From Jerusalem Stones -Wishing All Shabbat Shalom

The United Nations has marked January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Home and belonging and ordinary people are the themes this year, in 2023.

The 27th falls on a Friday. Therefore, along with remembering, also, wishing all a Shabbat Shalom.

This section of the Western Wall of the Temple Mount Compound was underground, excavated, and soon to be opened to the public on the new Western Wall Tour.

שבת שלום

Jerusalem in January: See What’s Hot and Happening

January in Jerusalem, Israel, could be cold, dark and wet. But this year the weather has been mild, with sunny days and cool nights. Perfect weather to get out and walk on Jerusalem streets. Sadly, not good weather for farmers.

In the Talpiot neighborhood, the sun was shining over this old drab building painted with vivid colors.

I had gone to find the mural hung in support of Iranian women. The large banner is to be in this Jerusalem location for six weeks and then move on to another Israeli city.

The vivid Talpiot murals have increased over the years and graffiti has become a popular artistic expression along with the Jerusalem building and construction boom of recent years.

Not everything in Jerusalem is as it appears.

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This building might seem like a slum, and yet it is located in a popular and increasingly expensive neighborhood.

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Meters away from the Train Track trail, popular for walking and cycling.

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And this street in Jerusalem is a considered major thoroughfare.

Shabbat morning three Arab women were having driving lessons, on this street at the same time. One teacher was wearing a hijab, something that I hadn’t seen before.

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In Jerusalem, it’s possible to find time to pray, almost all day and all night.

You can also purchase a snack, drink, or pair of tzitzit from the vending machine at any time of day.

You never know what you will find next on the Jerusalem streets.

The bus stops are decorated with cute posters for a warm winter in Jerusalem. And it has been a very warm winter indeed!

The flowers are bursting with color.

It’s hard to walk down Jerusalem streets and not stop and notice.

This week I have constantly been impressed at the colors and variety.

But most of all, a sign of how warm it has been, the almond trees are in bloom already well before Tu B’Shevat – even before Rosh Chodesh Shevat.

I went on Friday to check out the almond blossoms and passed by Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence. Five layers of barriers were in place on Friday afternoon, all ready for anti-government protesters on Saturday night.

I checked out what was happening, and put together this video.

Remember Balfour Street from the previous protests? It was open to pedestrians during the protests and for many months.

Oh, the Jerusalem streets. What will happen next?

“You took me and my daughters 7 years ago and we loved it! Hopefully on our next visit!” was the comment I woke up to this morning in an email.  Was that the best cancelation comment ever?

When will you see the real Jerusalem streets?

7 Things That Happened in Jerusalem this Week

With headlines full of controversy, negativity, and protests, you may have missed the positive things that happened in Jerusalem this week.

I have been trying to get a rainbow photo for so many years. Finally, on Thursday afternoon, it was starting to rain as I was ready to walk home.

I called my husband to give me a ride.

But a rainbow was forming in front of me. I hung up on him as fast as possible and captured the fleeting moment of the full rainbow.

A light, brief shower like that is called tif tuf in Hebrew and stopped in a couple of minutes, so I did walk home.

But I was obsessed enough to use the image for a Shabbat Shalom post.

While construction and building are hot topics again, the week was also filled with events you might have missed hearing about.

Starting on Sunday morning with Living Financially Smarter in Israel 2023.

Rifka Lebowitz started the private Facebook group 13 years ago and it has grown to over 36,000 members.

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Their first conference held at and with Nefesh Be’Nefesh was sold out early.

Amazing how many people stayed until the end of the long day to learn and ask questions. Knowing how to manage your finances is important for a successful aliyah.

In Cinema City, Yad L’Olim has opened a special shop for Ukrainian refugees to assist them in their getting established since many fled without many essentials.

Inside the Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence had a busy week.

I wonder what Herzl would say about the current situation.

“The foundations of Israeli democracy, including the justice system, are sacred and we must strictly safeguard them, even at a time of fundamental arguments and debates about the relationship between the different branches of government,” stated President Isaac Herzog in an official statement issued on Sunday morning after rallies in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

On Tuesday at Beit Hanasi, the new Education Minister and others joined with the head of the Jewish Agency and the President to acknowledge 30 years of the educational program Naale.

There were representatives from each one of the 30 years of the program’s existence, designed for students who come to Israel on their own for high school.

After the official program inside, the President posed with people who stood in line for the photo opportunity.

After the full morning of ceremonies receiving the credentials of five new Ambassadors to Israel on Wednesday, the Herzogs posed with the members of the Honor Guard after the last of the diplomatic limousines departed for the King David Hotel reception.

Instead of photos from the five-hour-long ceremony, I made an eight-minute video to share a bit of behind-the-scenes.

Hansen House hosted 58 artists for the InPrint ART BOOK FAIR from January 11 – 13, 2023.

Love how the old leper hospital is full of life now with art, science, and technology events.

Yes, positive things are happening on Jerusalem streets.

Come and see for yourself or for your group book a virtual tour.