9 New Holiday Scenes in Jerusalem

 Jerusalem, Israel,

is old and new and constantly changing.

These birds flying over the ancient walls of the Old City

Jerusalem migrating birds

are migrating as they have for centuries,

though those powerful lights are new.

Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Israel new window display

The Waldorf-Astoria has new window displays.

Jerusalem Israel sunset view

New towers are being built,

 the Jerusalem skyline is changing.Mamilla Mall view at sunset from near Jaffa Gate

At the David Citadel Hotel, those white things in the distance

are balconies being prepared for Sukkot holiday meals.

View of Jaffa Gate from outside Jerusalem Israel

I was at Jaffa Gate at sunset

and looked up at the Tower of David,

Tower of David, Jerusalem Israel Old City

to see something new on top.

That is a special cork sukka designed as part of the

 3rd Jerusalem Jewish Contemporary Art Biennale,

by artist Avner Sher.

At the Jaffa Gate below there is nothing new,

Keporos at Old City with live bird

just this man performing the kapparot ritual

moving around a live chicken.

Man waving bird over head of two women for Keporos at Jaffa Gate Jerusalem

These women did not look as comfortable with

the ancient custom to absolve one’s sins before Yom Kippur.

Jerusalem Old City train for tourist to Western Wall

The new Old City Train was ready bright and ready to go.

Lights of new food places above Cardo in Old City Jerusalem Israel

Here are two new bright signs above the Old Cardo.

Jerusalem Israel new sound and light show City of David

The City of David has a new sound and light show.

Jewish second temple stone found in excavation under site of new police station

This decorative stone from the Second Temple is a new find

 by archaeologists near the Kotel, the Western Wall.

I went to the Old City before Yom Kippur,

Western Wall selihos booklet for late night Selihot at the Kotel.

Synagogue Old City Sephardi

While the synagogues were quiet that night,

New police station and roof of building near Kotel for selihot

from the new observation spot above the

new police station building

Western Wall Plaza full of people for sehlhos after midnight

the crowd stretched further than my lens could capture.

Kotel for Selihot 5778 Jerusalem Old City Israel

Tens of thousands of people kept arriving

though it was well after midnight.

Women at Kotel for Selichot 5778

Would selfies at the Kotel be considered new?

Jerusalem Israel Old City view of Western Wall and dome of Rock at night

The dome and wall are certainly not new,

but always impressive sight lit up at night,

so late that no transportation was in sight.

For the last time this year,

Bus from Old City with sign Gmara Hatima Tova

here is a bus with the Yom Kippur greeting,

“Gmar Hatima tova”

“May you be sealed for a good year.”

Now that is old too.

As soon as Yom Kippur ended in Jerusalem,

Jerusalem Israel sukka on a balcony

sukkot started popping up.

If you would like to not only see the Kotel scene,

but hear a bit of the selihot prayer,

I am sharing this short video:

Now it is time to prepare for new holiday and guests.

חג שמח

Chag sameach.

Walk Around Jerusalem See the Gates

Have you ever walked around Jerusalem?

That is, have you ever walked

around the Walls of the Old City?

On Tisha B’Av night for the last few years,

I have walked around the walls,

and this time I took photos to share with you.

Security was visible,

Tisha B'Av security Jerusalem

but not more than in previous years.

tisha b av Jerusalem march around wall old city

The route starts on Agron Street and goes past the hotels.

With King David Street in the background,

tisha BAv night in Jerusalem Israel

as we turned the corner headed to the Old City,

there were hundreds of people, young and not so young,

some walking with baby carriers and some with canes.

Distances are not what most expect,

New Gate Old City night time Jerusalem israel

for it take only minutes to

 pass the first gate – the New Gate.

tisha BAv crowd in Jerusalem

Everyone walks together as a group

Jerusalem Israel Tisha BAv

carrying dozens of Israel flags,

Damascus Gate Jerusalem Israel

on to a quiet Damascus Gate

Flowers Gate at night Jerusalem

and a quieter Flower Gate.

Jerudsalem Rockefeller Museum at night

 We walked by the Rockefeller Museum on the left.

Old City walk at night

Before you know it,

Jerusalem signs

it is time to turn the corner.

Jerusalem old city walls at night

The lights on the walls of the Old City

shone brightly against the dark sky.

Lion's Gate Old City Jerusalem

Soon we approached the Lion’s Gate,

Night Old City Walls Jerusalem Israel

on a street closed to traffic and quiet,

in stark contrast to the Kotel,

Kotel at night Tisha BAv

the Western Wall.

Tens of thousands came to mourn,

some sit all night on the stones.

View of Western Wall on Tisha B'av night

Every day thousand of people come to Old City,

but not many have walked around the walls.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief tour,

and perhaps you will come soon to see for yourself.

Jerusalem, Israel, on Tisha B’Av,

 a unique experience.

Additional photos HERE

Jerusalem before Rosh Hashannah

The week of preparations for Rosh Hashanah in Jerusalem, Israel,

begins with a very late Saturday night.

selichos Jerusalem

Hundreds tried to pack into Ohel Nechama Synagogue

for special musical selichot service at 11:30 pm.

It was too crowded and hot for me,

Jerusalem sehilchos

so I went to the Great Synagogue,

where over a thousand people,

came to hear the Chazan who always draws a large crowd.

western wall prayer

Then on to the Old City and the Kotel, Western Wall,

where groups of men gathered to read the Selihot prayers.

Selihot at western wall

Thousands of people were there.

Remember this is already after 1:00 am,

and people were still arriving as I left.

old city sleichos

But walking through the Rova, the Jewish Quarter,

I heard singing and music.

I followed the sounds to a small synagogue where another

Carlebach-style minyan was going on and on.

There were other large crowds

on the Jerusalem, Israel streets this week,

but you probably did not hear about them.

security

This bus blocked Emek Refaim Street,

Yad2 street fair

for a neighborhood street fair sponsored

 by Yad2, a second-hand selling group.

crowd on Emek Refaim

Huge crowds turned out and the streets were full.

Young and old were able to stroll and shop,

to the music of many different musicians playing along the street.

costumed dancer

A man inside this inflated costume performed all kinds of contortions

as a Klezmer Band played in the background.

child entertianer

This puppeteer had an impressive collection of puppets

and put on a show that involved children in the audience.

entertainer at Yad2 fair

Many street entertainers performed,

two people in costume

it was a colorful event that went on for hours,

but I had to leave.

Muslim man and woman going to Emek REaim street

I was walking over to Hansen House

for a special event.

A much smaller crowd gathered in the courtyard,

of the Old Leper Hospital,

under renovation as a cultural and tech center.

Hansen Hospital courtyard

Six impressive Israeli StartUps presented.

Lishtot, a way to test water quality in two seconds,

won the StartUp Open 2015 competition

of the Global Entrepreneurship Network.

Lishtot will represent Israel in the global contest to be held in November.

And then,

Ols City view during sandstorm

the skies filled with dirt,

with particles too small to be called a sandstorm,

but a miserable haze,

where the Old City Walls were difficult to see.

Hot and dirty air is keeping me off the streets today.

Tower of David

But, before Rosh Hashannah I would rather go

back to photos from earlier in the week to end,

Maillma Mall art work

on a much more pleasant note.

שנה טובה

Happy New Year.

Statue of musicians in Mamilla Mall not enough,

here are links for two short videos

of Old City selihot.

 Chziki Sofer not only sings Carlebach, he sounds like Reb Shlomo.