Jerusalem has just completed another Tisha B’Av.
Instead of past years with crowds of tens of thousands, there were 1,000 people allowed at the Kotel, the Western Wall, at night.
Sections were divided off and marked to permit the small groups allowed to follow the latest COVID-19 restrictions.
The women’s section which in the past was crowded with thousands had barriers also.
Reading Eicha, Lamentations, in Gan Haatzmaut, Independence Park, had a much smaller attendance.
Damascus Gate at night was quieter than usual as the 26th annual walk around the Old City Walls, limited this year to 50 participants, passed by.
On the other side of the street, the shops were all open late for Eid al-Adha preparations. The Muslim fast day coincided with Tisha B’Av this year, and at sunset they began a 3-day celebration.
Good news. The social workers and nurses are back to work after short strikes.
Israel Museum employees held a peaceful protest holding up signs to passing traffic.
The only loud noises were cars honking in support.
The Israel Museum has been closed since the coronavirus crisis began. On Thursday, museum director Ido Bruno announced a $4million donation from the American Friends of the Israel Museum. Plans to reopen are said to be underway.
On the hill below the Israel Museum, olives are on the trees.
Last week Jerusalem’s Gan Sacher, Sacher Park was empty.
The end of school year summer outings were not happening.
This morning, it was good to see children back in the Jerusalem park.
Jerusalem’s usual summer conferences have moved online, to Facebook and Zoom.
The annual Jerusalem sport event of Street Ball has been canceled.
Thousands of flags of the Jerusalem Parade will not fill the Jerusalem streets this year. The official cancellation was announced this week.
The day after Tisha B’Av, fifteen years ago, 8,500 Israeli citizens were forced out of 21 Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip and four communities in Samaria.
These beautiful homes were destroyed 15 years ago. The expulsion did not bring peace.
Instead, thousands of rockets, missiles, and destructive burning balloons.
I went to see the rebuilding starts of Gush Katif victim nine years ago
and the Gush Katif Museum five years ago.
That is an ongoing unpleasant chapter of Israeli history.
However, a much more pleasant story is what happened at the Hurva Synagogue 100 years ago. The historic and memorable first visit of the first British High Commissioner, Herbert Samuel, after his installation. Samuel was a knowledgeable Jew who participated in the Shabbat morning service.
Today at the rebuilt and re-inaugurated synagogue which was destroyed by Jordanian Legion in 1948, a special ceremony is to be held in honor of the centennial. However, attendance will be extremely limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Highs and lows. And new Corona signs have been posted.
New signs were up for “Leonardo da Vinci -The First Start-up entrepreneur,” the theme of a new exhibit at First Station for this summer.
The next day this sign – “Needed Now “Baseless Love” sign was posted.
The protests near the Prime Minister’s residence have gone on unabated.
They are loud and they disturb the residents well past the 11:00 pm noise curfew.
I think the police have used great restraint with these provocateurs.
On to much better news to share, a notice for יריד היין הגדול של ירושלים.
At First Station, the Jerusalem Wine Festival is planned for August 11– 13, 6 pm – 11:55 pm.
In local sports news, Israeli soccer is to return at the end of August.
Online tours galore can be found for those who are home-bound.
The National Library construction site had workers busy on the roof areas.
Now that Tisha B’Av is over, it’s almost Tu B’Av and time for celebrations and music.
Next Year in Jerusalem!