Happy Passover and Shabbat Shalom

Happy Passover and Shabbat Shalom

Another year of Passover preparation in nearly over.

There is an end in sight from the shopping and cleaning and shleping.

matza baking before Pesach

The matza is baked and ready to serve at the seder.

Pesach seder plate for Happy Passover greeting

The seder plate is taken out of storage, cleaned and put on the clean table cloth, ready for guests.

Hebrew sign Happy Passover, bus sign in Hewbrew

The Jerusalem buses will again have the Happy and Kosher Pesach greeting.

Pesach sign Happy Passover

Happy Passover.

And this year with Passover starting on Friday night,

Flowers shabbat shalom erev pesach

שבת שלום

 Shabbat Shalom

Purim Colors in Jerusalem

It seems like ages ago, but Purim in Jerusalem, Israel, was celebrated this year on Thursday night and Friday.

Purim in Jerusalem family dressed in costumes

Families dressed up in costumes. In many neighborhoods they filled the streets as they went to synagogues, community centers, and hundreds of other locations for readings of Megillat Esther.

Purim for megila reading men in costumes

Not all participants dressed up, but many parents and children did, including the reader in this synagogue.

Pirate costume for Purim in synagogue

There were pirates below,

Purim costumes in Jerusalem Israel for megila reading

and fair damsels above. All quietly listened to the story of Esther and Mordechai and made noise when name of wicked Haman was read.

Jerusalem Purim costumes

Purim is a colorful time,

Rabbi Benny Lau poses in Purim costume with Yonks

with smiles a plenty.

Jerusalem Purim costume poop emoji

One never knows what costume you will find in Jerusalem on Purim,

Man dressed in costume pushing baby carriage.. Purim in Jerusalem

however, this man’s outfit stood out–and up–as he pushed the baby carriage up the street.

Tens of thousands were out on the Jerusalem streets on Friday. Some streets were filled with cars, and others were filled with celebrants, not all sober.

Purim costume little fireman Jerusalem Israel

Purim in Jerusalem is exciting enough to tire out even a fearless firefighter. The Purim marathon is finally over.

Jerusalem Marathon Finish line 2018

Now it is time to finish preparing for the Jerusalem Marathon on Friday, March 9, 2018.

Streets will be closed again and filled with colorful costumes as tens of thousands of runners and their supporters fill the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

Purim in Jerusalem More than Just a Day

Purim in Jerusalem More than Just a Day

It is Spring in Jerusalem, Israel, and the barren land turns green from the winter rain.

Valley of Cross Jerusalem Israel in spring.

The flowers pop up from out of the ground.

Rafefet growing from old rocks in Valley of Cross Jerusalem Israel

Even from deep in ancient rocks, new life and color emerge, as the rafkefet, the cyclamen,  thrive with the cool winter temperatures.

Flowers planted near Jerusalem Windmill in Israeli park

Planted flower beds are ready for longer days and warm sunshine.

Sounds of the Night Jerusalem Festival in Old City

The special Ai WeWei art exhibit at the Israel Museum is ending, while the annual Sounds of Night Festival in the Old City is coming soon.

But, this is Purim week in Jerusalem, Israel.

In Israel, it goes on and on for more than one day.

Many museums are free for children both on Purim and Shushan Purim this year, on Thursday and Friday.

Purim costumes for children on Agrippas Street in Jerusalem, Israel Arab woman looking at dresses

However, costumes have been displayed for sale for weeks.

Purim in Jerusalem, Israel parents taking photo of girl dressed as bride

Wedding photos are often taken near sunset in Jerusalem parks, but this miniature bride was getting her Purim photographs taken a week before Purim in the Rose Garden near the Knesset.

Purim costume Lego Man in Jerusalem Israel

After days of younger children going to school dressed in pajamas, upside-down and whatever clever theme teachers could think of next, high school students joined in the holiday fun. On King George Street, LegoMan was a colorful and clever idea.

Purim costume giant marionette in Jerusalem Israel before Purim

Marionette guy took a second to turn and pose on his way to school.

Purim in Jerusalem Israel costumes for school before holiday

These girls were on their way dressed in a theme, but went past too quickly for me first thing in morning. I will spare you all the family photos posted on WhatsApp as they headed out to school. We even had a poop emoji in the bunch.

Children behind school gate dressed in Purim costumes Israel

Activities, and especially dress-up, were the rage in schools for nursery age children throughout Israel.  These cuties, policemen, brides, princesses and more in the south were singing Purim songs for us as we passed by their playground.

Purim in Israel carnival for community by AMIT girls' school

Purim carnivals and other activities have been held since the beginning of the Hebrew month of Adar, with schools involving communities to celebrate in the fun.

Hamentaschen piled up in Machane Yehuda Market for Purim

Oh and the food. Hamentashen galore in a list of flavors growing annually. The days of only poppy-seed and prune are long gone, only memories.

The Purim seuda, the festive holiday meal, is enjoyed by Jerusalemites on Friday, and should begin early enough so as not to interfere with the onset of Shabbat. We are planning to start at 11:00 after reading Megillat Esther. Others are starting later and going into the Sabbath.

Meanwhile, it is time to get cooking. I used to think it was be good to have extra time to prepare for Purim, a one-day holiday that went by so quickly. Now I’m not so sure. Creating multiple costumes, sending treats to school classrooms, beside the usual preparing food gifts to send, it seems endless.

Purim in Jerusalem megila ready every hour AZZA ZAZA

For the 8th year, AZZA ZAZA, continuous readings of Megillat Esther are being offered by Chabad in the Rechavia neighborhood. They offer over 20 readings, every hour in various public locations near Azza Street.

There are more Purim celebrations and events in Jerusalem than we can list, but the municipality website has a few of dozens, in English listed HERE

Happy Purim Jerusalem street posters

Happy Purim!