Best of Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut in Jerusalem

Best of Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut in Jerusalem

Jerusalem, Israel, for the Yoms 

as usual was overloaded with events,

 many this year influenced in anticipation of

Celebrating 50 years liberation of Jerusalem

50 years since the reunification of Jerusalem.

Israeli flags are draped down the sides of buildings.

Israeli flags Israel Museum for memorial and Independence day

These are at the Israel Museum entrance

where the dome of the Shrine of the Book can be seen.

Yom HaZikaron, Israeli Remembrance Day

for fallen soldiers and victims of terror,

began Sunday night with memorials throughout Israel,

and were accompanied by prayers, speeches and memorial flames.

The official state ceremony seen live on television,

was held at the Kotel, the Western Wall,

where President Reuven Rivlin lit the memorial light.

Ammunition Hill on Israel Memorial Day

Sponsored by the Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin,

a memorial service was held at Givat HaTachmoshet, Ammunition Hill,

the site of deadly fighting to defend Jerusalem in 1967.

The program in English was live-streamed

and seen by over 16,000 people around the world.

All day Monday, tens of thousands of Israelis visited cemeteries.

Cemetery Jerusalem 1948-49

This cemetery has many graves from 1948-1950,

 the first years that Jews could not get to

the Mount of Olives due to the Jordanian occupation

and had to find new places to bury their dead.

One man standing by old grave in Jerusalem cemetery on Yom Hazikaron

On Yom HaZikaron, a man prayed by a grave.

Israeli military grave on Yom HaZikaron

A small Israeli flag with a black ribbon attached,

and small bunch of flowers, yizkor, remembers

Flowers, Israeli flag and black yizkor ribbon on 1948 grave

those much too young who died in war.

The cemetery is next to Harel Garden

Memorial wreath at Harel Garden Memotial

and Memorial wall, where this lone wreath was placed.

Walk around the memorial and you can see

At Harel Memorial distance to Gush Etzion lost in 1948 to Jordan

that Gush Etzion is 16 kilometers from Cinema City and

the Israeli Supreme Court and government offices.

Israel Yom HaZikaron at Har Herzel end of day

Tens of thousands came to Har Herzl Military Cemetery

during the day, to place flowers and to mourn,

remembering those lost to war and terror.

Woman sitting near graves of Har Herzl military cemetery Yom Hazikron

The crowds thinned at end of day,

Two soldiers walking on Har Herzl Cemetery

and all headed home from the Har Herzl Military Cemetery.

But as the sun set,

on another part of Har Herzl,

Stage ready for Yom Haaztmaut official televised program

the lights went on this huge stage,

celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut, Independence Day.

This year for the first time two non-Israelis were selected

with the honor of lighting one of the 12 memorial flames,

Rabbi Marvin Hier and Michael Steinhardt,

Two US honorees in Israeli ceremony

seen here before the official program began.

The show is telecast live and seen by thousands,

Show for Yom Haatmaut ceremony

but watching on TV you could not see them remove

the circle of fire used in one production number.

It is an extravaganza with set rituals,

Israel Independence day starts with lighting of ceremony torch

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat broke with tradition

when he joined with Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein

to light the official flame of Israel’s Independence Day.

waving flags and cheering

Seats were at a premium, the flag waving,

 cheering crowd did not need a lot of encouragement.

One of 12 torch lighters Chana Henkin

Besides the two Americans, I wanted to see Rabbanit Chana Henkin

 who was honored as one of the twelve torch lighters,

one for each tribe of Israel.

Dr Ahmad Eid speaks at Yom Haatzmaut ceremony

Dr. Ahmed Eid, an Arab doctor, was another honoree.

Military with flags at ceremony on Yom Haatzmaut on Har Herzl

The program featured songs and military colors.

Soldiers form a Jewish star during official ceremony for Yom Haatzmaut

For this shot, no seat in the stands would work,

Sunset at Har Herzl camera over head

only this overhead camera would do.

Afterwards celebrations went all night,

in too many locations to list, with prayers, songs and dancing.

Music for diplomats at Beit Hanasi Independence day

The next day at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence,

 120 outstanding soldiers were honored in the morning

Front row Beit Hanasi on Yom Haatzmaut

and in the afternoon rows of diplomats came,

Yom Haatazmaut at Beit Hanasi

along with one young Presidential grandson,

to pay their respects to Israel and hear the Prime Minister

and President speak on theme,”next year in Jerusalem.”

While the heads of consuls and foreign military were at Beit Hanasi,

Gan Sacher Yom Haatzmaut

thousands of Israelis were in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park.

Lone Soldier Center mangal Yom Haatzmaut

Most of the green spaces all over the country were full of Israelis.

On the radio were announcements of crowded roads to JNF parks.

Couch brought to Gan Sacher

This family brought a couch to Gan Sacher,

which is one way to make your holiday mangal, BBQ, feel like home.

I know this is getting way too long,

but there was so much more,

like the Bible Competition, free museums, and performances.

festive meals, and those IDF flyovers and stunts.

Israel, after 69 years

as President Rivlin said, is young for a country,

 under constant threat and repeated attacks,

yet has accomplished so much.

So it was,

Flowers at Beit Hanasi 69

from memorials to celebrating independence,

so much happening in Jerusalem.

From Yom Hashoah to Yom Haatzmaut

This time of year is always busy,

 starting with Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day,

until after Yom Haatzmaut, Israel Independence Day.

Six symbolic torches were lit at Yad Vashem on Yom Hashoah

Yom Hashoad at Yad Vashem six torch lighters

for the six million Jews murdered in World War II.

Another symbol of mourning is

Knesset flag at half mast

the large Israeli flag on top of the Knesset

Israel flag half mast

flown at half-mast.

Israeli flags on cars

Small Israeli flags can be found on cars

Israeli flags draped down side of police station

and huge ones unfurled down buildings.

This week even the skies were blue and white,

Clouds in sky over open road outside Jerusalem Israel

from the road leading out of the Judean Hills,

blue sky and clouds over Kineret

and all the way up over the Kinerret.

There were hundreds of ceremonies

for Yom Hazikaron,

remembering the fallen soldiers and victims of terror,

all 23,447 who lost their lives.

One new and special program this year

ammunition hill

was held at Givat HaTachmoshet,

Ammunition Hill.

As the sun set and the memorial siren sounded,

a capacity crowd was on hand

to remember lone soldiers who fell,

it was sponsored by

The Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin.

Israeli soldiers marching

An honor guard watched as the Israeli flag was lowered

memorial flames

and a memorial flame was lit.

Israeli soldier with rifle

Young people supporting and giving comfort to each other,

wore these Yizkor strips on their hearts,

Yizkor sticker

remembering those who lost their lives.

From nightfall and during the entire day,

thousands visited to the military cemeteries,

from Har Herzl and gravesides throughout Israel.

But as soon as Yom Hazikaron ends,

Yom Haatzmaut, Independence Day begins,

Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence,

Beit Hanasi garden Herzl bust

is getting ready for a big day of celebrations.

The gardens in front and back

Back gardens Beit Hanasi

are ready for the invited guests.

inside Beit Hanasi waiting room

The waiting room inside has had a makeover.

120 selected IDF soldiers will be honored

on Yom Haatzmaut.

Since some of their faces cannot be shown,

soliders being honored Beit Hanasi Jerusalem Israel

 this photo from the back will have to suffice.

President Reuven Rivlin came out at the rehearsal

and seemed to really enjoy

President REuven Rivlin greets soldiers to be honored on Yom Haatzmaut

the few moments he spoke with the honorees.

The pilots of special planes also rehearsed this week

planes in air show Jerusalem Israel for Independence Day

 for the traditional mid-day air show.

From mourning

we turn to celebration

and preparing for

 Yom Haatznaut,

68 in flowers at Beit Hanasi

Israel at 68.

Jerusalem Spring Colors

Passover is over.

It is back to school,

except for high school students who are on a two-day strike.

Back to work, back to “normal”

and trying to get back on a schedule.

Trash after holiday needs to be collected

It will take awhile to clean up mess left behind

by tens of thousands of people in all the outdoor spaces.

But I started the week indoors at the Israel Museum,

Israel Museum contemporary art

where colors are waiting to greet you.

What a treat,

I had a guided tour with the curator.

I am so pleased that I went back to get more of

 Pharaoh in Canaan: The Untold Story.

sphinx in Israel Museum exhibit on Pharaoh and Canaan

From a visiting the sphinx

Old dice from ancient Egypt Israel Museum Pharaoh exhibit

to games from ancient Egypt,

this is a fascinating era in history,

and one I had not thought about before.

With Passover over, do not worry,

there is no time to get bored.

It is now time for the Yoms,

Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day,

then next week Yom HaZikaron,

Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism,

followed by Yom Haatzmaut, Israel Independence Day.

Planes flyover Jerusalem Israel for Yom Haatzmaut

I love to catch the dress rehearsal flyovers.

Two planes flying over Jerusalem for INdependence Day show

This year there were only two small planes,

against the blue sky with wisps of white clouds.

Planes over Jerusalem Israel for Independence Day show

Only two short flights,

Planes flying in formation over Jerusalem Israel for Yom Haatzmaut

with two planes flying in formation.

I assume there will be much more action mid-day on Yom Haatzmaut,

and I plan to be in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park for the show.

The blue and white Israeli and Jerusalem flags

 Israel flags lining Jerusalem streets for holiday

are waving over many Jerusalem streets,

hung annually for the Yoms.

But new this week,

Colorful umbrellas in Music Square Jerusalem Israel

these large umbrellas

Music Square stage Jerusalem Israel

are hovering over Music Square in Jerusalem,

small umbrellas off Yoel Salomon Street Jerusalem Israel

with smaller ones in the lanes as you approach

the square from Yoel Salomon Street.

Jerusalem flowers colorful unusual

Color from real flowers,

food #D art on Jerusalem Israel streets

or another 3-D street art piece, or

Angry Birds poster in Hebrew in Jerusalem Israel

I love movie posters in Hebrew,

especially this red one is for “Angry Birds.”

Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day,

begins tonight, real torches will be lit at Yad Vashem,

but many buildings have not only blue and white Israeli flags,

Remembrance flame over King David Hotel for Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance day.

but also red and orange memorial flames,

like this one on the King David Hotel.

Slow, sad music has started on the radio.

On the Jerusalem, Israel streets,

it is easier to remember,

“Never Again.”