Post-Hanukkah Post

Did you hear that loud noise yesterday?

No, it was not an explosion or a riot,

but loud sighs of relief that the Hanukkah holiday season is finally over.

Hanukkah candles

Hanukkah may last 8 days with lots of candles in the rest of the world,

but in Jerusalem, Israel, it seems to go on forever.

Hanukkah photo

First there are the trips to school performances for each child,

after which children have over a week of vacation,

while most parents still have to go work.

Then there is the challenge  

sugganiah photo

of eating suffganiot

picture Hanukkah

and keeping your face free of all that powdered sugar or chocolate on top.


It is truly a Hanukkah miracle to see how quickly those suffganiot disappear.

Ellie Klein donuts

Once again this year, the consumption award goes to Elie Klein, 

who ate 125 of these jelly donuts and raised $17,900 for 111 charities.


The open windows that displayed the Hanukkah lights

are now closed to keep out the winter cold.

Hanukkah photo

Eight nights of Hanukkah were enough.

Flower photo Jerusalem

It is winter-time and so cold inside, but look as

Flowers Jerusalem

flowers are popping up all around this week.

And believe it or not, I already heard people discussing Purim costumes!


The International Writers Festival is hosting events all this week 

in Mishkenot Sha’ananim, the first community to be built outside the walls 

"photo windmill", "image windmill", "picture Jerusalem windmill"

of Jerusalem, perhaps best known for its iconic Montefiore Windmill

which is now undergoing renovation.

This Jewish neighborhood was unsafe and deserted from 1948–1967.

In answer to a question the speaker encouraged writers to write about

 what they know.  What do I know?

"picture Yemin Moshe" ,"photo steps', "image Jerusalem"

 I know that it was not easy to get to the lecture hall as the narrow streets

"photo Jerusalem","image Yemin Moshe", "Picture Jerusalem Day"

were full of school children.

"picture Jerusalem", "photo Old City" "image Old City walls"

on their way to the Old City.

This week marks 45 years since the reunification of Jerusalem.

"photo Jerusalem","image J Street","picture interview"

As Channel 1 looked for a story at the Writers Festival,

"photo Jerusalem", "image double decker bus", "photo J Street"

I was amazed by the sight across the valley near the Old City walls.

"photo Jerusalem", "image J Street", "picture Jerusalem Day"

Hundreds and hundreds of Israeli school children

"photo Old City", "picutre Al Quds", "photo Al Quds"

were climbing the path towards the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem.

"picture Al Quds", "photo Al Quds", "Al Quds image"

In 1965 when Jerusalem was divided and under Jordanian rule,

 a Jewish person could not get near the Kotel, the Western Wall,

so this photo had to be taken at the edge of No-Man’s Land.

"photo Kosel", "image Kosel","picture Al Quds"

Next week for the Shavuot holiday, tens of thousands

 of worshipers will pack the plaza for the break of dawn services.

"picture east Jerusalem", "photo east Jerusalem", "image east Jerusalem"

 I stood on this pedestrian bridge watching 

"picture Al; Quds", "image J Street", "photo Jerusalem"

the endless stream of school children walking  on my left.

"picture nakba", Photo East Jerusalem", "image Nakba riots"

At that very moment, on my right

smoke was rising from Arab neighborhoods.

It was Nakba Day, the “catastrophe” or “disaster” the Arab world

has observed for 64 years because of the establishment of Israel.

"picture Arab girl". "photo Arab girl", "image Arab girl"

Below, an Arab girl was walking alone

"picture Palestinian boy","photo Palestinian child?,"image Palestinian boy"

and this Arab boy was hanging around the cinema.

They were heading home around the time PA leader Mahmoud Abbas was 

in Ramallah inciting the crowd with charges of “ethnic cleansing”.

"picture East Jerusalem", "photo Jerusalem" "image Arab boys"

I passed through the Liberty Bell Park

"Arab boys photos","picture Arab boys, "palestinian boys image"

and saw two Arab boys climbing on a sculpture in the gardens.

"picture Israel flag", "image Jerusalem Day", "photo Jerusalem street"

It is not easy to relocate under the best of circumstances,

but my Christian friends from Lebanon did it in America.

My Jewish friends from Egypt, Tunisia, Iran, Iraq and Morocco

lost everything when they were forced from their childhood homes,

but they moved on, and built good lives for themselves and their families.

Yes, there is a Nakba, a disaster and a real tragedy.

"east Jerusalem picture",

As long as the Arab world continues on its destructive path…

there is indeed a Nakba .

Netanyahus – Father and Son

  Benzion Netanyahu, father of Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu,

died and was buried in Jerusalem yesterday.

The son remembered his father in a moving eulogy.

"poster death notice", "image Netanyahu sign", "picture sign death notice"

The signs are up and  the week of shiva has begun.

In Jewish tradition the shiva, the seven-day mourning period, is observed

at the home of the deceased.

Benzion Netanyahu lived the last of his 102 years on a small Jerusalem street.

Neighbors all knew when the Prime Minister came for one of his regular visits,

as armed security would stop them from even walking in the area.

Most people were impressed by the respect of a busy son for his father

and accepted the frequent inconvenience.

"image street", "picture street Netanyahu", "photo street"

After the funeral, the one-way street was lined with security barriers.

"picture shiva entrance", "photo tent", Image Bibi"

A large security tent was put up outside the entrance of the house,

"picture Yoni Square", "photo Yoni Netanyahu sign" , "image Netanyahu shiva"

which is located at Yoni Square, named for Yoni Nentanyahu,

Benzion’s oldest son who commanded and was killed

in the Entebbe raid in 1976.

"picture Natan Sharansky", 'photo Natan Sharansky", "image Sharansky"

One of the first to arrive to pay his condolences was Natan Sharansky.

"J Street picture", "image J street", "photo J Street"

This week neighborhood patience will be tested as the street will be blocked.

Men in dark suits are wandering around the maze of streets

looking at the illogical street numbers,

"picture Netanyahy shiva", "photo diplomat cars", "image J Street"

while those with diplomatic license plates can park a bit closer.

Condolence messages have even been received from Arab countries.

People on the street looked sad as they passed slowly by the house.

Educated Israelis from left to right acknowledge the loss of a father,

who was an academic, a scholar and a brilliant editor of encyclopedias.

המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים

May the family be comforted with all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.