Shabbat Shalom

Shabbat Shalom

In Jerusalem, Israel,

during Fridays of Ramadan,

traffic increases.

Jerusalem Israel Friday for Ramadan street closing and traffic

Buses creep along in multiple directions.

Streets are closed and lanes blocked.

Temple Mount as seen from Old City Yeshiva HaKotel

The Temple Mount fills with Muslims for prayers.

Helicopters circle overhead.

Two Jewish men walking in Jerusalem Israel on Ramadan Friday

Jewish men walk to Old City for Shabbat evening prayers.

While not far away,

view from Hotel Yehudah Jerusalem Israel

the Jerusalem hills are quiet and serene.

שבת שלום

Sigd Celebrated in Jerusalem

Sigd, the Ethiopian holiday which falls on 29 Heshvan,

50 days after Yom Kippur, was celebrated on the Tayelet.

view of old city

A spot with the best views of the Old City, but

with heightened security in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood.

crowd Sigd

Also, somewhat smaller crowds were out on the Haas Promenade.

Buses brought Ethiopian Israelis from all over Israel

to celebrate the annual event, a national holiday since 2008.

Ethiopian soldiers at Sigd

I love to see the young men in uniform,

three girls at Sigd

and the girls too.

But, Sigd is not just eating, dancing, and socializing.

Sigd began centuries ago in Ethiopia,

with leaders gathering on a mountaintop and praying to return to Zion.

Today they have returned.

Kessim at Sigd

 Kessim, religious leaders dressed in white,

Kessim at Sigd

were seated at this long dais and more

Kessim and umbrellas

were in the audience, under their colorful umbrellas.

Prayers and speeches by government officials are part of the day.

After President Reuven Rivlin spoke,

Rivlin at Sigd

he went down the line and shook hands with the dignitaries.

Only a small part of the crowd of thousands, mostly the elders,

crowd seated at Sigd

were seated, with politicians and dignitaries in front.

However, one woman caught my attention.

older woman praying

What was she thinking?

Did she remember Sigd from Ethiopia?

What had she gone through to get here?

view old city from Sigd

She stood during the speeches looking towards the Old City,

towards the Temple Mount in the distance.

Sigd has become one of my favorite events.

Interesting, both last year and in 2012,  I also wrote that

we were in the midst of “difficult times.”

Kessim under umbrella

I must find out what this is hair-like thing is,

 I noticed several of them this year.

two girls at Sigd on Tayelet

Sigd, where ancient blends with the modern,

selfie at Sigd

and the very modern customs and practices.

The program ended in the early afternoon.

Shabbat also starts very early

with just a few hours to prepare before it is dark.

View of Temple Mount from Tayelet

Wishing a Shabbat Shalom to all from Jerusalem,

where sometimes dreams do come true.

Mughrabi Bridge: Open–Shut

The news that

the Mughrabi Bridge was reopened

inspired a trip to the Old City today.

Entering the Old City by way of Jaffa Gate

as two beautiful horses were leaving,

meant having to be extra careful walking on the stones.

The scene outside the Kotel, Western Wall Plaza, seemed quiet and normal.

But there was one thing I really wanted to see today and there it was inside…

the fire engine that was there to keep the entire Middle East from igniting.

In case this wooden structure leading to the Temple Mount catches on fire,

this fire truck will be there to save everyone.

The Kotel, the Western Wall Plaza,

was the background for TV cameras,

 as both international journalists

and international sport teams were visiting today.

Wonder if they noticed that at 2:00pm,

the fire truck left.

For Muslims there are ten different entrances to the Temple Mount,

for Jews and other non-Muslims, this gate is, or was, the only way to go.

As Hamas celebrates 24 years,

I wonder if any of them have actually seen what the fuss is all about?

But they are so proud to have killed 1,365 Israelis and wounded over 6,000

in these last 24 years…would they care?

Post from two weeks ago on Mughrabi Bridge:

Mughrabi Bridge