Tu B’Shevat Is Coming

 Today is Rosh Chodesh Shevat,

 and stores will be stocked with dried fruit

with sales galore all over Jerusalem and Israel.

image Tu B'Shvat, picture for New Year of Trees, photo for Tu B'Shevat

While most of the world is celebrating a new year,

on the Hebrew calendar the New Year of Trees is in two weeks.

Chodesh tov! 

A Good month to all!

Tu B’Shevat in Jerusalem

School children all over Israel learn by song that

on the holiday of Tu B’Shevat, the new year of trees, 

almond tree in bloom image ,

“Shkadea Porachat,”  the almond trees are blooming.

In Jerusalem,

 it is much easier to find roses blooming than almond trees.

The fifteen day of the Hebrew month of Shevat is also

dried fruit image, mall image

the holiday when dried fruit displays fill the shopping malls.

Machane Yehuda market, the shuk, always a source of dried fruit and nuts, 

machane yehuda market image, image of the shuk in Jerusalem

has even more piles and varieties on sale this time of year.

dried chilli image

The dried chillies in the shuk yesterday

regulach image, rows of little cakes image

and these little rogalach seemed really special too.

Generations of American Jews 

associate Tu B’Shevat with “bokser” or dried carob pods.

lemons on tree image

However, I prefer our lemon tree full of fruit as a symbol

of the start of the growing season.

Many people will attend a special Tu B’Shevat seder at night at a

table set with red and white wine and dried fruit and special prayers. 

But some stores have been ready for a while with costumes and props,

and for some… it is never too soon to get ready for Purim.

Happy Tu B’Shevat where ever you are!

See Tu B’Shvat from  last year for a rainbow of beauty in Jerusalem:

http://rjstreets.com/2011/01/19/tu-bshvat/

Finds in The Old City

After weeks of record rain in Jerusalem,

 the sun was shining again on Friday morning.

It was perfect weather to walk to the Old City 

and take pictures.

Jaffa Gate image, picture of Jaffa plaza

The trees in the plaza by Jaffa Gate were still bare,

Arab man carrying bread on his head image

but inside the walls there was fresh bread

and cool drinks for sale,

and more photographers…as usual.

tourist and taxis image, Armenian Quarter image

Tourists went by foot and by car through the Armenian Quarter.

Arab women image. Arab women in Jerusalem

Arab women were walking in the Rova, the Jewish Quarter.

ceramic sign in old city image

Following the ceramic arrow, 

Bloggers Jerusalem Scavenger Hunt image

I found the meeting place of my group of bloggers 

Photographer image

and photographer… all ready for our Jerusalem Scavenger Hunt.

Our group read, listened and learned 

about some of the locations in the Rova, the Jewish Quarter,

that were captured and destroyed in 1948 by the Jordanian Legion.

"narrow streets of Old City" image

As we walked through the narrow rebuilt streets of the Rova,

"orange tree" image , Tu Bishvat , TU Beshvat image

and we found our “tree” … full of oranges, ready for Tu Beshvat.

"courtyard" image in Old City

But also we found large groups of tourists in the courtyards 

and in the Cardo of the Old City.

We found beautiful children getting out of school,

but we never did find what was so interesting down there.

"Israeli soldiers' image in Old City

It seems we were not the only scavenger hunters on Friday in the Old City, 

there was also a group of Israeli soldiers with a paper map and questions.

We found fun and new friends on the Jerusalem Scavenger Hunt.

Wondered what these young soldiers will find?