Colorful Week in Jerusalem

Will it rain tomorrow?

How cold will it be today?

In Jerusalem, Israel, the weather is a constant topic of conversation.

Last week was unusual, with pleasant weather, not too hot, not too cold.

A great week to get out and get some sun before the winter rains return.

My colorful week with good weather began with one of the best views of the Jerusalem Old City from the Tayelet.

Sigd this year was downsized to a few “capsules” with three Kessim at the dais to lead the traditional prayer service which was broadcast live.

Seated a few meters away was “capsule 3” Kessim in a group, socially distanced sitting under their colorful umbrellas. The annual observance in other years attracted thousands for prayers and after the fast a major party, but due to corona restrictions, it was extremely limited this year.

This woman was keeping her distance as she faced Jerusalem’s Old City, but I noticed her cell phone.

This man sat on a wall at the Tayelet, but without the view.

Was he watching the prayers broadcast on his phone?

Security was in place. However, sadly due to COVID-19 few people came.

These new buildings sprung up near the Tayelet and they are part of the change in the neighborhood.

Ahdeya Ahmad Al-Sayed, President of the Bahraini Journalists Association, said she will never forget the photos from Jerusalem of Israel and Bahrain.

The red and white flags of Bahrain were at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence, as the Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, His Excellency Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Alzayani, signed the official guest book before meeting with President Rivlin.

The King David Hotel was open, but King David Street was closed.

I got a photo of the Bahrain and United States flags on the hotel with the Israeli flags as official state meetings were held inside.

The real streets were not involved with meetings unless the drivers were stuck in traffic, which was an all too common occurrence before the coronavirus pandemic.

Now is the time for fall colors – rare and appreciated in Jerusalem.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Knesset-building-garden-outside.jpg

The garden outside the Knesset was more colorful than usual this week.

The flower bed on Herzog Street had reached peak color.

The floral butterfly near Gan Sacher, Sacher Park was past prime time.

It’s time to pick those olives, otherwise, they end up on the ground under the trees, and turn into squashed overripe purple globs. Plenty of photos of those streets, but not such a pretty sight.

Blue skies and white clouds were great for walking this past week.

This path, empty in the past, became so popular I went off to look in different directions.

Groups of children were in parks taking advantage of the sun.

Jerusalem parks were green and filled with student groups.

Jerusalem green spaces were alive with the sounds of children’s voices.

In Nahlaot, where space is dear, green vines grew on and over the streets,

and flower beds add color along the walls in the old narrow lanes.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Jerusalem-synagogue-sets-up-area-outside.jpg

Coronavirus has moved synagogue prayers outside to the Jerusalem streets,

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Jerusalem-Israel-tent-outside-of-yeshiva-building.jpg

and study centers out of the buildings into covered open shelters.

Communal street lending libraries were open when other public ones were closed for browsing due to virus limiting restrictions.

Gan Sacher was green and full of life, as couples strolled in the midday sun, taking advantage of days without rain.

It was a colorful week, with people taking the time to get away from their screens and go outside, from the Tayelet to the Jerusalem Rose Garden where before corona I led nature photo walks.

But I will save those many photos, and share one of my favorite sights this past week before I close.

A woman taking her youngsters out for a walk using one of those rolling pens. The old ones from kibbutz days were made of wood, but this one was made from light metal. They were such a cute sight on their outing.

The Jerusalem new winter signs are up, for “a warm winter and health – because in Jerusalem winter is winter.”

So when the weather is good, it’s good to get out and see the autumn colors.

Take care everyone and stay well.

SIGD Celebrated in Jerusalem

SIGD Celebrated in Jerusalem

Sigd is one of the most photo worthy, special annual events held in Jerusalem, Israel.

Tens of thousands Ethiopian-Israelis and others gathered at the Tayelet, Armon Hanatziv promenade, for the annual Sigd Festival gathering today. Prayers went from early morning through to breaking a fast at 2:00 pm.

Sigd in Jerusalem Israel

Crowds lined the path and filled gardens of the Tayelet with the Old City in view.

Men around Ethiopian holy book at Sigd in tayelet

Besides the main ceremony, men were gathered around their holy books.

View on Old City on Sigd with figures dressed as in time to Beit Hamikdash

These cutout figures were dressed as in Temple times.

Ethiopian Israeli man and woman with view of Jerusalem in background

Generations of Ethiopian-Israelis come together on Sigd.

Sigd Ethiopian festival in Jerusalem Israel

For thousands of years in Ethiopia, they dreamed of returning to Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Israel women in costume for Sigd

For Sigd, smiles and colorful costumes were abundant.

Ethiopian Sigd holiday and women praying.

White clothing was worn by women dressed in old traditional outfits prayering.

Sigd prayers in Jerusalem Israel

These women were probably all born in Ethiopia, each must have a story of how they and families arrived in Israel.

Crowds were huge. Security was especially tight.

Jerusalem Israel Ethiopian Israeli rabbi Rav Shaul

But at least I got to see Rav Shaul and others arrive and enter, as I impatiently waited entry.

Kessim on stage for Sigd at Haas Promenade

Once in the very restricted area, this was view of the main stage with the Kessim under colorful umbrellas.

Ethiopian religious leaders Kessim in Jerusalem for Sigd

The prayers were still being chanted around noon.

Kessim at Sigd Jerusalem Israel

One man near the stage raised his hands in prayer.

Kessim shaking hands with President Rivlin at Sigd

President Rivlin reached up to shake hands with the Kessim as he proceeded to the stage to speak.

Ethiopian Israeli women walking to find bus home from Sigd

So many buses, from all over Israel were lined up, it was a long walk for these women to find their bus home. One was complaining in Hebrew about the distance, but I thought how much longer and difficult was the journey from Ethiopia to Israel.

Sigd was celebrated 50 days after Yom Kippur by Ethiopian Jews going to the mountains yearning to return to Zion. On the top of the mountain, the faithful would pray and fast. At the conclusion of the prayers, the Kessim would break bread known as Dabu which symbolized the bread served in the Temple. Today in Jerusalem, Israel, Sigd was remembered looking toward the Old City and site of the Temple.

Here is a short video near the end of the prayer service.

More Sigd photos on Facebook HERE 

Jerusalem after Another Terror Attack

Jerusalem after Another Terror Attack

 There is a spot in Jerusalem, Israel,

with so majestic a view

that tourists from around the world

are brought by the busload to appreciate the sight.

Sherover Promenade Tayelet sign

The Sherover Promenade which leads to the Haas Promenade

has a view of the Old City of ancient Jerusalem surrounded by its walls

Old City Jerusalem Israel from Tayelet

and all the neighborhoods adjacent to it.

Parties, reunions, weddings and more,

are held along these promenades, called the Tayelet.

Tayelet Haas Promenade empty on Friday after terror attack

On Friday, January 13, 2017,

they were almost deserted.

Metal fencing after terror attack on tayelet

The lawns by the road were now lined with metal barriers.

Ironically, as I approached,

a large white truck was pulling away.

Truck with learner symbol Jerusalem tayelet

It was on Sunday,  just a few days before,

that a terrorist had rammed his large white truck into a crowd

of young Israeli soldiers on an outing to appreciate the view.

Four were killed and more injured.

On Friday afternoon,

Community event at Tayelet security Jerusalem

local residents gathered at the spot,

Candles and lights on tayelet for 4 murdered Israeli soldiers

to mourn, to remember.

Boy lighting memorial candle site 4 young Israelis killed

and to light a candle

Memorial candles lit for 4 victims of terror Jerusalem

at the make-shift memorials.

They also sang songs of peace and hope,

and melodies to welcome the Shabbat.

Artists4Israel on Friday at Tayelet

While community members joined together

to take back their valued space,

Artists4Israel worked on a mural.

One of the organizers shared her thoughts,
“Our neighborhood has been hit
by several terrorist attacks over this past year,
but we continue to rise again and again,
because this is what we do.”

Mural by Artists4Israel posted on Tayelet

“There should be peace within your borders,

serenity in your palaces.”

What else is there to say?

AMEN.