Jerusalem Streets Closed for Maccabiah Runners

Jerusalem Streets Closed for Maccabiah Runners

In the first six months of this year,

Israel saw a record number of tourists.

That confirms my saying there have been

so many tour buses on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

This week also felt like a new record in the making.

No sooner had the Prime Minister of India left,

that the President of Rwanda arrived,

followed by the Irish Foreign Minister.

I thought someone made a mistake in the official guest book,

Israel President's official gust book

but the calligraphy was ready and waiting for the next guest.

I feel sorry for the person in charge of flags,

trying to keep the correct ones up for each official delegation.

But not just tourists and international delegations

have arrived in record numbers.

The World Maccabiah sports competitions are being held

from July 4- July 17, 2017.

10,000 athletes, from 80 countries,

compete for medals in Jerusalem and around the country.

Maccabiah flags were displayed outside of Beit Hanasi,

the Israeli President’s official residence

 for a meeting of World Maccabiah delegates with

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

Flags for Maccabiah outside Beit Hanasi in gardens with man representing South Korea sitting on ground

South Korea was represented by this man competing in Judo.

Most people were wearing regular clothing

Australia at Maccabiah at Beir Hanasi

but these Australians wore Maccabi shirts,

and stopped long enough to pose for a photo.

Children choir from Beer Sheva at Beit Hanasi for Maccabiah

The beautiful voices of a children’s choir group

from Beer Sheva provided entertainment,

between the effusive and positive speeches.

Attention was given to break of protocol when

 President Rivlin hugged the Indian Prime Minister.

But after the official photo with leaders of World Maccabiah,

the President again broke protocol

and walked to the back of the room

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin meets with Maccabiah

to take selfies with members of the Maccabiah group.

The affection and excitement was impressive.

US Olympic swimmers Jason Lezack and Lenny Krayzelberg for Maccabiah at Israeli President House

Also impressive were

Jason Lezack and Lenny Krayzelberg,

USA gold Olympic medalists.

And much less familiar swimmers,

Maccabiah swimmer from Suriname at Israeli president residence for Maccabiah

like Yigal Kopinsky of Suriname.

I could go on and on with the interesting countries

and delegates from Puerto Rico, Barbados, and more.

But I want to share what happened on the Jerusalem streets

with tens of thousands participating,

not just a few special individuals.

For the Jerusalem Maccabiah Night Run,

runners in Jerusalem Maccabiah Night Run Emek Refaim Street

streets were closed as tens of thousands of runners,

took 5 or 10-K or half-marathon routes.

Hundreds were taking photos and selfies with phones,

Jerusalem Maccabiah Night Run runner with a camera

but this was first time I have seen a runner

participating in a race with such a serious camera.

Jerusalem Maccabiah Night Run

Near the end of the routes

which went back toward the starting line,

Jerusalem Israel Maccabiah Night Run

runners turned toward the Old City.

runners Jerusalem Maccabiah Night run

A  friend waved on her way back to Jaffa Gate.

Runners Jerusalem Maccabiah Night Run shower near end of route

A cool shower was waiting near the finish line.

For Jerusalem, it was a hot night.

Street closed due to Jerusalem Maccabiah Night Run

The final stretch was past the Old City Walls

where spectators waited to cheer runners on,

Light projection on Walls of Old City

with the 50-years unification of Jerusalem light show

playing in the background.

People taking a selfie photo at end of Jerusalem Maccabiah Night Run

The smiles at the finish line next to Mamilla Mall –

were priceless.

The Maccabiah sports range from golf, with one male playing,

to ice hockey in new Jerusalem rink,

to bridge, and of course tennis and swimming.

And chess,

where Natan Sharansky played 20 opponents,

at the same time.

He won 17 games and tied 3 others.

Some make light of these “Jewish Olympics”

but Jason Lezack representing the athletes, spoke beautifully.

I think his words are important enough to share:

 

For additional photos:

Maccabiah 2017   HERE

and   Night Run    HERE

Jerusalem Light Festival in Old City

Jerusalem Light Festival in Old City

School is out for the summer.

Temperatures are rising

and the Jerusalem, Israel, streets are warming up.

At night in the Old City

the Jerusalem Light Festival is lighting up the streets.

‘Interactive’ is this year’s theme.

I like to arrive at the Old City early before dark

to be at the starting point at Jaffa Gate.

Giant photo frame with Tower of David inside Jerusalem light festival

Giant picture frames were ready for selfies,

and the Tower of David looked too good not to share.

Drawn in Light Rampart Tower of David for Jerusalem Light Festival 2017

A giant mobile, “Drawn in Light”

hovered near the Jaffa Gate.

Jerusalem light festival Gan HaBonim

This “Cathedral of Mirrors” needed audience participation.

The Pool interactive circles for Jerusalem Light Festival

The circles of “The Pool” were being tested.

It was opening night

Opening of Jerusalem light festival

and last minute electrical work was being done,

Giant robotic peacock for Jerusalem Light Festival

and the “Peacock” arrived near Zion Gate.

In Dormition Alley,

Jerusalem Light festival upside down my Israeli

“Upside Down” is the work of the son of an Israeli friend.

Approximately half of the 39 installations

were created by international artists, from Australia to US.

Along the trail there were spots with

live music for Jerusalem light festival

with a variety of live musicians.

This year the Rova, the Jewish Quarter Square,

featured one of the festival highlights.

Hurva Synagogue lit for Jerusalem light festival with soldier sitting in front

A group of soldiers posed for this photo

in the light projections on the Hurva Synagogue.

Instead of marking the path with different colored lights,

NeuorModulator entering Muristan color and music at Jerusalem light festival

this year orange arrows led the way.

For the first time I did not get lost

Oasis in Muristan Square with large elephants Jerusalem Old City Israel

around Muristan Square,

where giant elephants were in the “Oasis.”

Night scene Old City during Jerusalem light festival

Some stores in the Old City were open

Street scene in Old City at night Jerusalem light festival

while some lanes were quiet.

Light at HaAhim Street in Old City for Jerusalem Light Festival

The “Journey into Space” on HaAhim Street,

was overhead, as the trail led to New Gate,

and out from the Old City Walls.

Jerusalem 2017 Light Festival Damascus Gate

Damascus Gate was much quieter than usual,

Across from Damascus Gate night of Light Festival

and across the road the area was much cleaner than in the past.

#39 listed on the program was

“Interactive shadows” in Zedekiah’s Cave.

Jerusalem light festival interactive in Zedekiah's Cave for Jerusalem Light Festival

It was hard to photograph,

image in Zedekiah Cave for Jerusalem Light Festival

as images changed with the movements of visitors.

Piano music at Jerusalem light festival in Zedekiah Cave

But as we walked further into the cave,

though it was hot and humid,

the music we were hearing along the way

was live from this pianist.

Though the month of Ramadan is over,

the lights strung for Ramadan were still up.

Jerusalem light festival night, view from Solomon's Stable

 Notre Dame was also visible in the distance

as we exited the cave, which is

also known as Solomon’s Stables,

and is located minutes away from the Damascus Gate.

This is the only time all year,

 I walk alone in the dark near Damascus Gate,

Jerusalem Israel Palm Trees "Horizontal INterference" Light Festival

and “Horizontal Interference” lit up the way through the palm trees.

A few minutes away at Zahal Square

Seesaws of various sizes with light and sound called Impulse at Zahal Square for Jerusalem Light Festival 2017

the “Impulse” seesaws were filled with enthusiastic young people.

The whole route takes at least 3 hours to complete.

With school over, and the festival going to July 6,

the size of the crowds have increased.

I like going on the first night and getting there early

before it gets crowded.

People looking at sign for fire and dance show Jerusalem Light Festival

This show with dancers using fire torches

and movement intrigued the audience.

But if you do not get to Jerusalem, Israel,

to see this Festival of Light in Jerusalem 2017,

  more photos here,

and take five minutes and enjoy this video

of the light projection on the Hurva Synagogue,

10 Photos of this Week in Jerusalem

10 Photos of this Week in Jerusalem

I love a day when the weather is the top news.

Last night, as the sun set, cool winds came across the city.

 I thought my camera lens was dirty,

old City walls at sunset

but those were clouds over the Old City.

As it got darker, more clouds blew in over

Jerusalem Israel summer clouds. over King David Hotel and Montefiore Windmill

the Montefiore Windmill and the King David Hotel.

By morning, the sky looked winter grey,

and certainly not like the first day of summer.

But by afternoon, most of the clouds were gone,

and it was back to sunny warm streets and a normal June day.

A great time to get out and appreciate the Judean  hillside.

Hills around Jerusalem, Israel near zoo

This view is just minutes from Malha Mall,

Yehudah Hotel garden Jerusalem Israel

and was taken from these lovely gardens.

This week’s exciting event (for some people) was a visit by

18 US football “Hall of Famers.”

US Football star Willie Lanier in Jerusalem Israel

Willie Lanier of the Kansas City Chiefs

was wearing Jerusalem on his hat at the end of his visit.

It goes well with his Canton, OH, Hall of Fame shirt.

Thousands tried to meet and

photograph their favorite sports stars.

 I was told that I missed Joe Montana by seconds.

Oh well.

It was better than standing in the heat outside

the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs waiting for security.

Simon Wiesenthal center at Israel Foreign Ministry

The Simon Wiesenthal Center and

the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Israel held a conference there

on digital terrorism and hate speech on the internet.

I am afraid you will be hearing lots more

on this EchoChamber in the future,

as cyber terrorists look for new ways to attack.

The next day was

Conference on Israeli economy in Jerusalem Israel IDI

the Eli Hurvitz Conference on Economy and Society,

of the Israel Democracy Institute,

where we heard that Israel, the ‘Start-Up Nation’,

is #52 in the world in the ease of opening a business.

Changes must be made in taxation, regulation and bureaucracy

in order to get Israel to the next level

to be known as the ‘Nation of Innovation’.

After two days inside, it was good to get out.

Pillbox in Rechavia painted Jerusalem Israel history

Our local pillbox got a much needed painting.

White Night Beit Avi Chai in July 2017

This new sign was posted for Beit Avi Chai.

Lists of children’s summer programs are planned,

but this informs us that July 6 will be Leila Lavan.

an all-night loud summer music party.

Mekudeshet, a festival working hard on integrating cultures,

is also planning a long list of events for this summer.

If you remember the photo I posted of the Mamilla Hotel,

Mamilla Hotel flag for Macabbiah in Jerusalem Israel 2017

there is now a fourth banner flag on the building.

The 2017 Macabbiah will be bringing tens of thousands

of international Jewish athletes to Jerusalem, Israel.

All of this is amazing.

Especially if you stop and reflect

that all of the above locations,

from the Pillbox to those hills,

were mostly empty and barren, except for rocks,

not so very many years ago.

And Mamilla Mall and Mishkanot-Shaananim,

were dangerous zones inhabited by the poorest of poor.