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.

12 Signs of Seasons in Jerusalem

12 Signs of Seasons in Jerusalem


Countdown time to Rosh Hashana.

Early morning, the sounds of the shofar are heard on the streets.

Late night pre-selichot musical programs are announced daily.

Pomegranates growing on tree Jerusalem, Israel

Pomegranates are a favorite sign of the season.

Lime tree in Jerusalem

Limes ready to pick off the tree are another sign.  These annual fruits shine in morning sun.

Jerusalem Mayor campaign sign

Another season of election campaigning has begun.  Yellow “Ofer Berkovitch for our  Mayor” banners hang from buildings.

Jerusalem Mayor race Moshe Lion

Moshe Lion is running for mayor again. This was one of the early signs for his campaign.

His new posters “Lion, Rosh Ha’ir Bulldozer” just don’t work in English. I missed getting a photo of the huge one on the side of a bus, but here is one on the bottom left.

Rachel Azaria, Yossi Havilo, and Yossi Daitch have announced that they are running for Mayor.

Jerusalem Mayor race Zev Elkin

Zeev Elkin, also a candidate for mayor, was bigger than life up on the side of this building near the entrance to Jerusalem.

Campaign poster for Elkin with Prime Minister

Small Elkin signs showing the support of the Prime Minister are posted. Elkin has been making appearances and speaking at Jerusalem synagogues.

Avi S running for Mayor of Jerusalem

New Year greetings from candidate Avi Salman are now on the wall near where Elkin’s huge poster had been.

Arieh King for Jerusalem Israel Mayor

And Aryeh King’s face is popping up on signs along the road.

The only sure thing about this race for Mayor of Jerusalem is that there is no sure thing.

New playground at Jerusalem Israel Liberty Bell Park

A sign of an election season?

Work is progressing on a new playground in Liberty Bell Park. A playground was on this spot, was taken down, and is finally being rebuilt with interesting cement shaped slides and more.

Zion Square dug up under construction

For many years this spot was historic Kikar Tzion, Zion Square. Now it is ripped up and a construction site.

Jerusalem Israel street sign wrong.

A fence surrounds the mess. There is a ramp to enter the bank and an arrow directing to Yoel Salomon Street.

Sign for Jerusalem Israel Gateway Project with spelling error due to being short on space

In case you could not read the small orange sign easily, here is one from another location.

I sure hope the construction in Jerusalem is planned better than these warning signs.

Some days it seems that half of Jerusalem is torn up and under construction.

Jerusalem Israel bike path construction

From Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, to Nayot Park, to Malha, sideways are under various stages of construction for a continuous bike route.

I will skip the protest signs and end with one of my favorite signs of the season, perhaps the year.

Jerusalem Israel street sign welcome to first grade in school

“Shalom Kitah Aleph.” Welcome to first grade students.

Beit Avi Chai is having a special “letters festival” for children entering first grade, with live music, workshops, and more.

The biggest sign of the season as summer ends is preparation for the new school year.


5 Jerusalem Tu B’Av Scenes Not in Headlines

5 Jerusalem Tu B’Av Scenes Not in Headlines

The full moon was shining over the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

Red balloons were tied outside of restaurants, street cafes, and wine bars.

Celebrations had begun for Tu B’Av, the “Jewish Valentines Day,” the week after  Tisha B’Av. 

Extra security was posted along the path between Yemin Moshe and Sultan’s Pool, where the Jerusalem Film Festival was having its opening night.

Scene 1:

Female Israeli security guarding at night Jerusalem

In the shadows, were three Ethiopian-Israeli women in uniform posted on guard duty by the gate.

Artists Colony at night Jerusalem Israel

The Artists’ Colony was empty, until the International Arts Festival, from August 6 – 18.

Teddy Park Fountain lit at night Jerusalem Israel

But nearby the fountain in Teddy Park was full. Day and night, all summer long, one hears the squeals of children enjoying the water and at night, there is music too.

Scene 2:

Jerusalem Teddy Park Fountain at night Muslim women and children and Jewish women and children

Teddy Park is a place where Muslims and Jews come together regularly, night and day.

Lights on walls of Jerusalem Old city at night

The Old City Walls were lit for the Tu B’Av crowds to enjoy.

Israeli Squash Tournament near Jaffa Gate Jerusalem Old City

In keeping with the RJS theme: “What will you find next on the Jerusalem streets?” the Israeli Squash Tournament was being held near Jaffa Gate.

Israel Squash Tournament in Jerusalem near Jaffa Gate

Israeli athletes competed in a specially constructed area,

Israeli Squash Tournament at Jaffa Gate

playing for large trophies,

Israel Squash Tournament trophies

lots of large trophies and medals for various age groups.

People watching Squash Tournament including Jerusalem Mayor

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat was sitting front and center watching a game.

Scene 3:

Arab couple and children watching Squash Tournament in Jerusalem Israel near Jaffa Gate

As they strolled through the plaza, this young Muslim family stopped to watch.

People watching Squash Tournament in Israel near Jerusalem Jaffa Gate

However, I thought this was one event best seen on TV.

Jaffa Gate Tower of David full moon

The moon was shining above as I walked from Jaffa Gate to the Kotel, the Western Wall.

Night of Tu B'Av men at Kotel

The men’s section had many empty chairs and tables.

Tu B'Av women at night at Kotel praying

However, the women’s section was filled with hundreds of women–there was not one empty seat.

Scene 4:

Women praying at Kotel on Tu BeAv

One group praying together was of special interest. Israeli women from across the religious spectrum came from north and south to pray together.

After praying in unison at the Kotel, dozens of women arrived to join them for a Tu B’Av celebration nearby.

Tourists at night at Kotel taking photos

The Old City was filled with thousands of people, tourist groups, and Israelis of all ages. Photos and selfies galore were taken by excited visitors.

Scene 5:

IDF soldier carrying a baby being helped by Haredi men near Kotel on stairs

I will leave you with one last scene on the stairs near the Kotel.

A young IDF soldier was holding a baby on this left arm and a folded stroller on his right arm, with backpacks dangling over his shoulder and his kippa in his hand.

First, one man insisted on taking the stroller from him and up the stairs. Then another young man turned to help to carry the backpacks.

None of these five scenes are considered headline worthy.

But all happened on the night of Tu B’Av on the Jerusalem streets.

With headlines of division, strikes and protests, 5 scenes of comfort, of rays of light in the darkness.