Time for Good News from the Jerusalem Streets

Where to begin and what is most important to share?

In these difficult days, people are grasping for good news to balance daily updates of deaths, funerals, and condolence calls.

In Jerusalem, more and larger Israeli flags are unfurling each day. This one is near Jaffa Gate.

After hearing the booms and seeing the Iron Dome interceptions in the sky over Jerusalem, it took a few days to venture out to see what was happening on the Jerusalem streets.

Workers were putting up more flags and flag poles to line main roads.

At Mishkanot Shaananim, I have never before seen a shelter notice posted at the auditorium door. The gruesome ZAKA press conference was held there for international journalists.

Did you see anything about ZAKA reported in your local media?

Outside was a MDA emergency motorcycle ready, but not needed.

And very close to the Montefiore Windmill, there were people preparing for a wedding. The stories of weddings during this time could fill a book. Each day news of more engagements keeps us smiling too.

People have come through with volunteering, donating, and sharing just about everything you could imagine in Jerusalem, and throughout Israel.

One Family Fund has been working overtime, the pile of donations so large it had to be moved outside.

International media crews have parachuted in by the hundreds and are looking for stories.

Will they include young Arab families walking freely on the Jerusalem streets?

The popular Mamilla Mall was almost deserted though a few shops were open and food was available.

Friday, I felt like Noah leaving the safety of my little neighborhood and went to the Tower of David.

For years I have been watching and waiting to see the new entrance in use. The Tower of David Museum is closed.

However, I was invited to take photos of a bat mitzvah girl from the south and her family, and it was an offer too hard to resist. It was a great volunteer project, much more fun than packing sandwiches for sure.

The security was strictly enforced to enter but once I got inside the view was as impressive as ever.

From the top of the Tower of David, there is one of the best views of the Temple Mount. It was good to see it very quiet on Friday after midday prayer time.

In this upside-down world of the Jerusalem, Israel streets, I smiled all the way home from the Tower of David after meeting bat mitzvah girl Rotem and her family.

Seeing young fathers dressed in army uniforms walking with children,

and others walking with weapons slung over their shoulders has become a comforting norm.

Then I saw these two women and had to ask if they knew each other before. They did not. A woman in Jerusalem was giving a woman from the south food and games and more for Shabbat.

Two strangers coming together in time of need.

Yes, Hamas is constantly firing rockets and missiles at Israeli cities. Hezbollah on the northern border is jealous of the attention and shooting at Israeli cities now also. Red alerts come in batches – anytime.

But for the moment at least, Jerusalem is quiet, some children are back in school, at least part-time.

More signs reading “One Nation as One” and “Am Yisrael Chai!” are being posted on Jerusalem streets.

Hopefully, there will be more good news to share next time from the Jerusalem!

Jerusalem was Quiet, but We Are Not Alright

Where to begin as we begin a new week, and a new month and no way to predict what will happen next minute on the Jerusalem streets?

Since the start of the war, EMT teams have treated thousands of casualties, including those killed, as well as those in serious, moderate, and mild conditions, including staff who were working on saving lives.

During one night this week, 3 MDA ambulances were damaged by Hamas in different locations, and efforts were made to put them back in service to continue saving lives.

Shrapnel kills. More have been killed by Hamas and injured since the initial Simhat Torah Massacre.

In Jerusalem, it was quiet on Shabbat. Perhaps too quiet?

Most everything has been canceled. What you should know:

The videos with shocking headlines in Arab media were of a few local Hamas supporters throwing rocks and setting tires on fire as security aimed to keep them out of Jerusalem. Remember while the “Day of Rage” was internationally celebrated, it was in Arabic all about saving Al-Quds – Jerusalem.

Please be vigilant, know Arab media distorts and lies. I will spare you videos with these 2 screenshots.

The Kotel, Western Wall was quiet, as holiday crowds were anxious to get home and flights were canceled. Meanwhile, El Al is working overtime to bring people and reserve soldiers home.

ZAKA volunteers held a special ceremony at the Kotel, their job dealing with honoring the dead has never been so difficult as the horrors of the past week unfold.

Sunday morning, more Israeli flags are seen along the Jerusalem streets. Not everyone was caught unaware in the morning, and it was a hard rain for a while.

After a week that felt much longer, Stage 1 is coming to an end. “We are striking Hamas decisively. So far, over 1000 terrorists have been killed, including senior commanders, and thousands of targets have been attacked, including facilities, weaponry, and terror bases. The terrorists will have nowhere to hide. Anywhere there are Hamas terrorists will be turned into ruins.”

The weather is said to be a factor in when stage 2 of Operation Iron Swords will begin. Every Israeli expert agrees this time IDF ground forces will have to enter Gaza to get to the Hamas organization hiding behind civilians and under hospitals and the Gaza streets.

I’ve seen tanks lined up and ready to go into Gaza in the past, but at the last minute, international pressure forced a “ceasefire.” Each time Hamas regrouped and came back again attacking civilians.

US Senators meet with President Isaac Herzog
Photo credit: Haim Zach (GPO)

US Senators meet with President Isaac Herzog on Sunday morning in Jerusalem, Israel.

I went to Kerem Shalom more than once, these photos are from May 18, 2016.

The variety and size of the trucks were what was shocking to see the first time.

Huge trucks, bigger than those I had seen on the US Interstate roads I traveled.

Other than Outback Australia the size of transportation of goods was like nowhere I knew of.

Regularly, even in times of conflict. Israel supplied Gaza with oil to cook and fuel to run engines.

The size and variety of what went into Gaza in the past was immense, where it went is another story.

The media has already turned against Israel defending itself. Over 150 hostages at last count, with many under the age of 18, are being held captive in Gaza. Before sending in more of those trucks, Israelis want the hostages back home alive and soon.

Civilians of all ages and children kidnapped and held captive began this humanitarian crisis.

A few positive voices have stood out including Douglas Murray responding to a belligerent Britsh talking head on “proportionality” and NYC Mayor Eric Adams, speech declaring, “We are not alright.”

Did you know the word Hamas means brutal, malevolent, unchecked violence?

לֹֽא־יִשָּׁמַ֨ע ע֚וֹד חָמָס֙ בְּאַרְצֵ֔ךְ”

“Hamas will never be heard of again in your land.” (Isaiah 60:18)

Hopefully, the Jerusalem streets will be filled with people again soon and the word of the prophet Isaiah will be fulfilled.

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem – We Are Still Here

In Jerusalem, and all of Israel this has been one horrible week and Israel’s National Security Council-Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a warning on Thursday – against the background of Operation Swords of Iron.

The Hamas leadership has called on all of its supporters around the world to hold a ‘Day of Rage’ on Friday, the 13th, to attack Israelis and Jews. When murderous Hamas makes statements in Arabic, listen carefully.

When one does not know what to do, focus on what you can do. It was time to bake brownies to keep the kids busy with no school. They were as good as they look, sorry the peanut butter ones are long gone.

Scenes of taking the little ones out for a walk, while one parent is at work or called up, or older siblings need to attend classes online, or just get out for some air and breathe are common on the Jerusalem streets.

Please remember, that volunteers are trying their best to fill in for thousands called up for duty or unable to get to work because of young children at home.

President Isaac Herzog invited international journalists to Beit Hanasi, the President’s Residence for a press conference on Thursday morning. It was also broadcast live.

The growing numbers he shared are staggering, and sadly are still going up daily. Remember this is in less than a week, even though it feels like forever and Israel is the size of New Jersey.

Not only Jewish Israelis were murdered or missing, and held captive by Hamas. A rocket from Gaza hit a mosque in the Jerusalem area, but that did not get much media attention.

The international media is worried about the Hamas housing in Gaza being destroyed. I will not share the vile videos gleaned from social media of the depraved terrorists posting their despicable slaughter of innocent humans, including babies. The clip of President Herzog losing his temper when repeatedly asked about Gaza has been posted on social media.

Simple. Hamas is evil. Israel must respond.

Rather this photo essay is to share what is happening on the Jerusalem streets after one week of war.

The flowers and fruits were ready for shoppers to prepare for Shabbat.

The electrical store had an extensive display of batteries to prepare for emergencies.

The toy store was open. People are looking for new ways to entertain children.

The toilet paper, paper towels, and diapers were fully stocked and on display.

These stores that were closed for the Sukkot holiday were being restocked.

On the street, people were taking advantage of the good weather and quiet for food and conversation.

Israeli flags are being displayed on buildings and popping up on cars.

I missed Zot Habracha last week being read on Simhat Torah. Our synagogue was closed before I arrived.

This week we start the cycle again with Beresheet, In the Beginning.

There is good and evil.

The world should now know the difference, we have seen – that Hamas is ISIS is Jihad is evil.

Best wishes for a Shabbat Shalom.

From the Jerusalem streets to around the world – We are still here!