Jerusalem 6 Months After Forced into the October War

Sitting down to do a weekly post it’s impossible today not to mention last night.

Iran’s attack on Israel overnight, 331 missiles were launched, including:

185 surface-to-surface missiles, 36 cruise missiles, and 110 ballistic missiles. Plus 180 drones for good measure.

All were intercepted except for 7 of the ballistic missiles.

Jerusalem, Israel had its share of interceptions, with one loud siren warning in the middle of the night..

So tired today that my watch ended up in the washing machine for a full cycle.

Surprisingly good news, it has the correct time and is still working!

Since October 7, the cloud formations at sunrise and sunset have been amazing.

A memorial event was held for Lucy Dee and her daughters murdered by terrorists on October 7, 2023.

Rabbi Shlomo Katz joined Rabbi Leo Dee in the new social hall in Efrat in memory of Lucy Dee.

Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi spoke brilliantly as usual.

The hall was crowded to the max with friends and family and for words of Torah, comfort, and song.

The military cemetery in Gush Etzion has grown too crowded these past 6 months.

The new bright colors of spring flowers in Jerusalem offer contrast to lives lost too soon.

Rosh Chodesh Nissan has long been a time for anticipating spring and new life.

This past week a special Women’s Rosh Chodesh event was held at the Yeshurun Central Synagogue.

Hundreds of women and girls filled the sanctuary to hear Sivan Rahat Meir speak.

And join the main event –the musical Women Unite in Prayer – Hallel Nissan – Ricka Razel.

For those who love to hear women singing and celebrating – YouTube HERE

Afterward, walking on Keren Hayesod Street I noticed a new sign for US offices,

and for a new place to eat (and drink) that just opened.

And while stopping to speak with a long-time friend, it started to rain!

Spring rain is good for the new flowers, this Jerusalem flower bed now has two yellow ribbons.

The lions were bright yellow on Friday in the Old City.

Hundreds of children, parents, and grandparents attended special events before the Passover holiday.

It was also Eid al Fitr and hundreds of Muslim families were out near Jaffa Gate on their way to Old City,

and in Mamilla Mall celebrating the end of Ramadan.

So life goes on in Jerusalem, shopping and preparing the Passover, but under the constant reminder of the hostages who are still in captivity to come home and the threat from Hamas and Iran.

Day or night, highlights and beauty abound on the Jerusalem streets.

Signs of Spring on the Jerusalem Streets

The Jerusalem, Israel, weather is slowly changing. Sometimes many times in one day.

Spring wildflowers are popping up around the Jerusalem streets as nature continues and seasons change.

Citrus fruits are full on the trees, like these seen walking through Yemin Moshe.

The U. Nahon Museum of Jewish Italian Art in Jerusalem has a lovely courtyard.

The splendid ornate synagogue in the same building is worthy of a tour.

But going on a media tour of the new Spring Biennale made it all the more special.

This is one of 20 locations of the 30 exhibitions of contemporary Jewish art.

One highlight was Andi Arnovitz’s What We Bring. The talented artist used her wedding dress and laser-cut names on the bookbinding fabric of women from biblical times to the present.

Jews on Paper, c
urated by Hillel Smith and Eli Kaplan-Wildmann, line the walls of Heichel Shlomo’s lobby.

Upstairs the rooms are lined with various contemporary artworks.

A Palace in Time
, the first architecture exhibition at the Jerusalem Biennale, has a Dresden relief showing the consequences of the destruction during Kristallnacht.

The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem is another location for the Biennale.

Upstairs the Splinter from the Storm exhibition is still running.

Downstairs the Spring Biennale had its opening on Wednesday night.

Former head of the Israel Museum James S. Snyder arrived and was given a private tour.

Yes, I followed him until Jerusalem Biennale Founder and CEO Rami Ozeri escorted him out.

The theme of this 6th Biennale is a literal translation of the Hebrew phrase Tzon Barzel, Iron Flock, which gave voice to serious recognition of Jewish and Israeli women artists.

Curator Rachel Verliebter and artists, including performance artist Alana Ruben Free added an extra dimension to the opening night event.

Also at the opening of Ayelet Hashahar, or The Doe of Dawn, was former BLMJ director Amanda Weiss.

Friday in the Artist’s Colony, there was just enough time to catch a few minutes of the Biennale at Ha Ott.

Friday was the first of a month of special Ramadan prayers in Jerusalem, Israel.

Notice how thousands of Muslims were leaving the Old City by Jaffa Gate, and security was light.

After Shabbat a big basketball game was held at the Pais Arena Jerusalem.

Before it began fallen soldier Michael Gal was remembered by the Jerusalem fans.

My favorite action shot from the stands of Jerusalem players in red against Tel Aviv in white.

At half-time, the game was exciting with the teams almost tied.

Tel Aviv took the second half in a big way, but the projection overhead caught my attention.

Being a good sport, and a good person, is most important, as the coaches shook hands after the game.

Some construction has restarted after months of delay.

Flags are still flying and people are meeting at outside cafes.

Hamentashen are being served, as little princesses, brides, and multi-costumed young children walk the Jerusalem streets already, over a week before Purim.

Purim is coming. Jerusalem is planning to celebrate the holiday.

However, along with the signs of spring and the anticipation of Purim celebrations, the days of Israeli hostages held in Gaza are over 160 and counting and hard to ignore on the Jerusalem streets.