Oh, Jerusalem! Oh, Jerusalem!
After the lows and mourning of Tisha B’Av, just a few days later and it’s party time – at least summer holiday time. People who might have traveled overseas in a normal year, are staying closer to home with the uncertainty of border closings and questions of the Delta and other variants.
1. Gan Sacher, Sacher Park fills with large family gatherings in the evening as summer days cool off and they are able to share elaborate meals.
2. Synagogues have reopened, with a mask requirement, however, those outdoor social distanced services continue in many locations.
3. Midnight at the Kotel, Western Wall, the sight of hundreds of people coming and going, day and night is back.
Last year many “annual” events were not held or were extremely limited.
4. At Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence, an annual event remembering deceased former Presidents and Prime Ministers was held.
New President Isaac Herzog hosted, with his wife Michal and new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at his side. All present had to wear a mask inside.
For the first time as Prime Minister, Bennett spoke at an event at Beit Hanasi and attracted a little media attention.
Noticeably, he refrained from shaking hands. Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert attended, the only former PM or President present.
The real streets paid little attention to the event.
5. Crowds of people have returned, and are filling Mamilla Mall, day and night, passing thru or just strolling,
and eating at old favorites or trying the new dairy restaurant that opened recently.
On Mamilla Avenue, one store closes and another store opens.
This Dior cafe on the roof is gone, after making a short appearance on social media, and creating a buzz for a few days.
6. But the food trucks are back in the Hinnom Valley Park near the Cinematheque, bigger than ever, attracting nightly summer visitors.
While the Beer Festival music blasting from Gan Haatazmaut, Independence Park could be heard on distant Jerusalem streets,
7. softer, free music was offered on the pathway thru the Artists Colony.
On the cool Thursday evening, it attracted an appreciative audience.
8. Nice to see artists back in their shops creating and working.
Nothing seemed to reach the attention level of the ice-cream crisis, but
9. Golda in Mamilla Mall was busy as usual selling ice cream. One of the sad sights of the corona lockdowns was the empty spaces outside stores forced to close.
10. Back at night under the full Tu B’Av moon was the fountain at Teddy Park. Ah, the sounds of thrilled children playing in the water as hundreds of people watched from around the on a cool summer night.
The Jerusalem streets are back.
Let’s hope they stay open, filled with people enjoying the summer holidays.
Check out more on Jerusalem travel here.