Jerusalem Festival Season in Full Swing

  The end of August, Tisha B’Av is over,

and Jerusalem festival season is in full swing.

While the Festival Ha’ira is still popular,

 there is an annual Klezemer Festival,

sign in Hebrew in Jerusalem

and this sign is for new arts festival.

Walking by the Liberty Bell Park,

Jerusalem park actor in costume J

I was not only one scratching my head.

What was that thing in the park?

Train Theater has its annual Puppet Festival.

Jerusalem festival puppet festival

People were lined up to enter,

but something new lined the fence.

Inspired by the Prague Zoo,

man looks at poster Gan Paamon

posters by Michal Cihlar, a Czech Republic artist,

“Zoooo – You Wouldn’t have a clue?”

included a hoopoe, Israeli’s national bird.

While across the road in Bloomfield Gardens,

near the Montefiore Windmill,

Macbeth in motion Jerusalem

was “Macbeth in Motion.”

Over the next two weeks,

Macbeth in motion in Bloomfield Park Jerusalem Israel audience

audiences in the park can appreciate Shakespeare,

but be warned do not get too comfortable,

the audience changes locations 5 times.

Yemin Moshe view of Tower of David Jerusalem

Where else can you hear the Bard of Avon with this backdrop?

Nearby, also these last two weeks of August,

Khutsot Hayotser Jeusalem international arts and crafts festival

is Khutsot Hayotser,

the annual international arts and crafts fair,

international arts and crafts festival

with its concerts in Sultan’s Pool.

It is so huge,

 I will save those photos for another time.

Since it opened and all summer long.

fountain in Teddy Park sound and light show at night

families have come to Teddy Park.

Lights on at night near Old City Teddy Fountain

Children love to run in the fountain.

Light and music in fountain at night Jerusalem Teddy Park

Lights and music at night,

with the water pressure changing,

what a way to cool off and have fun, and its free.

people in water at Teddy Fountain

With the walls of the Old City in the background,

location is a bonus also.

The Beer and Wine Festivals are still to come.

But meanwhile with Tu B’Av parties and weddings,

it is hard to keep up with all the good things

happening on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

Walk Around Jerusalem See the Gates

Have you ever walked around Jerusalem?

That is, have you ever walked

around the Walls of the Old City?

On Tisha B’Av night for the last few years,

I have walked around the walls,

and this time I took photos to share with you.

Security was visible,

Tisha B'Av security Jerusalem

but not more than in previous years.

tisha b av Jerusalem march around wall old city

The route starts on Agron Street and goes past the hotels.

With King David Street in the background,

tisha BAv night in Jerusalem Israel

as we turned the corner headed to the Old City,

there were hundreds of people, young and not so young,

some walking with baby carriers and some with canes.

Distances are not what most expect,

New Gate Old City night time Jerusalem israel

for it take only minutes to

 pass the first gate – the New Gate.

tisha BAv crowd in Jerusalem

Everyone walks together as a group

Jerusalem Israel Tisha BAv

carrying dozens of Israel flags,

Damascus Gate Jerusalem Israel

on to a quiet Damascus Gate

Flowers Gate at night Jerusalem

and a quieter Flower Gate.

Jerudsalem Rockefeller Museum at night

 We walked by the Rockefeller Museum on the left.

Old City walk at night

Before you know it,

Jerusalem signs

it is time to turn the corner.

Jerusalem old city walls at night

The lights on the walls of the Old City

shone brightly against the dark sky.

Lion's Gate Old City Jerusalem

Soon we approached the Lion’s Gate,

Night Old City Walls Jerusalem Israel

on a street closed to traffic and quiet,

in stark contrast to the Kotel,

Kotel at night Tisha BAv

the Western Wall.

Tens of thousands came to mourn,

some sit all night on the stones.

View of Western Wall on Tisha B'av night

Every day thousand of people come to Old City,

but not many have walked around the walls.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief tour,

and perhaps you will come soon to see for yourself.

Jerusalem, Israel, on Tisha B’Av,

 a unique experience.

Additional photos HERE

Special Shabbat Shalom for Tisha B’Av

In the month of Av,

especially on Tisha B’Av,

terrible things have happened.

Jerusalem was destroyed,

but the Jewish people have returned.

Har Herzal sign for military cemetery

The military cemetery on Mt. Herzl,

graves at Har Herzl Cemetery

is filled with graves of fallen IDF soldiers,

fallen IDF soldier from Ethiopia

their birthdays celebrated with photos.

military cemetery graves at Har Herzl

So many rows of young people who will not age.

Michael Levin lone soldier killed in action in second lebanon war

Michael Levin z”l is one lone soldier

from the United States who died ten years ago,

military cemetery grave stone

and there too many more to mention.

Yahrtzeit for Michael Levin at Har Herzl military cemetery

As the memorial service for Michael Levin ended,

memorial service at Har Herzl soldier stands near grave stone

another began nearby.

When a soldier dies in battle,

it is said he has “fallen.”

Falling is the precursor to getting up.

There are too many soldiers who fell too young,

 but have left us with a mission and legacy to fulfill.

We must get up and carry on where they left off.

Michael Levin LSC outside of Har Herzl cemetery

May their memories be for a blessing.

שבת שלום

Shabbat Shalom.

Walked Down Jerusalem’s Jaffa Road Recently?

Time to get out and walk

on a special Jerusalem, Israel street.

kids playing in water in Jerusalem

Children cool off in this water mist from an urban installation.

Remember when traffic pollution was so thick

it was hard to breathe?

Not any more, no cars allowed.

Walk further down Jaffa Road,

Kikar Zion changing new building

construction cranes rise above Ben Yehuda Street,

and off Kikar Tzion, Zion Square,

Mashbir and new hotel off Zion Square

  the new Mashbir has a new neighbor.

Its renovations completed,

the new Herbert Samuel Hotel has opened.

Near the site of the Sbarro bombing 15 years ago,

Jaffa Road near Sbarro bombing site

people have returned to city center.

After years of the Jerusalem light rail saga,

Light rail trains on Jaffa Road Jerusalem

trains are running regularly.

Walk Jaffa Road,

off Davidka Square you will see

Davika Square sign for Camera Man photo exhibit at Tower of David Museum

some of the photos from the

 Tower of David Museum great photo exhibit.

Wow, across the way,

Davidka Square in Jerusalem off Jaffa Road

look at those trees,

what a difference since the storms of January 2013

knocked out the new plantings.

A popular new night attraction at the shuk,

Machane Yehuda market,

are the shutters painted by Solomon Souza.

Machane Yehudah market shutter painted

Here one shop was closed during the day,

with the bright colors and Hebrew words visible.

Oh dear, and across Jaffa Road,

Urban Installation Warda a mess again on Jaffa Road

 was the sad looking וורדה.

I had a whole blog planned on this street installation,

called Varda, with its faded fabric, replaced multiple times,

tied for winter winds, and millions of shekels wasted since 2014.

This week one “flower” was so shredded,

it was removed – again.

Maybe more on that another time.

Jerusalem Israel Jaffa Street

The Jaffa Road area has changed drastically.

View of Jerusalem from top of Sharei Hair building Jaffa Road

Construction has begun on huge projects.

new construction from top of Jaffa Road Jerusalem

Hundreds of new apartments are going up.

The new fast train to Tel Aviv is coming–

imagine a half-an-hour from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.

It’s really coming.

Located across from the central bus station

on Jaffa Road,

Jaffa Road new train station being built on Jaffa Road

  is Jerusalem’s newest train station.

man reading book dressed in white robes and woman on cell phone

Old and new.

Jerusalem of contrasts.

Jaffa Road has changed over the years.

Always something new to see on the Jerusalem streets.

Jerusalem: Summer Scenes

Summer in Jerusalem, Israel,

Jerusalem Israel flowers

and flowers are in bloom.

Streets are quieter as families seek cooler temperatures,

US summer camps, or a day at the beach.

For those left behind this summer,

Hebrew sign for summer in Jerusalem Israel

 neighborhood events in the parks for youth

Sign in Hebrew for summer park programs for kids

and children are held in evening.

Zeev Jabotinsky

 On Jabotinsky Street, Zeev Jabotinsky Day signs are up.

A special ceremony is set for August 4th at Har Herzl.

Those signs are out for all to see;

and now for what you may not have seen.

A special panel was held at the Tzohar Conference,

at the Jerusalem International Conference Center.

Panel at Tzohar Conference

Jackie Levy moderated a panel with Rav Shai Peron,

Rav Shmuel Papenheim, Rabbanit Adina Bar Shalom,

and Rabbanit Hadassah Forman.

As each told the story that changed their lives,

Illustrator drawing stories

a talented artist illustrated as they spoke.

I had never seen that before,

the stories were interesting enough,

but the drawings were a good way to keep an after-lunch crowd

awake and attentive.

Invitations to Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence

do not come easily and are highly valued,

so guests often linger to appreciate the gardens

before going into the reception room for an event.

Man attending dayanim ceremony reading posters of past presidents

This man stopped to study the informational panels

posted behind the busts of former presidents

that are lined up in the garden.

He was there for a very special ceremony.

Finally after 9 years without new appointments,

there is a new Supreme Rabbinical Court.

 New dayanim pose with Israel President and Cheif Rabbis and head of selection committee after swearing in ceremony

Here the new dayanim, rabbinical judges, posed with

the two chief rabbis, President Reuven Rivlin,

and head of the appointment committee Minster MK Yuval Steinitz.

With their varied backgrounds and experiences,

it is hoped that long overdue resolutions can be reached.

And finally,

the Olympics 2016 are starting Friday in Rio.

Israeli athletes pose for group photo in garden of Beit Hanasi

The largest ever Israeli Olympic team

posed outside Beit Hanasi at their official send-off.

 Israeli Olympic team sendoff in Israel

Everyone was smiling and happy,

 I sure hope their experiences in Rio are positive,

and everyone comes back smiling for selfies.