Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova

Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova

Long lines were in Jerusalem, Israel supermarkets as people prepared for holiday meals.

View of Western Wall, Kotel, Shabbat shalom poster

Soon after Shabbat,

5778 Shana tova on Jerusalem Israel bus

on Rosh Hashana we will change from 5778 to 5779 as new year begins,

Man blowing shofar and son watches and soldier passes by

with sounds of the shofar.

Israeli soldiers

Praying for a peaceful, healthy, good,

pomegrante seeds

prosperous, and fruitful new year.

Sign Shabbat Shalom

שבת שלום

שנה טובה וכתיבה וחתימה טובה

Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, Raise Your Glass

Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, Raise Your Glass

In Jerusalem, Israel, it seems everyone is

is getting into the holiday mood,

as Rosh Hashanah,

the Jewish New Year, approaches.

Finally on Sunday, it felt cooler, as

Beit Hanasi symbol

  I was at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence

and noticed this new arrangement in the front garden.

Major renovations have been underway for months,

Beit Hanasi renovations

both outside and inside the building.

But the mess of construction has not interrupted

Beit Hanasi getting cleaned by power-wash

holiday preparations or official receptions.

Flowers with pomegrante

The flower arrangements included a fake pomegranate,

as the First Lady and the wife of Chief of Staff of the IDF

hosted 30 lone soldiers.

It was a rather modest event,

Walter Bingham ai Beit Hasnasi

with the highlights of the day being Walter’s outfit

Box for phones

and this box for soldiers’ cell phones to be deposited during the program.

New Year reception at Beit Hanasi for lone soldiers

The program was held in the formal meeting room,

Fist Lady Nechama Rivlin with lone solders at Beit Hanasi

with a group photo at its conclusion.

Then on Monday, it was back to Beit Hanasi again

Beit Hanasi new emblem

 where glass pieces had completed this design.

Ambassadors at Beit Hanasi

At the President’s reception for foreign Ambassadors

business cards were exchanged and

newly arrived diplomats from around the world met.

Beit Hanasi food

There was no comparison to the simple food served the day before.

It was disappointing that the US Ambassador was back in the US,

Ambassadors at Beit Hanasi

but Egyptian Ambassador Hazem Khairat

and Jordanian Ambassador Walid Obeidat

were seated in the front row

and greeted me later with “Shanah tovah.”

Rosh Hashana table at Beit Hanasi

The holiday treats were impressive

Tzipi Hotovely taking a photo of the food at Beit Hanasi

enough for Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely

to take a photo of them on her cell phone.

Rosh Hashana at Beit Hanasi reception for Ambassadors

Israelis do take “raising a glass’ seriously,

from lone soldiers to diplomats,

businesses and organizations,

reception after reception,

l’Chaim,

to celebrate Jewish New Year.

I finally got used to year 5777,

5778 Shana tova on Jerusalem Israel bus

and now it’s changing to 5778

Shanah tovah

Good New Year to all.

20 Signs of Rosh Hashana in Jerusalem

The end of 5774 is in sight

and signs of the new year are everywhere.

image Rosh Hashana

The municipality has posted signs wishing a good year to Jerusalem 5775.

This morning, there are dark circles under many eyes of those

who stayed up late for Selihot prayers, and then woke up early this morning.

The Selichot prayers are scheduled almost non-stop,

and there are even tours to see those who recite the special prayers.

image Hebrew sign

One is to be held in Kikar Safra, the Jerusalem Government Square.

image free bus sign

These new signs are for free buses to the Old City,

I had to try one and not walk every time.

Many pre-holiday parties include “raising a cup” to toast the new year,

image truck inspedtion

which makes it a perfect time for road stops to test vehicles and drivers.

image Israel police

But not all police were busy with ticketing or crime this week.

So much to do this short week before Rosh Hashana,

food shopping is crazy and time is stretched to limits.

Emek St Fair walking dogs lots of them pushing a baby

This man is often seen on skate board walking dogs,

but for first time I saw him pushing a baby stroller.

I wondered ‘his own, or some family short on time?’

image people in sukka

Friends who are visiting had time for brunch.

Signs were up for sales, but this restaurant got the first sukka photo for this year.

Every organization is looking for end-of-year donations,

image zedukah

this woman held a sign asking for charity in the Old City,

image homeless man on streets

and this man on Jaffa Street had no sign.

He just held an empty cup.

But there are much prettier sights this time of year,

image limes

like these new limes on the tree ready to be picked,

image Yemin Moshe Jerusalem, Israel

  and wonderful flowers, not just outside on the streets,

but inside

image Jewish holiday table

getting ready for holiday tables as well.

image small park in Israel

Public parks have been cleared and private gardens are ready,

since shmita, the year of not working the land, begins at Rosh Hashana.

 The notes in the Western Wall,

image notes in western wall

were overflowing before the holiday clean up,

image notes western wall

but no one was going to peek at this message wrapped tightly in blue thread.

image chairs at kosel

New chairs were delivered, all ready for the holiday crowds on the plaza.

image blowing shofar at Kosel

It is shofar time,

image soldiers IDF

and after 5774 years

image women at kotel

עם ישראל חי

Am Yisrael Chai,

bus sign Shana tova

Shana tova.