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 Sounds of Spring

Jerusalem Sounds of Spring

Last week 18 New Signs of Spring was the title of blog post.

With all the spring holidays coinciding this week time is short for everyone.

This short video of cleaning the notes from between the stones in the Kotel, the Western Wall, received dozens of shares on Facebook and thousands of views.  I thought readers who are not on Facebook might appreciate seeing a bit of the spring cleaning. Listen to those birds! More on birds after the holidays. The Jerusalem Bird Observatory is to celebrate 25 years.

Very different musical sounds from this light projection near Jaffa Gate for the Jerusalem annual spring festival Sounds in the Night in the Old City.

School is out and children are indeed filling the streets of Jerusalem, Israel.  The verse from Zechariah 8:4-5 reads: “Thus said the Lord of Hosts: There shall yet be old men and women in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of their great age. And the streets of the city shall be crowded with boys and girls playing in the streets.”

Much more to share, but time is short and my kitchen must be cleaned.

Chag Aviv Sameach B'Yerushalyim, Happy Spring holiday in Jerusalem

Happy Spring Holidays from Jerusalem to all!

 

Jerusalem, Israel: Climate Change

Jerusalem, Israel: Climate Change

What changes more dramatically than the winter weather in Jerusalem, Israel?

String Bridge top against blue sky

Though some do not love the Chord (or String) Bridge towering over the entrance to Jerusalem,  I think it’s an impressive image against a blue sky.

Jerusalem fog

But the winter fog was so thick on the way into the Jerusalem International Convention Center, the bridge was invisible.

Those construction fences for Jerusalem Gateway Project are constantly changing and spreading.

CEOs of Sodastream Daniel Birnbaum and Pepsico in Jerusalem

Inside the ICC on the main stage of the second day of the Globes Business Conference, SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum and Pepsico CEO Roman Laguarta appeared the best of buddies complimenting each other in their remarks. Their plans to change the business climate are impressive.

Men watching video at Globes Conference

Outside in the main hall, food and networking were available on both days. The room only became quiet when Sodastream commercials were shown. Dozens of speakers, experts on business and government leaders presented on the stage in the Teddy Auditorium and smaller venues in the convention center.

Except for the SodaStream – Pepsico segment, most of the business conference was held in Hebrew.

Arab woman speaking at Globes Business Conference

This panel dealt with the topic of disadvantages and challenges faced by women and what needs to change.

Globes Business Conference Tourism in future with Yariv Levin

MK Yariv Levin, Minister of Tourism, spoke at a session on the future of tourism.

Tourism in Jerusalem was rated number one in future growth in a new Bloomberg report. Positive change, with the trend of more tourists is felt daily on the Jerusalem streets and at locations such as Machane Yehuda Market, the shuk.

Prime Minister and President enter hall for new Governor of Bank of Israel

The Israeli economy has been stable and is viewed as positive.  The Prime Minister joined President Rivlin for the appointment of the new Governor of the Bank of Israel on Monday.

Ceremony for Bank of Israel new head Amir Yaron at Beit Hanasi

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon joined the President and Prime Minister to welcome Amir Yaron.

All smiles for the cameras in the morning.

By afternoon this was old news, and then not news, as the government folded.

Talk about change affecting the news cycle!

But at least this one appointment is for 5 years, and is not affected by April elections.

Pesach afternoon and egalitarian space at Western Wall was empty

This egalitarian area at the Western Wall, the Kotel, has gotten media attention, as part of Israel and Diaspora relations.

Area for media at Beit Hanasi for Gesher Fellows

Not as many cameras filled the photographers platform at Beit Hanasi for the Gesher Community Fellows as they did for the packed house of the Bank of Israel appointment.

Ruvi Rivlin and Asaf Liberman at Beit Hanasi for Gesher

President Rivlin was interviewed by Israeli radio’s Asaf Liberman, one of the first round of Israelis selected as a Gesher Fellow.

Gesher Fellows include Miriam Peretz at Beit Hanasi

Israeli Prize winner Miriam Peretz (seated on left) was another Gesher Fellow.

Israelis, of many fields, including the media, once chosen as Fellows, attend sessions, and travel to the US  in an attempt to bridge the gap with Diaspora Jewry, and improve the climate and mutual relations by understanding, with first-hand knowledge.

As Miriam Peretz urged that Israelis learn English, the Hebrew University, closed on December 25th, is contemplating switching instruction to English.

Jerusalem streets ads with one for December 31 music at Tower of David

Hebrew signs line the Jerusalem streets. One in the center announces the Tower of David celebration of the end of tax year.

Jerusalem street sign for Rambam exhibit at Israel Museum sign for Baka family run on top

The Israel Museum has a special new exhibit on the writings of the Rambam, Maimonides.

Someone posted a sign over the ad, for a Baka family run for the evening of December 26, as seen on the top right corner.

Jerusalem Theater

The Jerusalem Theater signs, plays, and performances are in Hebrew.

Jerusalem Israel milk cartoon with Hebrew language lesson

A Hebrew lesson on the milk carton? It is proper to say “Seehuhah” instead of “chat.”

Hebrew Language Day poster in Jerusalem Israel

Ha, ha, we will see how that works, even if December 27, is Hebrew Language Day.

Hebrew sign on sidewalk to clean up after dog

Yes, Hebrew on signs and on the Jerusalem, Israel sidewalks.

Are the winds for Hebrew language change strong enough to take effect?

As I sit here waiting for the winter weather to change again, I will end with two short videos from this past week.

At the Western Wall, the Kotel, after a special prayer service for recovery on seriously injured IDF soldier  Netanel Ilan ben Shaina Tzipora.

Singing slow Hebrew songs, they ended with Am Yisrael Chai. 

With government elections set for April, with jets flying over head last night to parts north, with enemies on and under our borders,

at the conclusion of the Bank of Israel program, all rose for singing of Hatikvah, The Hope.