As November Ends in Jerusalem Photos of 9 Happenings

As November Ends in Jerusalem Photos of 9 Happenings

Jerusalem, Israel, was warmer than usual this fall.

The usual complaints of bone-chilling cold winter weather have been missing.

Rose in full bloom in Jerusalem Israel garden

My third growth of roses was impressive enough to share.

Hebrew welcome to Knesset sign

The Knesset entrance looked nicely kept with green landscaped welcome.

What’s happening–or not happening–inside appears to be a mess.

Sign and new sidewalk area near the entrance to Israel Museum

But, across the street from the Knesset, the Israel Museum entrance has a clean new look.

Do you think this time of year, from “after the holidays” until Hanukkah, it’s quiet on the Jerusalem, Israel, streets?

Not at all, some evenings there are multiple events at the same time!

Israeli President hosts press conference for January Antisemitism conference at Yad Vashem

  1. At Beit Hanasi, President Rivlin hosted a press conference to launch an international conference on antisemitism at Yad Vashem at the end of January.

Ben Moor and Steve LInde BDS and Antisemitism at Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference

2. At the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference,  Chief strategist and Foreign Ministry PMO spokesperson Ben Moore, during an interview with Steve Linde, pointed to recently published antisemitic cartoons.

Unmasking BDS at Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference

The results of his research have confirmed that the BDS movement has succeeded in mainstreaming and desensitizing the West to antisemitism in the Israel context.

J Post diplomatic conference panel on world antisemitism

Another international panel discussed antisemitism. Paul Packer from the US Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad expressed US support for Israel.

J Post Mario Bucoro Ambassador from Guatemala to Israel at J Post Diplomatic Conference

Ambassador Mario Bucaro of Guatemala (third from left) was one of the foreign dignitaries attending.

Tourism Ilanti Melchior sustainable at J Post Diplomatic Conference in Jerusalem

There was more than antisemitism, politicians, and journalists.  Tourism was the topic of Ilanit Melchior’s TEDTalk.

Ilanit Melchior with tourism sustainable slide of world cities.

With 2.5 million visitors to Jerusalem over the holiday season, sustainability and accessibility are important topics. The traffic from tourist buses and rental cars can be felt on the streets.

A very different conference that did not receive as much media attention was held in the Jerusalem International Convention Center.

ICC Temech Conference 2019

3. The tenth Temech Conference for Israeli businesswomen and female entrepreneurs attracted 1000 women from the north and south to Jerusalem.

Tenth Temech Conference networking area in Binynei Hauma

Networking is a very important feature of this event run by women for women.

The English track was smaller than in the past, but the Hebrew-speaking program has grown.

Temech Conference at Jerusalem International Conference Center

The theme ‘Unlock the Wealth’ had panels and speakers appreciated by women aspiring to grow their various endeavors.

Elimination of violence against women rape crisis report in Israel

4. The 2019 Elimination of Violence against Women’s Day was marked at Beit Hanasi.

It’s 50 days after Yom Kippur when the national holiday of Sigd is celebrated.

Woman praying at Sigd event in Jerusalem Israel

5. Sigd was a holiday in Ethiopia when prayers were offered for the return to Zion and Jerusalem.

Ethiopian women praying on Sigd holiday in Jerusalem Israel

Sigd means ‘prostration’ and marks a reaffirmation to Jewish heritage.

Ethiopian religious leaders Kessim in Jerusalem for Sigd

Here the religious leaders called Kessim in their white robes led services in Jerusalem.

Sigd in Jerusalem Israel

Tens of thousands annually gather on the Tayelet with its view of the Old City.

Jerusalem Street Art Festival graffiti at First Station

6. Jerusalem Biennale ‘For Heaven’s Sake!‘ 2019 ends November 28, but the Street Art Festival pieces will be up longer at First Station, adding color to the tourist area.

כט November street sign in Jerusalem for 29 November

7. Time to remember Kaf Tet November, the date the UN accepted the partition plan to establish the State of Israel.

Machane Yehuda Market strawberries

8. With Rosh Chodesh Kislev, strawberry season is approaching.

With sufganiyot, donuts of all sizes, shapes, and flavors – everywhere –

Happy Hanukkah from Real Jerusalem Streets

9. Hannukkah or Hanuka or Chanukah will be here before we know it.

No. No downtime, something is always happening on these Jerusalem streets.

The Unintended Effect with Rabbi Meir Soloveichik

The Unintended Effect with Rabbi Meir Soloveichik

“Whenever you present your work to the public you open yourself up to their “stuff,” was the reply I received from a friend about a negative comment to something I posted.

You never know when you do something or publish something, especially online, what will happen, what the unintended effect might be.

Where will it end up?

Who will see your words or when they will see them is impossible to predict.

The photograph of Sheryl Sandberg with women volunteers from United Hatzalah, took days until it was noticed and shared.

The blog 15 Real Photos of Arab Girls published in 2012, received close to 30,000 views in the past three years.

Rabbi Meir Soloveichik spoke in Jerusalem at the August launch of his new book Proclaiming Liberty Throughout the Land: The Hebrew Bible in the United States, at Beit Avi Chai.

Rabbi Soloveichik mentioned several of the US Presidents. John Adams is to have said that he “longed to see the Jews of Judea as an independent nation.”

Jerusalem book launch Meir Soloveichik

Harry S. Truman had a decades-long time relationship with his friend Eddie Jacobson. From their early interactions in the US Army, to their failed haberdashery business, to Jacobson going to the White House to plead with President Truman to meet with Chaim Weizmann.   Many years passed before Jacobson’s relationship with Truman would play such an important role in the establishment of the State of Israel.

Truman was presented a Sefer Torah by Weizmann as a gift which is now displayed in Truman’s Presidential library.

President Abraham Lincoln wanted to visit the Holy Land but was assassinated before he could do so.  However, his Secretary of State William Seward did visit the Holy Land and recounted a scene that he witnessed at the Western Wall.  Seward wrote in his journal that every Friday was like Tisha B’Av with Jews standing for hours mourning for the destruction of the Temple.

Those US leaders who were familiar with the Bible were influenced by it.

Soloveichik spoke for close to an hour elaborating on his theme: the Founding Fathers’ knowledge of the Hebrew Bible was important in the establishment of the new republic.

Including baseball and historical references, he thoroughly entertained the full-house audience which consisted mostly of Anglo Olim, most were familiar with the rabbi’s family and his reputation as an excellent speaker.

Jerusalem audience for book launch for Meir Soloveichik

However, one person sitting in the next to the last row did not fit this profile.   Her name is Kay Wilson. Kay is the Jewish tour guide who was hiking with her Christian friend, Kristine Luken, who was murdered by terrorists.

The two women went for a walk in December 2010, in a forest area near Beit Shemesh when they were savagely attacked.

Kay was hacked 13 times in the vicious machete attack and left for dead. Amazingly, with her hands tied, bleeding from multiple wounds, with broken bones, barely conscious and barefoot, Kay was able to travel 1200 meters to a parking lot to get help.

The night before the book launch of Proclaiming Liberty Throughout the Land,  I found out that Kay wanted to meet the Rabbi and I offered to try to make it happen.

“Wow! That’s epic!! … I hope I get to meet him, I want to give him my book and thank him for (unknowingly) helping me through stuff” was her response.

“Why do you want to meet the rabbi,” I asked? “Because of something he wrote” she responded.

In February 2003, Rabbi Soloveichik published an essay, “The Virtue of Hate.” It was this piece, which was helpful to Kay in her recovery.

“I meet a lot of people from all creeds and color, and sometimes, albeit well meaning, they suggest I should forgive – for my sake, they like to say.

When I read Rabbi S’s article, it was like the room lit up. His essay not only validated my own rage towards those who tried to murder me, it helped me understand that hating evil is the only right response.  Rabbi Soloveichik’s essay gave me moral clarity, to understand that “he who is cruel to the kind shall be kind to the cruel.”

As soon as the talk was over Kay and I worked our way to the front of the room.

Kay Wilson meeting Meir Soloveichik at book launch in Jerusalem Israel at Beit Avi Chai

The Rabbi and Kay met, smiled, and posed for photographs.

As the rabbi autographed his new book for fans, Kay’s new book The Rage Less Traveled: A Memoir of Surviving a Machete Attack was on the table waiting for him to take home.

Kay’s message of accepting the past, choosing to see light and find good, performing random acts of kindness, and surviving, is inspiring.

In this month of Elul, the season leading up to Rosh Hashana, the New Year, I am sharing Kay Wilson’s powerful presentation at AIPAC

A drop of the terrorist’s blood on her penknife led to their capture.

PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh recently wrote: “The leadership, headed by President Abbas, and the government, are committed to paying the full allowances of martyrs’ & prisoners’ families and reject receiving incomplete, deducted tax funds by Israel.”

Those who attacked Kay and murdered Kristine are paid over $3000 per month, an “execution stipend” Kay calls it. Raising awareness for the “Pay for Slay” policy of the Palestinian Authority has become British-born Kay’s social media cause.

The amount paid to terrorists, convicted murders serving life sentences in prison, the “Pay for Slay” salaries have been increased. European and British governments and media are silent on this travesty.

The beginning of a new year is a time to recall the past and prepare for a better future.

Some memories might be difficult, however, hopefully, their reflection will be used for good.

Where work and words will end up is hard to predict, and their unintended effect is beyond our imagination.

Shana tova  שנה טובה

Shabbat Shalom – Jerusalem Day

Shabbat Shalom – Jerusalem Day

In Jerusalem, Israel the temperature is rising.

The sun is blazing down as we turn the calendar from May to June.

Approaching Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, which this year begins after Shabbat.

Blue and white flags for Shabbat shalom

Blue and white flags are flying over Jerusalem streets.

Jerusalem Old City Walls

Remember from 1948 to 1967, Jews could only see the Old City from afar.

View of Western Wall, Kotel, Shabbat shalom poster

Shabbat Shalom.

Chag Sameach.  Happy Holiday.

It’s time to celebrate the reunification of Jerusalem.