Thanks on Thanksgiving – Shabbat Shalom

Thanks on Thanksgiving – Shabbat Shalom

Thursday was Thanksgiving in the US,

a holiday when millions of American families

gather to eat an annual turkey dinner.

In Tel Aviv a special Thanksgiving dinner was held.

Also an annual event,

the Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin,

sponsors a mega turkey meal for lone soliders.

Away from families,

these young men and women, in uniform or out,

have come from around the world to enlist in IDF.

Not just Americans participated,

Mexico, Australia, Canada, Ukraine, and Great Britain,

did not matter where you were from,

good food and fun, if you get leave, you come.

Close to a thousand solders came this year.

Naftali Bennett at lone soldier Thanksgiving dinner. in Tel Aviv

Education Minister Naftali Bennett came,

and gave thanks for their contribution to Israel.

Thanksgiving dinner for lone soldiers, Michael Oren poses for photo with two

MK Michael Oren, who is a former lone soldier,

often participates in these events.

Thanksgiving dinner lIDF one soldiers

It took two hours to drive to Tel Aviv in the rain,

but glad we went to see the wonderful energy and fun.

Now time for Shabbat,

with turkey and most all the fixings,

still miss fresh cranberry sauce,

but will make do with lots of other side dishes.

From Jerusalem, giving thanks.

שבת שלום

Shabbat shalom.

More photos HERE 

Anwar Sadat Historic Visit to Jerusalem 40 Years Ago Remembered

Anwar Sadat Historic Visit to Jerusalem 40 Years Ago Remembered

There is a joke that they tell

that really has much truth to it:

Israelis endure stresses and wars

and still carry on, but when it rains,

that’s a whole other story.

Finally,

Knesset building on cloudy rainy day

the first much-needed winter rain came down yesterday.

  The Jerusalem skies were grey and streets were wet.

I was happy to be dry and inside the Knesset.

There have been ‘100-years’ celebrations,

50-year’ celebrations,

and this week a ’40-year’ celebration.

Photo of Begin, Sadat and Shamir in Knesset for 40 events

Forty years ago Egyptian President Anwar Sadat

made his historic trip to Jerusalem and spoke in the Knesset.

Panel Moshe Arens and Eil Rubenstein in Knesset auditorium

Panels with distinguished Israelis,

like former Defense Minister Moshe Arens and

recently-retired Deputy President of  the Supreme Court Elyakim Rubenstein,

talked about events and memories of forty years ago.

Knesset Auditorium stage for panel on Sadat 40 year

This event took place in the Knesset Auditorium

and was open to the public.

Panel on durability of peace agreement with Efraim INbar and Zvi Mazel

At another panel former Israeli Ambassador to Egypt

Zvi Mazel talked about the peace agreement.

Following the next panel, on looking forward,

with MK Yisrael Katz and Dore Gold,

former Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

the Prime Minister spoke at a special Knesset session.

The turnout was disappointing;

Knesset plenary for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech

I think there were more photographers present

in the plenum than members of Knesset.

As Benjamin Netenyahu gave his address,

MK Yisrael Katz sat alone in the center of the room.

Night view of Knesset flags and lights.

It was dark and wet when I left,

but at least this weather is good for photos of the flags.

Then in the morning,

 more rain and another event,

Beit Hanasi in the rain, outside wet

this time at at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence.

Umbrellas were piled up high and

 the newly renovated floors were hard to keep clean

as international diplomats gathered.

Historic photos were again on display,

Photo of first ladies.

like this one of the First Ladies, Aliza Begin and Jihan Sadat.

German Ambassador shaking hands with African representative

Ambassadors exchanged greetings,

Ceremony at Israeli President's Residence for 40 years Sadat visit to Jerusalem

before sitting down to see a slide presentation

and speeches highlighting moments from 40 years ago.

Hazem Khairat at Beit Hanasi for Sadat 40 year event

Cordial and friendly smiles today

contrast with situation over 40 years ago.

Hazem Khairat speaking at Beit Hanasi for 40 years Sadat visit to Jerusalem

Egyptian Ambassador to Israel Hazem Khairat

was the last speaker of the day.

Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin in photo at Beit Hanasi for 40 ceremony

Sadat and Begin did the unimaginable

forty years ago.

It was said at the time

that the peace treaty would be worthwhile

if there would be no wars for even 15 years.

Flags of Egypt and Israel at Beit Hanasi

So today,

Egypt and Israel

came together again to celebrate,

and hope for continued peace in the future.

Sigd and Shabbat Shalom

Sigd and Shabbat Shalom

Sigd, a holiday which is set on

the 29th of Hebrew month of Heshvan,

 falls out on Shabbat this year.

A national holiday in Israel since 2008,

thousands of Ethiopian-Israelis celebrate

by coming to Jerusalem, Israel,

to the tayelet in Armon Hanetziv.

Ethiopian religious leaders in Jerusalem Israel Sigd

Kessim, religious elders, sit under umbrellas,

perhaps remembering the days in Ethiopia

when they went to the highest mountain to fast,

praying to one day return to Yerushalayim, to Zion.

Woman praying at Sigd event in Jerusalem Israel

Women can be seen praying,

and perhaps remembering life in Ethiopia,

and their arduous journey to Sudan and challenges in Israel.

Each year,

Young male IDF soldiers in uniform for Sigd in Jerusalem Israel on Tayelet

more and more of the young people

Young female IDF soldiers on Tayelet for Sigd celebration

 young women as well as men,

are serving in the Israeli Defense Forces.

Sigd was observed on Thursday this year,

so as not to have the celebrations interfere with Shabbat.

The reason the main celebration is on the tayelet

Shabbat Shalom from the Tayelet view of Old City Temple Mount

 is that its elevation provides this, one of the best views

of the Old City and the Temple Mount.

שבת שלום