The holiday of Hanukkah is a celebration of miracles and light over darkness.
How does one celebrate a joyous holiday under the cloud of a war when there are too many funerals?
Enjoying the colors in the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens this time of year was a good way to start the week.
The lion on the nearby Jerusalem street was also looking bright and colorful.
The decorative holiday street lights were turned back on.
Posters for holiday events went up along the Jerusalem streets. Notice though it’s Jewish Film Week, the term festival is not used, as it seemed inappropriate in wartime.
Many activities for children are still being offered in the various museums and theaters.
Despite the war, the Sam Spiegel Incubator for International Cinema is to open on December 11, 2023.
It is located in the Beit Ha’am Complex off of Bezalel Street in Jerusalem, not far from Sacher Park.
This is the entrance to the Sam Spiegel building
across the plaza from the Ha’mal Otaf Salon for clothing.
Beautifully displayed clothing of all sizes, donated to be given for free, to any of the people displaced from their homes in the southern Israeli towns, who are being housed in Jerusalem, in private homes of strangers, and 70 Jerusalem hotels.
Volunteers work to make sure everything is organized and presented attractively.
Plus a special children’s corner has games, toys, and books in time for Hanukkah.
Walking by the Jewish Agency building I noticed for the first time that the menorah on the roof is for seven candles, not eight for Hanukkah.
However, there was a Hanukkah menorah, hanukia, outside Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence.
The attached sign explains that this is the hanukia of the Kibbutz Nir Oz dining hall.
Hanukkah at night–these lights inside highlight the numerous decorations on the window.
Jerusalem restaurants often have a hanukia in the window,
as does this beauty shop
and this store in Mamilla Mall.
The big hanukia of Chabad of Talbiya was back in Mamilla Mall with live music planned for each night.
After the hanukia was lit, the lively music was accompanied by singing and dancing.
With a smaller crowd than in past years, sufganiyot, traditional jelly donuts were plentiful.
You did not have to be Jewish to participate, these volunteers came from the US on a mission.
Two men came from Tel Aviv and were having a great time. They were sympathetic when I bit into a donut and realized it was a yucky chocolate in the center, not the anticipated jelly sufgania.
Here was a hanukia in a dreidel, not easy to photograph without reflections of the store signs. It was good to see people enjoying Hanukkah in one of Jerusalem’s tourist attractions.
The walls of the Old City were illuminated with a light projection near Jaffa Gate.
The plaza outside Jaffa Gate was sadly empty for a Hanukkah night. However, it was easier to get a clear shot of the new ‘I love Jerusalem’ hanukia.
Notice the Muslim woman out with her young children in Mamilla Mall. There are fewer Arab shoppers than usual, but even during this wartime, they still come, even after dark at night.
The Michael Levin Base was back at StandWithUs with the Solomon Brothers entertaining the lone soldiers and bnei sherut volunteers with their lively repertoire. Holidays for those without family in Israel can be difficult and being with a group is very important.
The special guest of the evening was Colonel Richard Kemp. If you do not know him, I am a long-time fan, take the time to look him up.
On the way home, I went to check out the lights at the YMCA. I think there are more this year.
People were out Friday in the warm weather, eating and talking at cafes, and preparing for Shabbat.
A hanukiah on the Chabad cars is a sign of the season, but there are way too many Chabad celebrations to attend them all.
There were more parties, Hanukkah events, and musical performances, on the first night and every night.
Ready with the extras for our family Hanukkah party planned for tonight.
Best wishes for miracles and lights for Bringing the hostages home now.
With the courage of a lion, we will win.