See the Jerusalem Streets for Tu Bishvat

What is changing faster?

The weather over the Jerusalem streets–or the mood of the people, trying to move forward after almost 4 months since Hamas atrocities started a war on October 7?

From the horrors on Simhat Torah, it is already time for Tu Bishvat, the holiday called the ‘New Year of Trees’.

The almond trees were indeed bursting with flowers this week.

The sky at sunset was often filled with pink clouds.

Even the pink blossoms of the cherry trees in the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens were ready for the holiday.

A sign on the way to the gardens was for ‘raising a glass’ to celebrate Rosh Hashana before an election which was to be held at the end of October and is still on hold until the end of February.

Inside the gardens, the pond is ready for the spring and summer ahead.

The 75th-anniversary birthday celebration for the Knesset on Tu Bishvat was extremely low-key. Oh so very different than in 2016, when the current location celebrated its 50th year on Tu Bishvat.

No flags were flying on the street, and no tourists were admiring the menorah across from the entrance.

The row of carob trees across from the Supreme Court was fully green, a far cry from those old brown bokser pods we remember for the holiday “treat” that in Jerusalem litter the ground.

Back at Beit Hanasi, the Israel President’s Residence, the reception held was not for Tu Bishvat, but for the UN-mandated International Holocaust Remembrance, Day which falls on January 27th, and this year on Shabbat.

Inside the chairs were lined up for survivors of the Kindertransport, but the hostages in Gaza were not forgotten. There is an undercurrent everywhere thinking about the hostages held by Hamas.

These “children” who were saved 85 years ago by being sent to England, many never to see their parents again, were the featured guests of the President of Israel.

Germany’s Ambassador to IsraelSteffen Seibert attended and listened carefully to the survivors’ stories.

Sitting next to the moderator, he heard one of the survivors rescued from Nazi Germany in the Kindertransport operation in 1938, say that she was once again evacuated from her home – this time in Kibbutz Zikim on the Gaza border, after the community came under attack by Hamas on October 7.  

So yellow ribbons are tied to trees anticipating the hostages’ return.

The military cemeteries are expanding, with more graves and fresh memorial wreaths,

and new ones being prepared for use.

There were only two graves here on our last visit, not so long ago.

Love not war, as war goes on into the fourth month–a war Israel did not want, but must win.

On Tu Bishvat it was good to see the roof of the Bird Observatory green again.

Even the Jerusalem buses go green with the new electric ones.

The new towers rising over the Jerusalem Streets seem to reach the grey clouds in the sky.

Construction is starting up again.

Nature is coming back to life again, with green grass and almond trees in bloom.

Flowers line the path ready for the Jerusalem Marathon in March.

Azza Street was blocked for a protest – again.

But flowers are sprouting from the old stones, part of the old and new, and changing along the Jerusalem streets.

Tu Bishvat four years ago at Beit Hanasi, ended with a special hope. Still singing songs of hope.

Moving forward and upward from October 7, it’s Israel Space Week 2024.

Israel Space Week started on January 28, 2024.

Something is always happening on the Jerusalem streets.

Hope to see you all here soon!

13 thoughts on “See the Jerusalem Streets for Tu Bishvat

  • January 28, 2024 at 12:06 pm

    Glad to see the almond blossoms sign of hope and reminder of the flowering redemption to come in Israel!! Praying for that to come soon and for peace in Israel and the world.

    You may not realize it but I am always thankful to you because I came back to being aware of Tu B`Shevat from reading your post some years ago, and since then every year I love to celebrate with fruits and seeing the first blossoms (here in Japan) and planting trees in Israel and reading the verses about Fruit, this is one of my favorites. Shalom to you and blessings from Japan.

    In days to come Jacob will take root,
    Israel will bud and blossom
    and fill all the world with fruit. Isaiah 27:6

    • January 28, 2024 at 2:45 pm

      No I was not aware, but the cherry blossoms are in the Botanical Gardens near the soon to be opened Japanese Pagoda. Will have to make sure you see that one I am looking forward to happening.

  • January 28, 2024 at 12:09 pm

    Baruch Dayan Emet.
    So sorry to hear about your mom.
    When we were sitting shiva for my husband [Judy’s brother], 12 years ago, one of the rabbeim told us not to say “rak be’smachot”. That’s not the way of the world. We should know joy and we must deal with the pain.
    Remember all the good memories you have of her.
    Gut voch.

    • January 28, 2024 at 12:22 pm

      Thank you. We certainly have enough pain now.

  • January 28, 2024 at 12:18 pm

    I am so sorry to read about your mother’s death. May Hashem send you consolation in the nachat you receive from your children and grandchildren.
    המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך אבילי ציון וירושלים
    Larry Schwed

    • January 28, 2024 at 12:23 pm

      Thank you.

  • January 28, 2024 at 12:35 pm

    I am very sorry for your loss and hope that the good memories of your mother will give you comfort.

    Although I never comment, I always enjoy reading your “Real Jerusalem Streets “ and I always look forward to your next post.
    Eleanor (A friend of your friend)

    • January 28, 2024 at 12:37 pm

      Thank you so kind to hear from you.

  • January 28, 2024 at 7:42 pm

    Sharon, so sorry to hear of your loss. Hamakom yenachem eschem bisoch aveilei tzion viyerushalayim. Hope we shall share only news of simchos. All the best, marcia m

    • January 28, 2024 at 7:47 pm

      Thank you. So glad I was able to see you last year when in the US.

  • January 30, 2024 at 5:09 am

    hamakom yinachem et-chem b’toch sh’ar avelei tzion v’yerushalayim…I am so sorry for your loss of your mother, Sharon…may your memories bring you comfort…

    • January 30, 2024 at 7:19 am

      Thank you Hannah.

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