Sunday Sounds of Sukkot on Jerusalem Streets

The sounds of the shofar blasts broke the silence over the darkening Jerusalem streets as Yom Kippur ended on Wednesday night.

Then the sounds of hammers banging and clanging were heard as people began to build their sukkah.

Thursday felt like a Sunday!

Each morning this week I had to stop and try to remember what day of the week it was and what had to be done.

After Yom Kippur, it was time to prepare for Shabbat and the Sukkot holiday starting on Sunday night.

On Thursday evening, in the midst of Shabbat and Sukkot preparation, dozens of people gathered in Gan Haatzmaut, Independence Park.

Israel stands with the Iranian people was the theme of the event.

I remember that for Australians, long before these new direct routes, Tehran was a favorite stopping place for those flying on holidays. Of course, since 1979, that is but a fond far-off lingering memory.

Masha Amini and other women have been murdered. It was time to let them they are not alone, we are thinking of them.

Next to the park, the large sukkah at the Leonardo Plaza is ready.

Look up. Lights were on this apartment house sukkah in preparation.

And now that the borders are open after 2 years of corona conditions, people are returning. A long-time favorite sukkah was being installed.

Pop-up sukkah shops abound on Jerusalem streets.

Day or night, with etrogim and lulavim and sukkah decorations for sale.

Anywhere but the Jerusalem streets do you find baskets of string for sale in bins outside of the electrical appliance store at night?

Signs are up for Hashana Raba programs, with music and learning all night,

as well as the mega-musical events on the intermediate days of Sukkot.

Too many events and activities to list now, but the official ones are HERE.

Our modest new sukkah is ready.

The holiday challah and treats are prepared.

Shana Tova from Jerusalem, Israel!

Hope to see you celebrating the holidays this week on the Jerusalem streets.

Jerusalem Selihot and More

For this Jewish High Holiday season, there is no place like Jerusalem, Israel.

Thousands of people converge from around the world at the Kotel, Western Wall, this photo of those gathered after midnight for the late-night Selihot.

For the past weeks, the sounds of Selihot have filled the Jerusalem streets.

Wednesday night after Rosh Hashana at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence, President Isaac Herzog spoke prior to the musical Selihot.

The chairs were set in the back garden next to the Beit Hanasi Beit Knesset, the Synagogue in the corner of the President’s residence grounds.

The music was beautiful and well done, and broadcast live on the President’s Facebook page, plus social media posts in English and Hebrew.

For the more traditional part of the evening, a chazan was at the podium.

Rav Benny Lau and his 929 Bible Study organization organized the event hosted by the President and went into the synagogue to open the ark.

The audience included the 929 participants, the regular morning minyan members, IDF soldiers, plus student groups.

The chazan had a powerful voice and passionate delivery.

I had to share a few minutes with a bit of the beautiful sounds.

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When circling the grounds to stay out of the video cameras to get a close-up,

I had time to stop and noticed this stone and sign,

along with the new dramatic blue lighting placed in the garden.

The basalt lintel (4-7 CE) found in Tiberias with relief of menorah, shofar, lulav, and etrog – perfect for this week between the shofar of Rosh Hashana and holiday of Sukkot.

The Herzogs seem to enjoy staying around at the end of events

and posing for photographs. Want more Selihot photos? HERE

The musical Selihot has grown and changed since President Rivlin had Yisrael Meir at Beit Hanasi 7 years ago.

Now there are special Selihot, by women for women.

At the Tower of David, a musical Selihot event filled the outdoor seating.

And the Sultan’s Pool huge stage had a long list of singers for a major musical Selihot also on Thursday night.

And more this week with an evening at Kikar Safra, on October 3, 2022.

Sounds of landscaping power tools needed video, cleaning the overgrowth from shemita. Jerusalem is to plant 340,000 flowers and 10,000 trees.

Sukkot have been popping up already for the Sukkot holiday which starts on Sunday night October 9, 2022.

Colorful lights are on and flashing over the Jerusalem streets.

The Kite Festival is back at the Israel Museum on October 11.

On October 13, the public is invited to the annual President’s Open Sukkah at Beit Hanasi. The Jerusalem Parade is back again at Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, and family events are planned for the day before the 4:00 pm start time of the walking participants.

So much is happening on the Jerusalem streets to start the New Year.

Bonus – major tourist venues announced free admission for children.

Hope to see you here enjoying the holiday season.

Jerusalem Under the Sturgeon Moon

Did you know the last supermoon of 2022 was named for a fish? Kosher or not kosher, the sturgeon is the largest fish found in the US.

The full moon over Yemin Moshe is always photo-worthy. However, this week I wished I had a better camera with me when I saw it rise in the sky.

President Herzog received new Ambassadors to Israel, the first of the day was from Viet Nam with his wife in traditional colorful outfits.

Then the new Ambassador from Germany presented his credentials.

In spite of recent controversies, German government officials receive a welcome in Israel second only to those of the US. The dinner for Andrea Merkel is one example, the ceremony celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations, was another.

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But seeing a German military official saluting along with IDF at the red carpet reception for the playing of Hatikvah was a stop and video moment.

Another one of those green bike path lanes runs outside of Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence. Only they start and stop and go nowhere.

Oh well, there were plenty of places to go now that Tisha B’Av is over.

The Takhana Rishona, First Station hosts musical entertainment.

One night advertised as Klezmer free concerts, young people were featured.

At the Jerusalem Theater, not only inside, but on the plaza out front music could be heard on Jerusalem streets.

Monday night Israeli dancing attracted a large enthusiastic group of participants, men, and women of various ages and styles.

Another August favorite is the Theater in the Rough Shakespeare productions. This year the Merchant of Venice has another seven performances in Bloomfield Park behind the King David Hotel.

The popular Jerusalem public space was shared by a loud party

and multiple family photoshoots on the night I attended.

As the audience moved along with the thespians,

dozens of families strolled on summer outings.

The Train Theater is ready for the week with a big opening tonight.

Gan Sacher, Sacher Park is back as a popular night spot for families.

I went by on my way to check out the Likud Primary voting situation at the Jerusalem Convention Center.

At 9:00 pm, the stated closing time, people were still arriving.

Campaigning was going strong outside in the crowded plaza.

And heading home, in Sacher Park people were still arriving to party.

There was much to celebrate, with or without sturgeon this past week in Jerusalem.

Come see The Real Jerusalem Streets for yourself.