Jerusalem Snow and More Snow and Black Ice

Snow in Jerusalem, Israel,

I waited for it to come,

and wow, did we ever get a lot of it!

Now I will try to explain how much snow there was 

and how crazy these last few days have been for so many of us.

What a mess it was when the white stuff started coming down.


After a night of pouring rain,

it started snowing heavily around 7:00 am on Thursday.

By noon, 10 cm had accumulated, wreaking havoc with school and work schedules.

At midday, the sky cleared briefly, with a white covering on the ground,

image snow Jerusalem, Picture snow Knesset , photo snow Jerusalem

and I could see the Israeli flag was still flying over the Knesset building.

It then continued snowing most of the day,

Jerusalem snow photo, image Jerusalem snow

and by Friday, Jerusalem felt as if it was under siege.

In the words of the prophet Ezekiel, on “tenth of tenth month” of Tevet,

the Babylonians laid siege to Jerusalem. 

The fast day took on new significance this year.

Jokes were going around, but for many, it was not so funny.

picture Jerusalem snow, image Jerusalem snow

Each day we were buried under new and increasing piles of snow.

image Jerusalem snow, picture snow Jerusalem

Five days after the storm began,

our small side street was finally plowed.

Jerusalem image snow, picture Jerusalem snow, Israel under snow picture

Sometimes the snow let up,

image Jerusalem snow, photo snow in Jerusalem, picture Jerusalem snow storm

leaving Jerusalem looking a bit like Switzerland,

but if you look, those are the roofs of Nahlaot in background,

 covered in white with no red tiles showing.

image Jerusalem snow clean up, photo jerusalem snow , picture snow in Jerusalem

Cleaning snow off cars with squeegees seemed like a good idea,

even if you could not get anywhere.

We left a good snow shovel in Maryland when we sold our house,

who could imagine needing it in Israel?

image Jerusalem snow , photo people walking in snow . picture damage Jerusalem snow

Friday there was no heat for thousands because of power outages, 

so it was warmer outside in the sunshine than inside.

Fallen branches blocking side walks were a common sight.

image Jerusalem snow, storm in Jerusalem photo, image street snow, picture snow Israel

Major intersections were plowed, I thought these piles of dirty snow

looked more like Boston than Jerusalem.

image Jerusalem street in snow storm, photo Jerusalem snow. picture plow in Jerusalem

Real snow plow or not, this was the only one

I actually saw moving the stuff covering the road.

See that sign on the right?

This was to have been a weekend with special hotel deals for tourists.

I doubt many made it with the roads into Jerusalem

 shut down for most of day.

image snow Jerusalem, picture jerusalem snow

There were more people out on these streets when they

were shut down for Obama’s speech last summer.

image Jerusalem snow, picture snow Jerusalem, photo people in snow,

This woman with small children was out early,

image snow in Jerusalem ,photo Jerusalem snow

but not many others ventured out into the winter wonderland.

image snow jerusalem, picture jerusalem snow park, photo sacher park in snow

Usually popular when it snows, Gan Sacher, Sacher Park was empty,

iamge Jerusalem snow, picture snow Jerusalem, photo people in snow Jerusalem

  the folks with big dogs were the first ones in the park.

image Jerusalem snow, picture Jerusalem in snow, steps snow photo jerusalem

Each day I had to clean the steps of new accumulations.

image cold room, Jerusalem snow phoot, image power out

When the room temperature became less than the temperature in the fridge,

I moved the thermometer inside to check on the food.

Fortunately we have gas to cook with,

since our power was off for four days.

It was a very quiet Shabat.

image jerusalem snow, photo damage jerusalem snow, pic snow storm

So now the snow has stopped, and it is time to get out from under.

image Jerusalem snow, photo Jerusalem snow, picture snow Israel

People began to get together to dig out their cars.

image Jerusalem snow, photo snow in Jerusalem, picture snow Israel

It was time to walk to the store and buy some milk, eggs and bread.

Then on the fifth day of the siege after the snow stopped,

black-ice covered the Jerusalem streets in the morning,

with people falling and cars skidding.

At least there are plans being made for some schools to open tomorrow,

perhaps with late openings.





or whatever you want to call it.

I wanted a lot of snow for viral photo material,

but forgot to ask for electric power and working computer.

So watch what you ask for, no matter how crazy it may be,

like half a meter of snow in Jerusalem, it just could happen.

More Jerusalem snow photos   HERE

Oops, better push ‘publish’ fast, some of our power just went out….again.

Jerusalem Municipal Election – Update

In Jerusalem, Israel, nothing is simple.

Jerusalem municipal elections are set for next week.


Campaign signs are plastered everywhere.

Jerusalem elections image, Mosh Lion

Moshe Lion is running for mayor

poster for Nir Barkat, Jerusalem mayor, Israeli flag

against current Mayor Nir Barkat.

Not sure what it signifies, but these Barkat 2013  banners

were hanging next to large Israeli flags in more than one place.

The mayoral race is fairly simple with two main contenders.

But there is also a campaign for City Council,

and that is where things get confusing.

sign political elections

If you look up there are signs.

Election banner Jerusalem picture

It seems that everywhere there are signs.

Jerusalem election sign

However, this one put up near the Prime Minister’s Residence

did not stay up for long.

Nir Barkat workers in campaign tee shirts have been out for weeks.

But now on the streets one can find

Jerusalem election image

 campaign workers holding large banners at Paris Square,

Simple so far?

Now, this is where things get confusing.

Jerusalem elections image

National political parties are also involved.

At one pre-election event at the OU Center

image Naftali Bennett Jerusalem

Bayit Yehudi Head Naftali Bennett

Jerusalem elections Bayit hayehudi Aylet Shaked

and MK Ayelet Shaked showed up in person.

They came late, stayed for a few minutes and took no questions,

Image Jerusalem elections

but showed support for their slate of Jerusalem candidates.

There have been constant parlor meetings and information nights.

I will not answer my home phone in the evening until after October 22, 

there have been so many evening campaign calls.

Calls from machines are easy to hang up on, 

but last night there was a personal campaign call on my cell phone.

I suppose these are the blessings of the democratic process.

Naomi Tsur image,

Deputy Mayor Naomi Tsur, left, started Ometz Lev, a mainly female party.

Will she help small business owners in Jerusalem,

some of whom are still complaining of losses because of Formula One street closings?

photo poster marked, Jerusalem elections poster

Rachel Azzaria, another female who once served with the mayor, 

is also running again.

Someone drew a mustache on this larger than life photo poster,

and no, it was not in a religious neighborhood.

There are lots of photos of other small parties who have candidates,

but if you are not confused now,

then you surely would be and bored too, if I posted them all.

Jerusalem elections image, Israel elections

Trucks are out on Jerusalem, Israel, streets to encourage voting.

I think it is a safe bet to say, most residents of Jerusalem,

many intelligent, educated people,

have no idea who ALL the candidates are or care.

They just want their rubbish picked up on time and the streets clean,

and affordable housing would be nice too.

And Arab voters?

Summed up best as usual by Khaled Abu Toameh,

their leadership as usual loses no opportunity to lose an opportunity.

 Updated October 21:

On Shabbat I saw a full list of campaigns and those running posted,

the one and only such list I have seen anywhere.

Israel municipal elections image

I went back today to take a photo of the tiny print and found this.

If this party will be good for Jerusalem, I do not know,.

But even though this was a short election season by US standards,

everyone is sick of the campaigns here.

Police are ready.

But the public seems to know less everyday,

and also pollsters, as people will say anything to get them off the phone.

At least I answered a private number on my cell phone this am,

almost missed an important call.

 AFTER the Jerusalem, Israel municipal elections tomorrow,

then I hope to have something to say.

Just wish I knew who really were the best to vote for.

Women of Wall, Thank You

It was Rosh Chodesh Elul at the Kotel, the Western Wall,

and thanks to Women of the Wall (WOW) I went to see what was happening.

It is interesting that each month that I have gone has been so different.

Kosse;, Kosel , Al'Quds, photo Rosh Chodesh

Looking down at the Western Wall Plaza, it was hard to tell what was going on. 

The area on the right was full with the Women of Wall supporters last month,

but WOW protested to police that they could not see the Kotel from that location.

image WOW, women of wall

This time they were facing the Western Wall, in a secured area in the back of the Plaza.

Women of Wall,

A security line was determined to keep protesters away from WOW

and not have a repeat of that dreadful episode in May.

 Just mentioning that awful morning and the stench comes back.

old man protesting WOW

There were far fewer protesters, I only saw one old man 

protesters WOW

and a few young men with whistles. 

WoW protesters, thousands fill women section WEstern Wall

Women for the Wall arranged for thousands of religious girls and women

to fill the women’s section of the Western Wall.

image crowd in Old City

So many busloads of girls came that they had to stand behind in the Plaza.

Men praying at Western Wall

The number of men seemed to be fewer.

woman blowing whistle at western wall

The same one woman with a whistle was back.

Seems she really believes that blowing that blasted thing will do some good.

So what was different this time?

WOW media

WOW had microphones.

police protection WOW

Police made sure that protesters throwing anything at WOW would have a hard time.

WOW and media

There seemed to be less international media coverage.

media WOW

Most of the media was up close,

image WOW media

  inside the secured area with WOW.

It was difficult to come and go even with a press pass.

western wall protesters WOW

There were fewer “young men” protesters,

WOW protesters

but those who were there,

WOW protesters

looked even younger than before,

WOW protesters and police

and seemed to be looking for a confrontation with police.

woman against boys blowing whistle at western wall

This lone woman, not a member of Women for the Wall, 

tried very hard to get the boys to stop blowing their whistles and go away.

The result:

protesters WOW on Rosh Chodesh

they blew whistles loudly at her.

On Rosh Chodesh Elul they should have gone back to class,

I wondered who their educators could be?


one problem for women who want to pray at the Kotel

has been not being able to hear what is happening.

There is a loudspeaker system that is used for huge gatherings on holidays.

As it was last month, the loudpeaker was in use.

Women for Wall, Women of Wall

The women’s section was packed, women were quiet and

 one could clearly hear and follow the service.

Western wall, Kosel, Kossel

Such a simple thing took so long to happen. 

As the girls finished praying and left the area,

I found a chair and a siddur, prayer book, and

got to hear the shofar blasts marking the month before

Rosh Hashanah, the New Year.

Thank you, Women of the Wall.

Chodesh Tov!