Torah: Bond for Eternity

Last week an amazing event was held at the Kotel,

the Western Wall.

Tens of thousands of people crowded

into the Kotel Plaza and well beyond to get a view.

They filled the stairways and the Old City streets.

torah scrolls at westwern Wall

They came as 75 Torah scrolls were dedicated,

one for each Israeli killed last summer

in Operation Protective Edge.

Laurent Amram from Montreal

started Kesher Lanetzah, a Bond for Eternity,

with a vision that stated

“We cannot get them back, but we can perpetuate their names.”

The international fund raising campaign 

was a huge success with the last two Torah scrolls

coming from International Young Israel Movement

based in Jerusalem, Israel, including one

 from the Leo V. Berger fund.

However,

Shai Abramson

 before IDF Chief Hazan Shai Abramson sang

Presient Rivlin writing letter in Torah

and President Reuven Rivlin wrote one of the last letters,

Kesher Lanetzah at Kotel

and while all those honored to carry a Torah

into the Plaza for the ceremony stood ready and waiting,

another photo-op was happening in the Women’s Section.

There, near the Kotel, a number of dignitaries had gathered,

to mark another Torah’s journey.

Head of IDF with torah from 1967

New IDF Chief-of-Staff Gadi Eisenkot,

Torah from 1967 returns to western wall

Chief Chaplain Rafi Peretz,

Reuven Rivlin holds torah from 1967

and President Reuven Rivlin,

 took turns holding a small Torah scroll with a navy blue cover.

That Torah scroll was the one that Rav Shlomo Goren held

 on that fateful day in June 1967,

when after 19 years, the Jewish people were

able to return to the Old City and the Kotel.

Torah scrolls

כי מציון תצא תורה, ודבר ה’ מירושלים

For Torah will go forth from Zion,

and the Word of God from Jerusalem.

May this be a good start to the new month of Elul.

man blowing shofer

 חודש טוב

Jerusalem by Night and Day: From Dinosaurs to Conferences

What a week in Jerusalem,

starting off with a fast day on Sunday.

Iftar dinner at Beit Hanasi

At night there was an Iftar meal at Beit Hanasi.

 President Rivlin hosted around 200 guests,

Muslims and Jews breaking their fast in the Presidential Gardens.

sign gets energy from sun

I love these new signs for the buses,

powered by a solar panel,

and how they look in a nighttime photo.

Nighttime in Jerusalem, Israel,

and this summer

dinosaur at Jerusalem gardens

 the dinosaurs are coming out.

Jerusalem Botanical Gardens

The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens

has a summer program at night

dinosaur

which features dozens of dinosaurs.

By day there have been conferences galore.

Part of a large international geneology conference

lady in gold

featured the story of the ‘Lady in Gold”

the painting and history,

the book and the lawyer who retrieved the work

that was stolen by the Nazis.

While at another Jerusalem hotel,

people were attending

the first International Bible Study Week.

Besides Bible scholars,

Gaby Barkay

leading Israeli archaeologist Gabi Barkai

spoke about the Temple Mount.

ancient coins found discarded by Wakf

One of his slides was of ancient coins found while sifting

the dirt removed from the Temple Mount,

but that is a story for another time.

Bible Study in Jerusalem

The German teacher I met at lunch is visiting Israel

and in Jerusalem for the seventh time since 2004.

The more who come to visit, the more who can

appreciate what is really happening,

as there is so much more in Israel than conflict and violence.

conference

The Tzohar rabbinical organization had its conference,

with dozens of speakers and sessions and panels.

woman at conference who posed

And I met a Real Jerusalem Streets fan,

not sure who was more excited.

Being inside all day,

street installation Varda

can make you feel wilted and faded like poor Varda,

that street installation on Jaffa Road.

After late nights and being inside all day,

Gan Haatzmaut

taking a walk

Gan Haatzmaut

through Gan Ha’atzmaut, 

Gan Haatzmaut

Independence Park in Jerusalem,

is a way to end on a bright note.

Hebrew sign

Summer nights and days,

so much going on in all the neighborhoods,

it is hard to keep up with it all.

After Hail on Passover, What Next?

Hail in April,

in Jerusalem, Israel?

Not only was there a hail storm as the holidays ended,

April hail storm in Jerusalem

but this was the scene the next day also.

It looked and felt like winter, not spring.

scene of Jerusalem String Bridge during hail storom

The city looked black and white,

Hail stones from April storm

as 4 mm hail stones fell.

But now,

the Passover things are put away,

and visitors have returned home.

The Happy Passover signs on buses have changed,

bus sign in Hebrew

to wish Jerusalem riders “have a good trip.”

 The skies have cleared

Street near Kikar Safra

and people have returned to the streets,

two Muslim Girls walking in Jerusalem

 some of which are lined with flowers.

Pres and Mrs Rivlin

Two hundred and fifty invited guests associated with OneFamily

filled the main room

at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Home,

with President Reuven and First Lady Nechama Rivlin,

Tastes of Life

to launch a new cookbook.

“Tastes of Life” features foods that mothers made for their

children who were victims of terror.

Each mother shares not only a recipe,

but memories of their loved ones that are gone.

Very different,

but still another way to remember a lost loved one,

St Lousi French Hospital Jerusalem Israel

a new Healing Garden was dedicated by a New York family

in the Hosptial Saint Louis Francais.

In the sunshine, supporters of Kashouvot,

an organization advancing Pastoral Care,

heard the story of Randie Malinsky z”l

who passed away in October

after losing a battle with cancer.

Now hospice patients and families can sit in the garden,

French Hosptial Jerusalem

to talk or watch the light rail and the rest of the world go by.

The “French Hospital” was built in the mid-19th century

and stands next to the Notre Dame,

across from the Old City Walls, near New Gate.

It boasts the only strictly kosher nunnery in world.

Also this week for all to see,

car flag for Yom Haatzmaut

the first Israeli flags are flying from car windows.

Flags over Jerusalem Israel streets

And the large trucks have gone around hanging Jerusalem,

Blue and white flag

and large Israeli flags over the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

The radio is playing sad, slow music,

as soon it will be Yom Hashoah,

Holocaust Remembrance Day,

and the beginning of another busy holiday season.