A Paradise Lost

Until last Thursday, Eilat seemed to have little in common with Jerusalem.

Landing in the small airport in the center of town,

was to be welcomed to a peaceful oasis in the desert.

A paradise with water and boats,

free of traffic lights and full of flowers blooming all year-long.

When Jerusalem was freezing, Eilat had a warm beach on the sea,

with clean, refreshing water.

Thousands of Israelis and foreign tourists flock to the beach,

where the sign is “Go in Peace”.

Across a small canal

one can see as planes land in Jordan.

With their huge flag, it is impossible to forget that the Jordanian city of Aqaba

and its border crossing are just minutes away.

Look to the right and Egypt is on the horizon.

In multiple terrorists’ attacks on Thursday afternoon,

8 Israelis were murdered and dozens more were injured near Eilat.

The 25th end of summer Eilat Jazz Festival goes on with new security concerns,

nevertheless, thousands of people have filled the highway driving south to attend.

How terrible the loss of innocent lives.

 A paradise lost?        

 No, the show must go on…



Hot and Busy

While it is hard to avoid the Flotilla and Dubai-related news headlines,

the real Jerusalem streets are hot and busy.

Across the city, proud families pack in hot,

crowded rooms to watch end-of-year school performances,

and graduations from all levels of education crowd the calendar.

School is out soon, and parents are busy organizing the children for summer activities.

  Want to forget the heat at the beach?

A new beach opened

in Jerusalem in the Liberty Bell Park.

Beach is hof yam in Hebrew, this volleyball court may have sand,

but there is no water in sight.  To get away from the heat,

 these kids seem to have found a better solution.

The streets are filled with kids out of school

and tourists and visitors.

 A regular scene at the Kotel, the Western Wall, but especially this season

is a bride and groom coming for photos

where total strangers normally join in the celebration.

Traditional Jewish weddings include the breaking of a glass

to remember Jerusalem.

Monday morning a police officer was killed by terrorists in an ambush

not far from Jerusalem. He was to be married in September.

Instead of wedding arrangements, the family had to arrange a funeral.

The international media may have been too busy to pay much attention,

 but Shuki Sofer will be remembered,

in Jerusalem strangers come together in celebration and in mourning.