Trying to keep an equilibrium as the weeks after the October 7 War continue.
The down feelings continue on the Jerusalem streets with too many funerals, and shivas to attend.
Can we also celebrate life events with joy when so many are in various stages of mourning?
Despite the unpredictable weather in Jerusalem, Israel, in the past, the month of February was a very busy time for conferences and international visitors.
In the US it is President’s Day. In Jerusalem, we have Lincoln and Washington Streets every day.
We had cloudy February days that made for dramatic skies over the Jerusalem.
We had the return of Shaon Horef, the Jerusalem Winter Noise Festival on Monday nights.
With Purim coming soon, appropriately the first events were held on Shushan Street.
The idea is to draw people to these small, once-neglected, city streets for food and fun.
Monday nights in February were not prime time for outings, even with tourists or conference delegates.
Now for Shaon Horef high tech has advanced from “maps to apps.”
Music, live and recorded, played by DJs, unpredictable as the February weather.
The avant-garde art and music of Shaon Horef are usually hard to describe.
This year there were fewer light projections on the buildings, but a few stores were open. Many with the yellow “Bring them home sign” in the window. Even when celebrating with music, beer, and food, the hostages are not forgotten in Jerusalem.
The volunteerism goes on as strong as ever, with baking, grilling, and the Jerusalem city farmers markets.
The Israeli municipal elections were postponed from the end of October until February 27, 2024.
Will be interesting who gets elected to the new City Council with a disrupted time to campaign.
Current Mayor Moshe Lion continued his city beautification with tens of thousands of flowers planted around Jerusalem.
But, there are locations in Jerusalem with natural beauty and tranquility.
I wanted to get closer to take a better photo of the wildflowers but decided not to bother the women who found the spot before I arrived there.
The weather has been wonderful for the flowers and green grass to grow.
Those yellow ribbons are tied around many trees along Jerusalem streets.
Yet, Muslim women still walk freely and ride public buses as before October 7, even as signs for the return of hostages line many Jerusalem streets.
The protest tent area near Balfour Street has a sign that says “We want them alive.” As of now, 32 hostages are known to be dead, murdered on or after October 7.
Oh, the euphoria last week when two male hostages were rescued by the IDF!
It’s hard to forget Hamas holds 134 hostages captive and 574 IDF soldiers have fallen since October 7.
But, the citrus fruits are ripe for picking along the Jerusalem streets,
and even the simplest flower is a sign of spring beauty and hope.
Balancing the dark days, a simple bat mitzvah celebration with close family and friends brings light.
I will close with the annual – It’s Presidents’ Week in the US and the National Leadership Mission of the Conference of Presidents is back at the Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem.
The CEO William Daroff, was smiling at the dinner at the Museum of Tolerance.
But notice, that he was wearing a yellow ribbon lapel pin and also one of the dog tags around his neck to remember the hostages in Gaza.
He had the challenge of finding the balance, the equilibrium between hosting a conference during a time of war and advancing good for the future.
Good to see friends back on the Jerusalem streets, hope you will come soon too.