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.

Yad Vashem: Behind the Camera on Yom HaShoah

Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day,

is international, but more intense in Jerusalem, Israel,

from a simple memorial candle display in a hotel lobby,

to the national commemoration at Yad Vashem.

Since the program is televised at 8:00 pm,

it starts on time,

Yad Vashem for ceremony Yom Hashoa

  people start arriving hours early to the plaza.

IDF honor guard at Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Day

The honor guard poses for photographs before.

Survivor torch lighter Labi and son Maurice Labi

One of the six survivors honored to light a memorial flame,

Joseph Labi and son Maurice were kind enough to pose,

more on his story next week when there is time.

IDF honor guard at Yad Vashem Yom Hashoah

This was one of my favorite photos.

sunset sky at Yad Vashem for Holocaust memorial event

The sky at sunset was a scene stealer this year.

Yad Vashem for Yom Hashoah

When the Prime Minister enters all stand, block the view,

and either try for a handshake or cellphone photo,

Ceremony at Yad Vashem for Yom Hashoah

and it is a large crowd of hundreds.

RAv Lau lighting memorial torch at Yad Vashem

Rabbi Meir Lau, a child survivor, lit the large memorial flame

after the Israeli flag was lowered to half mast.

After President Reuven Rvilin spoke,

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at Yad Vashem Yom Hashoah

PM Benjamin Netanyahu spoke for 15 minutes,

Netanyahu speaking at Yad Vashem for Holocaust memorial day

using his hands to emphasize a point.

lights at Yom Shoah Yad Vashem

Six flames, six survivors,

one for each million murdered by the Nazis,

in the Shoah, Holocaust, each with an incredible story.

Yad Vashem for Yom HaShoah crowd

During the videos retelling their stories,

you could hear a pin drop,

no one coughed, no one moved,

except to wipe away tears.

After the program ended,

crowd at Yad Vshem for Yom Hashoah ceremony

I held my camera high to see who was in the crowd.

But in the sea of invited guests,

with Israeli political and military leaders,

a large German government representation,

it was hard to find anyone.

US Ambassador Dan Shapiro at YadVashem for Yom Hashoah

However, US Ambassador Dan Shapiro lingered

to talk with this family.

Selfie at Yad Vashem for Yom Hashoa

Many selfies were taken that night,

but this last one of the night is a favorite.

For too many families remembering is not a once a year event,

but a lifetime spent reliving horrors.

However, from the depths and sadness,

the signs are up for

Yom Haatzmaut,

Yom Haatzmaut sign in Jerusalem street

Independence Day giant celebrations

are being planned for next week,

in Jerusalem, Israel.

But first,

Shabbat shalom.

שבת שלום

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.”