Another very up and down week with the Jerusalem weather, constantly changing from winter to spring–almost summer-like.
When the sun came out, or at least the rain stopped, it was time to get out and walk and see what was new happening as people are returning to the Jerusalem streets. Yes, even some tourists are back!
First, the Jerusalem shopping area along Jaffa Road was busy, a positive sign of things in Jerusalem returning to normal and coming back to life.
Purim costumes on display – a sure sign Purim is a month away.
This sign was posted inside the Kosovo Embassy in Jerusalem for the celebration of 14 years of Kosovo independence held on February 17th.
Charge d’affaires Ines Demiri posed near her country’s flag with each dignitary as they arrived, here smiling with Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan Nahoum who represented Jerusalem municipality.
Representing Israel at the event was Minister Matan Kahana who spoke to the standing-room-only crowd, including Ambassadors to Israel.
This was after the green pass restriction was lifted, but as you see most people wore masks except when speaking or eating. It’s been two years or more since I saw some of the people, and there were plenty of comments about masks and recognizing each other at the feel-good evening.
The week began with these FREEDOM signs arriving in Jerusalem, Israel on vehicles from all parts of the country, copying the Canadian convoy.
Assembling near the Knesset, protesters posted signs on the menorah in the traffic circle near the main entrance, certainly not feel-good ones.
One day there was a giant covid virus near the menorah, and people dressed in costumes. Ready for Purim or not-for-Purim?
Food and tents and wood-burning stoves – these people came prepared.
Shabbat morning with the green pass requirement lifted, the Jerusalem Great Synagogue had 75 people attending according to my friend’s count.
I walked by the “FREEDOM” tent city on Shabbat morning and counted about the same number of tents as there were people in the 1200-seat shul.
A friend in Hong Kong said the Ohel Leah Synagogue was closed on Shabbat due to pandemic restrictions, and there is a two-week quarantine restriction.
Here in Jerusalem, hundreds are protesting. Last year it was anti-Bibi. This year it’s anti-government. At least near the Knesset, there are very few residents who will be disturbed by the noise, as opposed to the noisy protests that were held near Balfour Street.
Across Eliezer Kaplan Street from the Knesset, I found it more exciting to see that the construction fence around the new Israel National Library was removed and landscaping has started.
New signs are going to be needed as the major project progresses.
I noticed some new signs for modest dress in Meah Shearim.
For those who don’t know the Jerusalem streets, Meah Shearim is right across the street from what is called “east” Jerusalem. Shimon Hatzadik/ Sheikh Jara is minutes from this spot.
Now, this was a sign I had to share. So guess where I had to go?
Right – on Hanevim Street!
Walking past the Ethiopian Consulate constructed in 1928,
the large building is not looking good these days through the shuttered gate.
These signs and the entrance gate down the street were hard to pass,
without peeking into the gate of the new hotel. Quite a contrast to the old stone buildings on the street with ongoing renovations.
There is much more on the historic and busy Hanaviim Street with Conrad Shick’s home so large it is hard to photograph with non-stop traffic.
One more sign, “Continued path blocked” – I did not obey this week.
The path by Sir Charles Clore Hill Gardens has been under construction and has not been passable for some time.
There is still work to be done to fix the under-road passage to Sacher Park.
But, though I would only go there in the day in the past, new lights make this a much more desirable way to walk in the future.
And new seats have been placed along the path with either a view of the Knesset and Israel Museum or facing away from the afternoon sun.
The valley below and to the Israel Museum is a gorgeous green now and
when the sun shines with the red flowers, the best signs of spring in Jerusalem.
Since it’s February, in the US it’s Presidents Birthday weekend, which means it’s time again for the Jerusalem street signs for Lincoln, pronounced by Israelis as Link-o-lin, and occasionally Avraham,
and Washington Street. Does anyone local say George Washington Street?
And back around to where I started this whirlwind Jerusalem tour, if you walk between Lincoln and Washington Streets, you will find the sign and flag flying outside the Kosovo Embassy in Jerusalem.
Lots more happening on the Jerusalem streets, but enough for now, more next time.
Take care and stay well.