Passover — This Year in Jerusalem

Passover — This Year in Jerusalem

Cold. Wet. Rainy. Hail. Thunder.

These are not words one normally associates with Jerusalem, Israel, on Passover.

The holiday of spring feels more like winter this year.

Kotel for Birkat Chohanim

However, tens of thousands of people crowded around the Kotel, the Western Wall,

Kotel for Birkat Kohanim on Pesach

and the Western Wall Plaza for the annual Passover Birkat HaKohanim, the Priestly Blessing.

In Talpiot, the bowling alley had a long, long line of people waiting to roll.

Due to the weather, museums with free entrance for children were more popular this year than traditional tiyulim, hikes in the countryside. The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem was “packed.”

Pesach section in Israel Museum

The Israel Museum has a special section devoted to Passover.

There is even a video where one can watch how matzah is made by hand.

Pesach seder plate in Israel Museum

Special, distinctive seder plates are on display as well.

1925 silver seder plate in Israel Museum

This is a 1925, three-tiered silver seder plate from Vienna with three sections for matzah.

Men cleaning notes from Western Wall Kosel before Pesach

The annual Passover clean up of notes left in the Kotel stones was done a week before the holiday.

Jaffa Gate Jerusalem Israel

On that morning I entered the Old City by way of the Jaffa Gate,

Jerusalem Israel inside Jaffa Gate

and unlike this morning, the plaza area inside was quiet.

Jerusalem Israel Jewish Quarter street

It was possible to get this photo without any people.

Jerusalem Israel Hurva Synagogue Old City

Next to the Hurva Synagogue in the Rova, Jewish Quarter, this man sat and talked on his phone near the golden menorah.

Kotel in women's section with a little girl and boy dancing.

In the women’s section a young boy and girl had plenty of room to dance.

View from steps of Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem Israel Old City

This is the area that was entirely filled with people today in spite of the cold weather.

Jerusalem Israel view of Kotel

In the area where a stone fell last year, blue scaffolding was next to the wall.

Old City Jerusalem new steps and elevator

And new stairs have been added near the elevator which is still under construction.

View of Har HaZeitim from Old City

The ancient Mount of Olives Jewish Cemetery still looks the same.

Near Zion Gate view of Yemin Moshe Jerusalem Israel

The wet winter was great for greenery, as seen in this view of Yemin Moshe.

Jerusalem Israel view of Artists Colony from Old City

Mitchell Park nearby next to the Artists’ Colony is also full of green.

King David Hotel in Jerusalem Israel

Wild flowers behind the King David Hotel stand out after the spring rains.

For Passover in shuk covered with foil for holiday food

In the Machane Yehudah Market, the shuk, this store covered its counters with foil, and was ready to put out its kosher for Passover food before the holiday.

Piles of fresh garlic on street before Pesach

One of the annual sights and smells of Passover on Jerusalem streets are the piles of fresh garlic for holiday cooking and to be dried out to use for the rest of the year.

Jerusalem Israel Passover preparation on street

And of course, around Jerusalem huge vats of boiling water were ready to kasher metal utensils.

Gardeners going to clean up Jerusalem Israel public spaces before Passover

One new and welcomed sight this year was these young men wearing gardener vests and carrying brand new shiny rakes and rolls of garbage bags. Mayor Moshe Lion had announced that the municipality was going to clean up public areas. Too bad I was on my way home and did not take the time to follow them to see their work area.

Happy Spring Holiday sign in Jerusalem Israel

Chag Aviv Sameach in Yerushalayim.

Happy Spring Holiday in Jerusalem.

Tomorrow is to be warmer and it should  start feeling like spring again on the Jerusalem streets.

 

Jerusalem Winter Nights of Noise

Jerusalem Winter Nights of Noise

Jerusalem, Israel, winter nights are long and the temperatures are low.

Street in Jerusalem Israel with view of Mamilla Hotel in distance

The old narrow streets can be dark, cold, and quiet.

To bring people to the city streets on winter nights, a street festival שאון חורף – Shaon Horef, or Winter Noise was started over seven years ago.

Shaon Horef - Winter Noise Jerusalem Israel Monday nights in February

Shaon Horef  is held in a different location each Monday night in February.

The free cultural festival features varied and often “out of the box” entertainment.

Winter Noise street festival

On February 11, Ben Shetach and Shlomzion Streets were featured.

Each week maps and information of the approximately twenty locations are available in Hebrew, English and Arabic.

Winter Noise festival has female opera singer in a shop at night in Jerusalem

Music and bands perform in multiple locations. An opera singer was singing in this shop.

Art for sale at festival in jerusalem at night in winter

Art was on sale at a market set up along Ben Shetach Street.

Actors and crowd at Winter Noise Festival in Jerusalem

Actors in costume arrived for street performances.

Actors in Winter Noise festival in Jerusalem

At least I assumed they were entertainers, and she was not really the Iranian Ambassador from LA.

Man warming his hands at night during Jerusalem Winter Noise Festival

There were heaters to warm your hands, however, everyone was not outside in the cold.

Baking demonstration for Winter Noise Festival in Jerusalem Israel

This group who preregistered enjoyed a baking demonstration with special breads.

Winter Noise festival in Jerusalem on Ben Sira Street

I went early to get photos before the crowds came to party until the sound curfew at 11:00 pm.

Scene near Jaffa Gate at night

February 18, Shaon Horef  moved to a new location, the Old City at Jaffa Gate.

Shaon Horef Winter Noise Festival projection on Tower of David wall

The light projection on the Tower of David wall is called, ” The Tree of Life.”

It was inspired by Armenian ceramics, and the animation was by Yavin Ben Reshef.

Young couple with child watching in Old City Jerusalem for Winter Noise festival

Inside Jaffa Gate musical performances attracted visitors of all ages.

Jerusalem Israel Old City street night festival Shaon Horef Winter Noise

“Sounds from the Box” a street singer and a magical music box that plays French chansons was outside Jacob’s Pizza, near the Latin Patriarchate.

Winter Noise Festival music inside Tower of David hall Jerusalem

Inside the Tower of David, several venues were readied for multiple musical performances to last all night long. For this Shaon Horef, an after-party was to start at 11:00 pm!

Winter Noise February Monday night street festival in Old City Jerusalem

Of the unusual off the main street events were those in this museum in the Christian Quarter.

Inside Old City Museum for street festival Shaon Horef

A workshop in”slang in sign language” in Hebrew and Arabic was all set up and ready to go.

With eighteen locations on the program, there was no time to stop and sit. I went to see what was happening on the streets.

Woman performer at Shaon Horef Winter Noise Jerusalem street festival

This street performer outside the Tower of David was getting ready and trying to stay warm.

Painting for Jerusalem street festival Winter Noise near Jaffa Gate

This week everyone could be an artist and were invited to paint.

Old City Jerusalem view of Tower of David from Christian Quarter

These festivals provide an opportunity to see Jerusalem streets from different angles and perspectives. Do you recognize the entrance to the Tower of David in this photo?

jerusalem Israel Old City near Jaffa Gate two actors

Not everyone wanted their photo taken! Not really. These actors were actually inviting people get in their act and sit at their table which was set up by Jaffa Gate.

Shaon Horef in video projection on wall of Tower of David in Jerusalem Israel

Shaon Horef  was inside the walls of the Old City near Jaffa Gate.

Jerusalem Israel old city walls at night

I think the area outside is lovely to photograph any night.

I am ending with a couple of short videos, as music is an important aspect of Shaon Horef.

From week #2 at Shlomziyon HaMalka and Ben Shetach Streets.

From week #3 at Jaffa Gate, the light projection with Armenian theme.

For the last Monday in February, Shaon Horef  moves to Talpiot and HaUman Street.

Fifteen locations are on the map. Winter Noise, with an art market, loud music and entertainment, is for all those brave enough to venture out on the cold Jerusalem streets.

Winter Noise souvenir bag

I won a Facebook contest and got this Shaon Horef  bag.

I do not remember the last time I entered a contest and won anything.

I am one of thirty people who won this prize, so look for us out there on the Jerusalem streets.