3 Things to Remember after Operation Pillar of Defense

Most Americans are back to work,

 having finished their leftover Thanksgiving turkeys.

Australians down under are getting ready for summer holidays.

Israeil tank

The Israeli tanks facing Gaza  

Israeli soldiers

and the IDF battle-ready reserves at the border have returned home.

But before pre-election politics takes over all the headlines, 

there are three important things to remember

now that Operation Pillar of Defense has ended.

3.  Schools were closed for over a week in much of Israel.

Not only young children stayed home with anxious parents,

 but medical schools and universities in the line of fire were closed.

Or Etzion yeshiva, Yeshiva beit midrash. study hall

This yeshiva study hall is located on the second floor of the building.

 It is usually full of students day and night,

but it was emptied during Pillar of Defense.

Many students were called up for army service,  

and for the rest, it was too dangerous.

 It was more than 15 seconds away from the nearest shelter.

2. Bomb shelters had become a way of life in Southern Israel.

Israeli bomb shelter

This Kiryat Malachi shelter was furnished with activities for children,

Israeli playground

but the playground nearby was empty,

shelter in Kiryat Malachi

as parents with young children stayed close to the shelter entrance.

Remember, there are only 15 seconds to get everyone to safety.

Ethiopian couple in Kiryat Malachi

With a break in the rocket fire, there was time for simple things 

boy smiling

like food shopping.

Israeli bomb shelter

Some people were forced to sleep in community shelters for safety.

“Lucky” families had their own reinforced room at home. 

safe room

These girls have grown up with the threat of rockets.

As we all gathered in their safe room during a red alert siren, 

they were happy to make faces and smile for the camera.

near Gaza border

Many Hamas rockets do land in open spaces in Southern Israel.

 But perhaps the ONE most important thing to remember

destroyed apartment Kiryat Malachi

is that those Hamas rockets from Gaza can and do kill.

It only took only 20 seconds to murder

three people sitting in this living room.

After 12,000 rockets from Gaza,

it was time to #StopTheRockets. 


Iron Dome the Winner

After having spent two days in Southern Israel, 

I can state for a fact that the winner in Operation Pillar of Defense

was the Iron Dome.

iron dome

Those three puffs are not smoke, but each a destroyed rocket.

Hamas rockets from Gaza caused damage and deaths.

rockets were being shot at Southern Israel at a mind-boggling pace.

We only experienced one Red Alert siren while on the open road,

and missed the one in Jerusalem, Israel on Tuesday.

israeli tanks

We saw that Israeli tanks

israeli soldeer

and soldiers ready to respond to Hamas aggression.


Cameras recorded as injured Israeli soldiers arrived

at Soroka Hospital shortly before a cease-fire was announced.

The hospital was eerie, usually so busy, it was quiet.

 because of the barrage of rockets in Beer Sheva,

people were forced to stay home and off the streets.

The Hamas rockets from Gaza continued well after time to cease firing.

The press will disappear and the reserve soldiers will go home.

Who won in Operation Pillar of Defense will be argued.

But the Iron Dome proved over and over

to be a life saver to those living in Southern Israel.



Storm Clouds over Jerusalem

Tzeva Adom, Color Red, another rocket is headed to Beer Sheva,

it was actually quiet on the radio for a couple of hours, 

but the flood of rockets from Gaza into Israel continues.

Schools are closed in much of the south, two were hit today,

 children are kept home.

 Hamas wants to provoke Israeli soldiers to cross the border.

On day 6 of Operation Pillar of Defense,

Knesset in fog

the grey sky over the Knesset in the morning was eerie,

not like the regular fog.

storm clouds,

Storm clouds come and go over Jerusalem, Israel, but with no rain.

There was a siren Friday night that sent neighbors

running into their stairwells.

People are going about their routines,

trying to keep calm & keep going.

For those who would “like to do something” 

my friends at the Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin

are in need of donations now to buy warm clothing

for lone soldiers who have been called up and are waiting.

Everyone is waiting, just not sure what we are waiting for or when.

Operation Pillar of Defense  goes to day 7.

Israel Under Fire – Keep Calm & Carry On

What a week this has been!  

I’m not sure where to begin, but let’s start with the

Tayelet, Jerusalem view, RJStreets, JStreet

 view from the Tayelet, one of the most impressive in the world.

hebrew sign, RJStreets, J Street, Tayaler

On Wednesday it was the scene of the annual Ethiopian Sigd celebration.

At the end of the day, many of the young people were hanging around, 

some texting on cellphones, too many were smoking,

some had been drinking, their style of hair and clothing was something else.

Bnei Akiva, flags, RJSTreets, Jerusalem phtography

But there was also a Bnei Akiva youth group marching with flags

Ethioiian instrument, J Streets, RJSTreets, Jerusalem photography

and this young man with a traditional instrument, a mesinko.

The Sigd Festival showed some of the best 

garbage, Jerusalem photography

and worst aspects of Israeli society.

From the Tayelet, I hurried back to 

Van Leer Institute , Jerusalem photography

The Van Leer Institute, which is located next to Beit Hanasi,

the Israeli President’s official residence. It cannot be seen from the street,

but this beautiful campus is behind a high stone fence. 

Many international seminars and conventions are held here;

this week was the EVA/MINERVA conference which focused on digitization.

Keep Calm and carry on, Jerusalem photography

Frank Thinnes (right) of EUROPEANA came from Luxembourg

to speak on “The Virtual Tourist”, and though I really enjoyed his talk,

it was his “KEEP CALM & CARRY ON” bag

that caught my eye and got him on to this blog.

The 1939 British poster slogan has also been on Facebook this week.

 Southern Israel is being pounded with rockets

and there were even sirens in Tel Aviv,

Arab girls, Jerusalem photogrphy

yet life went on normally on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

 4,000,000 Israelis are now living under fire from Gaza rockets,

Arab girls, Jerusalem photography

but Arab women and children went to the mall as usual.

While they feel safe to move around freely, as they should,

my relatives in the South are sleeping on mattresses

on the dining room floor, in bomb shelters and secured rooms.

That is, if they are able to sleep between red alert sirens.

Israeli flag, Jerusalem photography

 “Keep Calm and Carry On” 

and pray for

a Shabbat Shalom.

Sunday Update:

Friday night rockets were aimed at Jerusalem

and there has been a constant barrage from Gaza at Israeli cities.

If Hamas stops aiming at Israeli civilians, there would be a cease fire.

Rain in Israel – Did you Hear?

Yes, it’s raining in Israel and we pray for rain this time of year.

But hello world,

it is raining rockets in southern Israel!

110 rockets were fired since Sunday from Gaza at 1,000,000 people.

One landed on the beach in Ashkelon, another in a child’s bedroom.

Children could not go to school, as it was “rocket day” again.

It is also raining in Jerusalem, Israel,

Jerusalem streets flooded water

 but the kind of rain that fills the streets with rushing water

Bell Park, J Streets, Jerusalem photography tour

and empties the parks.

Jerusalem photography tour, Bell Park

In spite of the weather, in Gan Hapa’amon, the Liberty Bell Park, 

these two men were fixing a mangal, BBQ, to grill their lunch. 

bike in rain

Bikers covered their backpacks

rain hat, Jerusalem photography tour

 and men covered their hats.

sharing an umbrella, Jerusalem photography tour, J Street

When the wind was not blowing, an umbrella was good protection.

Israeli flag, Jerusalem photography tour

The weather kept flags flying,

traffic in rain, J Streets, Jerusalem photo tours

but made it hard for people to drive.

Jerusalem rain, J Street, Jerusalem photos

Traffic was slow and sidewalks were slippery.

protester, Jerusalem photography tour

However, no matter what the weather, there is always something to protest

flowers , Yemin Moshe, Jerusalem photography tour

and something unusual to photograph.

steps flooded with water, Jerusalem photography tours

These flooded steps were dangerous,

flowers ,Yemin Moshe, Jerusalem tour photography

but the flowers near them were gorgeous.

November 11 was also Veteran’s Day in the US, 

a special time to remember those who served in past wars.

Please, know and remember,

today there are 1,000,000 civilians in southern Israel

who have to sleep in bomb shelters and run for shelter from missiles.

rockets Sderot,

It is time to #StopTheRockets!

Short You tube video 

Nachlaot Finding Past and Future

Sir Moses Montefiore, a great benefactor to Israel in the 19th century,

is perhaps best known for the Montefiore Windmill.

However, in 1882 he was also involved in building

the Nachlaot section of Jerusalem.

This cluster of small Jewish neighborhoods was one of the first

Jerusalem homesteads outside the walls of the over-crowded Old City.

Stone walls surrounded Nachlaot to protect its residents.

Sir Moses Montefiore

Today one of the openings still displays a testimonial to Montefiore 

and the Mazkeret Moshe neighborhood is named for him.

 Nachlaot is across from the Machane Yehuda Market, the shuk.

Nahlaot street, Jerusalem Street, J Street

After getting lost too many times on the narrow twisting streets,

I made it a habit to walk around Nachlaot

and not through it on my way to the shuk.

So when the Jerusalem Scavenger Hunts offered a hunt to Nachlaot, 

I made sure to be one of the first bloggers to sign up for the special event.

mayaan fogel art, street art, Nahaot

In Nachlaot, you can see interesting street art

street art, J Street, Nahlaot

painted on the walls,

street art, J Street, scavenger hunt

but you never know what you will  find hanging out on its streets.

Old stone street, J Street, Jerusalem old street

Old stone streets

Nahlaot house, J Street, new Jerusalem building

and beautiful new homes,

street art, J Street, Nachlaot art

combine to make walking the Nachlaot streets a real adventure.

Nahlaot, J Street, Jerusalem street photos

From ancient stones on the left to modern cable receivers on the right,

it can all be found in Nachlaot.

We followed our map, and not only did we not get lost,

but our team won!

And thanks to the Village Green Restaurant on Rachel Imenu Street,

we enjoyed fresh bread with a cup of soup at the end of the hunt.

There are many tours to Nachlaot, 

but this scavenger hunt is fun and educational for all ages.

 We found it as good an experience as the hunt last year

in the Old City.

To find more photos of Nachlaot and our winning team see:

The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook Page.