The year 2018 got off to a wet start.
Prayers for rain in Jerusalem, Israel,
Rain poured down, the streets flooded,
and the cold and wet winter arrived.
It was a good to be in and not outside.
Oh and the fog!
When fog sets in it can be so thick
you cannot see large buildings nearby.
I know we need rain desperately,
but I prefer to be out when the sun is shining.
I like to see those impromptu prayer services,
anytime of the afternoon, anywhere,
in parks and here in Mamilla Mall.
I like to watch people walking in Mamilla Mall,
or on any Jerusalem, Israel street.
One can see a bit of every fashion,
though I am not sure what fashion statement
this man sitting and smoking on Ben Yehuda
was making by wearing a red Santa helper hat.
I like to find new street graffiti.
And I like to see work progressing
on the future home of Jerusalem WeWork.
We will have to wait to see how much we like
the massive construction project near the entrance to Jerusalem.
You can see here how far it is going down
before the buildings start to go up and up.
This week across the highway, the Ramada Hotel hosted the
WZO’s International Conference for Rabbis and Communal leaders.
There were dozens of speakers
and representatives from 40 countries.
With unrest all around the Middle East
it is easy to overlook the wonder that
this conference was held in Hebrew.
So many are learning Torah in Hebrew in Israel today.
The population is approaching 9 million.
Walk on along Jerusalem streets you will hear
English, French, Russian and Spanish along with Hebrew.
With corruption and strikes and strife,
incredible things have developed in 70 years.
With all those negative headlines around the world,
Israel is growing.
This past week I saw this traditional blessing for a home,
“May this home be a place of happiness and health,
of contentment, generosity, and hope. A home of
creativity and kindness. May those who visit and
those who live here know only blessing and peace.”
It was hanging near the front door on a new home
for female lone soldiers in Jerusalem.
7,000 young people, from around the world,
are in Israel, serving in the defense forces,
30% of them young women.
After the opening day dedication program,
six of the young soldiers surrounded
and hugged their “Mom.”
Rachel, the counselor is on duty 24/7 to help and advise
these young women without parents around to support them.
Head of the Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin,
Josh Flaster looks on with pride.
Jerusalem, Israel, rain or shine is home.