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
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,
both outside and inside the building.
But the mess of construction has not interrupted
holiday preparations or official receptions.
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,
with the highlights of the day being Walter’s outfit
and this box for soldiers’ cell phones to be deposited during the program.
The program was held in the formal meeting room,
with a group photo at its conclusion.
Then on Monday, it was back to Beit Hanasi again
where glass pieces had completed this design.
At the President’s reception for foreign Ambassadors
business cards were exchanged and
newly arrived diplomats from around the world met.
There was no comparison to the simple food served the day before.
It was disappointing that the US Ambassador was back in the US,
but Egyptian Ambassador Hazem Khairat
and Jordanian Ambassador Walid Obeidat
were seated in the front row
and greeted me later with “Shanah tovah.”
The holiday treats were impressive
enough for Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely
to take a photo of them on her cell phone.
Israelis do take “raising a glass’ seriously,
from lone soldiers to diplomats,
businesses and organizations,
reception after reception,
to celebrate Jewish New Year.
I finally got used to year 5777,
and now it’s changing to 5778
Good New Year to all.