Shabbat Shalom

Winter has arrived.

Jerusalem, Israel, experienced

 pouring rain and windy stormy weather last night.

While parts of North America are colder and covered in snow,

the sun is shining in Jerusalem this morning.

I hope those winds do not blow me away,

but we are off to celebrate with friends from Australia.

Wishing all a warm and healthy and restful Shabbat.

Flowers for Shabbat shalom sign

שבת שלום

After Fasting and Praying for Rain, Shabbat Shalom

The tenth day of tenth Hebrew month,

Asara B’Tevet is a fast day.

It marks the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem

which culminated in the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE

and the exile to Babylon.

Beit Hamikdash model at Israel Museum

This model of the Holy Temple sits outside the Israel Museum

Corner stone from Beit Hamikdash in Israel Museum

and this inscribed corner stone from the Second Temple is on display inside.

Jerusalem Israel Old City model to Second Temple on roof of Aish Hatorah overlooking Dome of Rock

Another model sits on the roof of the Aish HaTorah Center in the Old City,

with the Dome of the Rock showing in the background.

Thousands of people attended

special prayers for rain held yesterday at the Kotel,

the Western Wall, as Asara b’Tevet was coming to an end.

Farmers are complaining of poor growing conditions

because of the lack of rain and the warm weather.

But the weather was good for weddings this week.

Jewish wedding ceremony

So many weddings,

and each night the blessings ended with

 “Soon, Lord our God, may there be heard in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem,

the sounds of joy and gladness,

the sounds of the bridegroom and bride…”

The sun set, and the fast was over.

Time to prepare for Shabbat.

Poster Shabbat Shalom on Jewish Temple model at Israel Museum

From the days of old

to the present,

may there always be singing

in the streets of Jerusalem.

Shabbat Shalom.

View of Western Wall, Kotel, Shabbat shalom poster

שבת שלום