Purim in Jerusalem תש”פ

Purim in Jerusalem תש”פ

Purim. Part of the Purim celebration is a theme of upside down.

Haman vs Mordechai and Esther. Evil vs. Good.

Good triumphant and people living and celebrating the demise of the evil decree.

The story retold year after year, read from a megillah, the Scroll of Esther.

Scroll of Esther in Israel Museum illustrated and small on regular Purim exhibit

This miniature illustrated megillah in the Israel Museum’s permanent Purim exhibit is a favorite.

However, this Purim in Jerusalem was not like any other.

The municipality had an improved its Purim website with a long list of official activities.

But the huge public sponsored Jerusalem celebrations and gatherings which went on during times of war and terror in the past were canceled.

two bottles of Corona beer

Last week I was joking about my supersaturated photo of Corona bottles.

This week coronavirus – COVID-19 – is nothing to joke about – except it was Purim.

Car decorated as coronavirus on Purim in Chicago
photo credit: Rivka W

Not in Jerusalem. See those front lawns and suburban homes? This “flu bug” caught by my photographer friend with a great eye was so clever I asked her to let me share it. Please note the license plate “NF LUNZA.”

Though Jerusalem municipal mega-events were canceled due to the Ministry of Health restrictions, people still arrived in Jerusalem to celebrate Purim and Shushan Purim. Purim was celebrated in the Machane Yehudah Market,  the shuk, and Nahlaot, with singing and dancing, costumes, and yes, drinking.

Jerusalem Tower of David Purim performance
Photo Credit: Ilana Silverman Richter

The show went on at the Tower of David Museum, both days, and was sold out at the night event.

Purim in Jerusalem is not a one day, but a week-long event.

Purim costume man and dog in Jerusalem

Starting on Sunday morning, though sometimes it is hard to tell what is really a dress-up costume, “animals” were spotted.

Purim costumes on King George Street in Jerusalem Israel

The morning crowds near the shuk and on King George Street seemed bigger than regular Sunday and included, seniors in wheelchairs and babies in strollers.

Purim costume dress-up is taken seriously in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Purim costumes

These high school girls posed on their way home from school.

Two boys in Jerusalem dressed in Purim costumes as ice cream sellers

Two high school boys let me take their photo, but did not offer me any ice cream.

Jerusalem Shushan Purim megilah reading every hour for Azza Zaza

The 10th annual Azza Zaza Purim was held Tuesday night and all day Wednesday. The megillah was read at dozens of Jerusalem business locations on the hour, every hour in another location, at times even at not kosher restaurants, thanks to Chabad of Rechavia.

Construction and costumes on Jerusalem streets for Purim

At least on Purim, streets were cleared of construction vehicles.

Jerusalem family walking in costume for Purim

On the streets, creatures with wings were spotted walking,

Jerusalem on Shusham Purim

and angels and princesses of various ages.

Purim costumes in Jerusalem

Masks for costume or safety precaution?

Man in costume visiting family in isolation on Purim in Jerusalem

With over 30,000 Israelis in isolation this Purim, visitors kept their distance.

Purim costume in Jerusalem traffic

But even with fewer people on the streets, during peak hours for delivering Mishloach Manot, Purim gifts of food, traffic was enough to be annoying and dangerous.

Purim sign

Part of Purim celebration is the seudah, a big meal with good food and drink.

Singing on Purim at festival meal

Costumes are optional, but singing and music and fun are required.

Finish line for Jerusalem Winner Marathon placed before race was postponed

The Jerusalem Marathon was postponed until November 6, 2020.

The COVID-19 coronavirus threatened Purim in Jerusalem.

Family dressed in Purim costumes on Jerusalem street

Families were not out in great numbers as in the past.

I attended smaller megillah readings in private homes and didn’t roam the streets.

Purim masks at Jerusalem Megilah reading in private home

But thanks to clever friends, we will share one more Purim image that sums up this truly upside down Purim in Jerusalem.

We worried. We prayed. Then it was time to eat.

פורים שמח 

Purim Sameach

 Happy Purim from the Jerusalem streets.

February in Jerusalem – Presidents, Parks, Ponds and Purim Prep

February in Jerusalem – Presidents, Parks, Ponds and Purim Prep

When we lived in Boston, what a surprise it was to learn that there was a holiday in February for Presidents’ Week. February was a time to go skiing. While five years ago, snow fell in Jerusalem in February, this year temperatures during the day have been warm, at least when the sun came out! So much rain this year, but there are signs of spring.

Blossoms on almond tree in katamon Jerusalem

After the almond blossoms burst out, other fruit trees are now blooming – as are allergies from various pollens.

Flowers are appearing. The lilies in the pond at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens are starting to open.

Jerusalem Botanical Gardens

Another sure sign of spring, the birds on a nice day chirp away, before dawn.

Those early wake-up calls at 4:14 am are not appreciated.

Main hall of Jerusalem International Conference Center for OurCrowd Global Summit 2020

The annual spring OurCrowd Global Investor Summit has grown bigger and better.

International registration was reported at 23,000 people from 183 countries.

Jerusalem Israel OurCrowd Summit booth for UpnRide

Get up and Ride, the UpnRide was one of many booths. I mentioned how I saw it used at OurCrowd first. It was so amazing to see a person bound to a wheelchair standing at the buffet table.

Amir Gofer using UpnRide at OurCrowd Global Summit

And there was Amir Gofer again explaining his amazing invention!

What a shame Christopher Reeves died too soon to benefit from this Israeli technology.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking to Conference of Presidents at Inbal Hotel

February in Jerusalem means the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is back for its 46th Annual National Leadership mission. On opening night PM Netanyahu spoke in the Inbal Hotel ballroom.

Israeli President receives gift from Conference of Presidents

Monday morning President Rivlin addressed the delegates and invited guests. He was presented with a piece of art as a gift by new CEO William Daroff,  with Malcolm Hoenlein and Arthur Stark posing for the photo op.

President Rivlin took off soon after for a long-anticipated trip to Australia. First, he stopped in LA to get the key to the city, then on to Fiji on the way to the Land of Oz.

The Conference of Presidents used to have a printed schedule for their program. This year there is an app which is for delegates only. “We’re back” was all Hoenlein would say on the record about their trip to Saudia Arabia last week. Much of this week is filled with meetings with Israeli leaders, and some off the record, but a few more photos here.

New standard for clean air signs in Jerusalem

But as for the real streets, the municipality wants to clean up not only the streets but the air too. Signs are up. Warnings are out. Fines and enforcement are to be increased. In the campaign to clean up Jerusalem, citations will be served for littering and not cleaning up after your dog.

Gan Sacher Jerusalem Leningrad Memorial

As for the old dog park in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, finally, all the tents are gone and the Leningrad Memorial is visible. I will spare you dozens of photos from the construction mess in Gan Sacher, but they will have to work quickly before the Jerusalem Marathon next month.

Jerusalem Israel memorial across from Cinema City

The Leningrad Memorial in Gan Sacher is across the road from this memorial for fallen soldiers defending Jerusalem, which is located next to the Supreme Court.

Jerusalem parking garage to save space

Land is at a premium in Jerusalem. Every centimeter is scrutinized. Here a parking garage rises to the sky.

Man working on an old house in Jerusalem being renovated

Small old buildings are being renovated and redone daily.

Street in Jerusalem with sidewalk torn up work

Oh and the streets! When they are completed these sidewalks should be nice. But now?

Azza Street in Jerusalem under repair

Some streets are parking lots part of the day as construction stops traffic. All traffic. Pedestrians are not sure where and how to cross to avoid all the equipment.

New sidewalk on Azza Street in Jerusalem Israel

They are almost done here, an important part of the Jerusalem Marathon route.

These streets will be filled with runners on Friday, March 20, 2020.

Bus stop in Jerusalem Israel

At least we did get our bus stop back.

New bike path in Jerusalem Israel has a bike tire pump

This was a pleasant surprise. Along the new bike path, there is a tire pump available.

Jaffa Street near Market music and dancing on nice day

On the Jerusalem streets, always something to surprise. Spontaneous music and dancing.

Winter Music Festival in Jerusalem sign for end of February performances

There are also planned winter musical performances at the end of February.

Jerusalem Israel hosting an international conference on violence prevention education

A first, an international conference on violence prevention education.

Purim costumes in the Jerusalem Israel shuk

Spring means strange faces appear in the Machane Yehuda Market, the shuk.

Purim holiday masks and hats are on display.

Costumes for children and adults, with unicorns big this year.

Hamenstashen, Haman's Ears for Purim

Hamantashen were piled up high. It is interesting that they are packaged and not out in open.

Ah, Jerusalem, Israel, in February, spring, and Purim is around the corner,

Sign on Jerusalem sidewalk

and Jerusalem lights up on Bezalel Street.

 

 

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!