalem streets were as varied as could be imagined.

At this popular Jerusalem spot, a large group crowded in for a megillah reading.

I wondered how many knew that women were reading the megillah before they came?

But the crowd stayed, and quietly paid attention, making noise only to blot out the name of evil Haman.

In the morning as I was watching for cute costumes, the first colorful couple I saw turned out to be people I know!

Our annual morning family reading has grown over the years.

In Jerusalem, I have a thing I call – Purim or not Purim? – all year long it is hard to tell what some folks are wearing. For example, one young woman had her long hair dark brunette on one side and blond on the other – and it wasn’t Purim, just a regular day on a regular street.

United Hatzalah has been working overtime with the war in Ukraine and refugees fleeing to the borders and needing assistance. This family has United Hatzalah vans parked outside regularly- not just Purim.

But their Purim mishloah manot wins my prize as most clever this year.

Pizza came in handy to serve for dinner on these Purim preparation upside-down days.

And one guy decided he was Pizza Man?

Across the street, this guy thought he could avoid getting captured?

Two couples I know in one day, double jackpot Purim fun.

Hansen House was supposed to be filled with costumed Purim celebrants, but on Friday the weather was too wet and dreary to be outside. But downtown people did come to see the colorful and varied entertainers.

As I was racing along to beat the rain and get to my Purim meal, this guy was impressive enough to get us to stop. Not only was he colorful enough for a second glance, so was his companion.

The Purim feast was a great one. The sushi was almost gone, but with enough cold cuts left over, we had some for Shabbat lunch. A good idea when there is not enough time on Friday for the usual Shabbat preparations.

Next week we have to change the clock on Friday and it’s time for the Jerusalem Marathon. Flags are up over the Jerusalem streets.

Are we really back to normal?

That’s it for now, and until next year – Happy Purim!

פורים שמח

So who remembers last year?

Here’s to hoping we really are post corona and we will see you all soon on the Jerusalem streets!

Purim, Shushan Purim, Crazy Time in Jerusalem

Purim, Shushan Purim, Crazy Time in Jerusalem

There’s Purim as we know it in most of the rest of world.

Then there’s Shushan Purim that is celebrated on the following day in Jerusalem, Israel.

Purim goes on and on and on, and this year it went right into Shabbat on Friday evening.

Purim sameach sign for carnival at army base

This Purim Sameach sign was hanging on the wall at an army base, above the tables set for their celebration.

Female soldier reading letter from children and receiving Mishloah manot.

Thousands of Israel security personnel received mishloah manot, gift bags with treats, and letters written by children from around the world expressing appreciation for their service in defense of Israel. This has become an annual project for multiple organizations.

Hamentaschen piled up in Machane Yehuda Market for Purim

Hamantashen galore are an annual sign of Purim.

Sign for reading of Megilat Esther at First Station

A reading of Megilat Esther in First Station has become an annual event.

Children in costume for Purim Jerusalem Israel

Children dress in costumes for the night time reading all over the world.

Man wearing mask for Purim at synagogue reading of Megilat Esther

Purim masks vary from year to year.

Jerusalem men in costume for Purim meglla reading

Sometimes it is hard to decide who is in a Purim costume and who is not?

Man dressed for Purim

And some costumes are inside jokes, too long to explain.

Hats on Purim in Jerusalem Israel

For some hats make their Purim costume.

Aliza Bloch costume for Purim

This year the beret of new Beit Shemesh Mayor Aliza Bloch became a popular costume in Beit Shemesh, and in Jerusalem as well.

Jerusalem man reading megilla in costume

The Scroll of Esther was read from a real scroll in hundreds of Jerusalem locations.

half shekel coins in Jerusalem synagogue for PUrim holiday

Also, collecting money for the poor and remembering the half shekel of old are annual important customs around the world.

Costume on Jerusalem Israel street at night of Purim

But on the Jerusalem streets there were all sorts of characters running around.

Sadly, some of the best were moving too fast to photograph.

Jerusalem couple dressed in space suits for Purim

One family was dressed to go out of this world. But they were left holding their children’s space helmets, which were not allowed to be worn on this moon bounce.

Purim carnival at night in Jerusalem

The Purim Carnival celebration burgers looked good, but what a shame! I heard that the power went out soon after I left.

Unicorn costumes popular in Jerusalem for Purim

Unicorns were popular this year, for all ages.

Jerusalem Israel on Purim night

Smiles at Purim parties were easy to find.

Doctors for Purim costumes in Jerusalem

However, deciding which doctor to consult could have posed a problem.

Purim costume in Jerusalem at night at carnival party.

One royally dressed friend wanted to show off her glam outfit under her coat.

Costumes in restaurant on Purim night wings and ears

Purim in Jerusalem means wings and ears,

Purim colors in Jerusalem Israel

and lots of colors,

Woman in hat for Purim in Jerusalem

tall hats,

Sushi hats for Purim in Jerusalem

and even sushi ones.

Purim costume in Jerusalem Israel

Little Purple Riding Hood going to Gramma’s house?

Festive meals went all day on Friday, some going straight into Shabbat.

Purim on Friday is not my favorite, it feels so strange.

Jerusalem Israel Women posing for photo at bus stop on Puirm

All week costumes have been spotted on Jerusalem streets, as these young women pose for a photo at a Jerusalem bus stop.

But not to worry, there will be no boring days now that the Marathon and Purim are finally over.

Signs for Jerusalem arts festival

Signs are up for the Jerusalem Arts Festival.

The Art and Brain Festival at Cinematheque is back again this week.

I do not need the Fly Over Birds Festival to be aware of bird migration, as they are outside my window chirping away loudly before dawn.

Clocks are changing on March 29, so being tired is a certainty.

And the annual Sounds of Night Festival is next week.

However, one last time until next year…

Purim sameach on bus, Happy Purim sign on bus, Jerusalem photo purim

Purim sameach! Happy Purim!

 

 

Purim in Jerusalem More than Just a Day

Purim in Jerusalem More than Just a Day

It is Spring in Jerusalem, Israel, and the barren land turns green from the winter rain.

Valley of Cross Jerusalem Israel in spring.

The flowers pop up from out of the ground.

Rafefet growing from old rocks in Valley of Cross Jerusalem Israel

Even from deep in ancient rocks, new life and color emerge, as the rafkefet, the cyclamen,  thrive with the cool winter temperatures.

Flowers planted near Jerusalem Windmill in Israeli park

Planted flower beds are ready for longer days and warm sunshine.

Sounds of the Night Jerusalem Festival in Old City

The special Ai WeWei art exhibit at the Israel Museum is ending, while the annual Sounds of Night Festival in the Old City is coming soon.

But, this is Purim week in Jerusalem, Israel.

In Israel, it goes on and on for more than one day.

Many museums are free for children both on Purim and Shushan Purim this year, on Thursday and Friday.

Purim costumes for children on Agrippas Street in Jerusalem, Israel Arab woman looking at dresses

However, costumes have been displayed for sale for weeks.

Purim in Jerusalem, Israel parents taking photo of girl dressed as bride

Wedding photos are often taken near sunset in Jerusalem parks, but this miniature bride was getting her Purim photographs taken a week before Purim in the Rose Garden near the Knesset.

Purim costume Lego Man in Jerusalem Israel

After days of younger children going to school dressed in pajamas, upside-down and whatever clever theme teachers could think of next, high school students joined in the holiday fun. On King George Street, LegoMan was a colorful and clever idea.

Purim costume giant marionette in Jerusalem Israel before Purim

Marionette guy took a second to turn and pose on his way to school.

Purim in Jerusalem Israel costumes for school before holiday

These girls were on their way dressed in a theme, but went past too quickly for me first thing in morning. I will spare you all the family photos posted on WhatsApp as they headed out to school. We even had a poop emoji in the bunch.

Children behind school gate dressed in Purim costumes Israel

Activities, and especially dress-up, were the rage in schools for nursery age children throughout Israel.  These cuties, policemen, brides, princesses and more in the south were singing Purim songs for us as we passed by their playground.

Purim in Israel carnival for community by AMIT girls' school

Purim carnivals and other activities have been held since the beginning of the Hebrew month of Adar, with schools involving communities to celebrate in the fun.

Hamentaschen piled up in Machane Yehuda Market for Purim

Oh and the food. Hamentashen galore in a list of flavors growing annually. The days of only poppy-seed and prune are long gone, only memories.

The Purim seuda, the festive holiday meal, is enjoyed by Jerusalemites on Friday, and should begin early enough so as not to interfere with the onset of Shabbat. We are planning to start at 11:00 after reading Megillat Esther. Others are starting later and going into the Sabbath.

Meanwhile, it is time to get cooking. I used to think it was be good to have extra time to prepare for Purim, a one-day holiday that went by so quickly. Now I’m not so sure. Creating multiple costumes, sending treats to school classrooms, beside the usual preparing food gifts to send, it seems endless.

Purim in Jerusalem megila ready every hour AZZA ZAZA

For the 8th year, AZZA ZAZA, continuous readings of Megillat Esther are being offered by Chabad in the Rechavia neighborhood. They offer over 20 readings, every hour in various public locations near Azza Street.

There are more Purim celebrations and events in Jerusalem than we can list, but the municipality website has a few of dozens, in English listed HERE

Happy Purim Jerusalem street posters

Happy Purim!