It’s that time of year again.
Rosh Chodesh Kislev when the new flavor donuts appear.
What’s your favorite?
Hanukkah time in Jerusalem, Israel,
is always a busy time of year.
This past week the world has had Jerusalem
in its headlines after US President Trump acknowledged
Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.
US, Israeli and Jerusalem flags
were flying on Agron Road
along the street of the US consulate building.
No photos are allowed of that building,
so this corner view of the
Jerusalem Waldorf Astoria will have to do.
The Israeli, US, and EU flags were on display behind
the King David Hotel with
the walls of Old City in the background.
Hanukkah menorahs are placed in hundreds of locations.
Thousands of school performances
large, and not-so-epic, have been held.
So what about the “tense” situation?
Those red signs and IDF security posts
are the norm for the outskirts of Bethlehem.
Parks may be a little less crowded,
but I did not find the that the “situation”
was much different than usual.
There are neighborhoods of New York,
Washington, DC, and Chicago,
I would never walk through,
and where driving can be dangerous.
The Tower of David Museum opened a new exhibit,
A General and a Gentleman
Allenby at the Gates of Jerusalem;
there was no way I was going to miss this event in the Old City.
Since the viewing Balfour-Allenby Exhibit
at the Israel National Library,
I have anxiously awaited December 11, 2017.
December is an important month for religious holidays.
Hanukiot are on display,
this photo has the explanation.
There are dozens of original photos.
Keep in mind that World War I was first time soldiers
had cameras on the battlefield.
Not exactly Facebook live, but they captured memories
now frozen in time for over 100 years.
The collection of authentic items and research is impressive.
Three official photos from the series are missing;
they were destroyed as they did not fit the British war narrative.
The exhibit runs until the fall of 2018,
but on December 11, 1917,
General Edmund Allenby entered through Jaffa Gate
to an impoverished Jerusalem.
Actors recreated the event,
and thousands of spectators, local and international,
crowded in to watch the reenactment of the original ceremony.
‘General Allenby’ spoke, and his heirs who came from England
joined local dignitaries, past and present.
Thousands were in the streets of the Old City,
without violence – so not news.
But about that rusty key of the city,
Mayor Nir Barkat did not keep it.
Allenby took it out of his pocket as he spoke to
Lawrence of Arabia after the program
inside Tower of David.
Here’s hoping people will not miss the multitude of events
planned this week in Jerusalem.
School is out.
Museums are free for children.
Too many events to list, but here is a link
to some of the Jerusalem Hanukkah events.
From Cinema City to Safra Sqaure to Yes Planet,
look up and look around.
There is, as usual, too much to do on Hanukkah.
In Jerusalem, eight days are not enough.
Time to get going,
the first day is almost over.
In Jerusalem, Israel, as December begins
the holiday season gets going.
Signs are up for a new Ethiopian-Israeli Festival.
International tourist groups have been enjoying
the unusually warm, sunny, and dry weather.
These holiday streets lights are up
and new signs of Hanukkah
some with neighborhood activities
and this series of signs with holiday treats to eat.
Suffganiot have been in the shop windows
in Machane Yehuda Market, the shuk’
and in Jerusalem bakeries for weeks.
But one of my favorite holiday foods are
those big red, delicious strawberries
that are just coming into season.
In the shuk, they are for sale, but not yet piled high.
It is not only the Hanukkah season;
Santa Claus is in the Old City,
and the YMCA has decorated trees both inside
and outside in the front garden.
On Friday, while on the bus to the Old City,
we saw thousands of Muslims coming
from all directions for Friday prayers,
while at the same time
these characters were waving Israeli flags
and holding signs.
It was a wonderful peaceful week in Jerusalem.
We will have to wait and see what will happen next.
But to end on a festive note,
one of my all time holiday favorites,
from two years ago,
is this wonderful sound and light projection,
on Walls of the Old City.