Best of Jerusalem on Sukkot

Best of Jerusalem on Sukkot

Another Sukkot holiday season has come to a close.

Tens of thousands of tourists and visitors arrived from around the world.

As usual, Birchat Kohanim, the Priestly Blessing, was a popular event,

but there was much more happening in Jerusalem, Israel.

Hebrew sign at Liberty Bell Park

Jerusalem parks and green spaces welcomed large crowds for the holidays.

Beit Hanasi garden for sukka open house

The garden was ready for the annual “open sukka”at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence.

Rivlin and LItzman with giant mouth on sukkot to promote health

Good health was the theme this year, and Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman came for a preview.

Making melon fruit drinks at Beit Hanasi for Sukkot

They watched as pedal-powered bikes made ice cold fruit drinks, here with a watermelon base.

The lemon/nana (mint) I had was refreshing on a hot day.

Sukka in Beit Hanasi open for public

The weather was warm, but the sukka was cool and inviting.

Wall of sukkah at Beit Hanasi with Hamsa

One wall was lined with colorful hamsa designs each with a different slogan.

Wall of sukka at Israeli President House

The other wall was lined with the ‘seven species’ that Israel is known for.

Etrog irregular shape at Beit Hanasi for sukkot

This ‘finger etrog’ was the best of the season. While not kosher for holiday use, it has the most interesting shape.

Sukkah at Israeli President House for private use

In addition, there was a traditional sukka on the Beit Hanasi grounds near the synagogue.

Muslim woman at Beit Hanasi taking a photo of President

This woman was taking photos of the President and MK Litzman inside Beit Hanasi. 

No one else thought the scene was photo-worthy, just another regular day in Jerusalem.

An annual event on Sukkot is the Jerusalem Parade.

Jerusalem Parade security

Streets were closed, and security services were out to protect the tens of thousands on the streets.

Entrance to Sacher Park day of Jerusalem Parade

Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, was the gathering place for thousands of march participants.

Israeli families come each year for activities in the park.

Jerusalem Parade costumes

They also come to see the colorful and interesting costumes.

Jerusalem March people dressed in elaborate costumes

Close to 100 countries were represented this year.

Jerusalem Parade Sukkot tabernacles

Women in matching costumes carried 12 tabernacles with the most amazing coordination.

The march proceeded to First Station by way of Bezalel Street.

People walking in Jerusalem Parade on Sukkot

The excitement of the participants was obvious.

Sukkot Parade Jerusalem March

Each year I thank my friends who are named Brazil for introducing me to this event.

Most countries come prepared with small flags to give out to those lining the streets to watch.

I hope they got something good from the marchers this year, as Brazil had the largest group with 900 participants.

Jerusalem March for Sukkot

While Israelis return each year, this man from Brooklyn was at the parade for the first time.

Jerusalem Sukkot parade woman dress in red, white and blue

This woman, I assume from the USA, was all ready to give out the Stars and Stripes.

We love Israel banner at Jerusalem Sukkot March

Sponsored by the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem, many marchers come back every year to show their love for Israel.

International group at Jerusalem Sukkot Parade

Even security guards can relax rules at this feel-good event. A guard let these women into the park through an exit gate when they arrived late.  Notice all the flags he had already collected from the marchers.

Not just Christian visitors participate, as IDF soldiers, and other Israeli groups march also.

So much more happened over the holidays. There was music and dancing night after night at hotels and local community centers, and even the Harlem Globetrotters performed in Jerusalem.

Sukkot in Jerusalem,  another amazing holiday season has come to an end.

One more quick look at the impressive parade and Facebook photos here.

Much is happening in October, so no down time after the holidays on the Jerusalem streets.

 

Yom Kippur Past and Present

Yom Kippur Past and Present

Yom Kippur.

Yom Kippur in Israel the streets are quiet.

Yom Kippur in Israel the airport is closed.

Yom Kippur in Israel most adults are fasting and many spend the day in prayer.

Yom Kippur, 45 years ago, Arab armies attacked the young State of Israel.

After 20 days of fighting and a huge loss of life, Israel survived and carried on.

Yom Kippur 5779, the stabbing murder of Ari Fuld z”l weighed heavy on many minds.

Sign by house in Jerusalem Israel for Shiva of Ari Fuld

The question arose around the world: how could the voice of the Lion of Zion be gone forever?

Arab armies were defeated in 1973. Israel prevailed and grew.

However, the same questions rise again.

“Another neighbor was killed doing his shopping. We all cried, mourned and came together and sang and yesterday we all prayed. Now, before we all go back to our regular routines, can we get angry and raise our voices? Can we demand from the people whose job it is to protect us that they make our supermarket into a place we can go without getting killed? Can we demand that we be able to walk down the street without fearing for our lives?”

Rivlin at Fuld Shiva

The President and the Prime Minister of Israel, and long list of government officials came to offer condolences. Hundreds of people stood in a solemn line for over an hour to pay respects.

Now as we figure out where to go now and recall past tragic moments too vividly, note this:

I usually do not share from Tweeter and prefer to focus on the good news overlooked by media, however, see who shared this diagram of lethal points of entry. It received dozens of likes before it was removed from Twitter. Thanks to Petra who saved an important screen shot.

Nariman Tamimi is the mother of media celebrity Ahem Tamimi.

How do we survive against a culture of death, accepted and promoted by the UN, EU and international community, in 1973 and continuing in 2018?

Ari Fuld doing live video on Shomron trip Israel

Though I have many photos of Ari Fuld z”l, this is a favorite.

Even through sunglasses you can see the sparkle in his eyes, so pleased at getting me on his video.

May his memory not only be a blessing, but may the ripples from his murder lead to a safer world for us all.

 

 

Remembering September 11

Remembering September 11

September 11, 2001.

Is there anyone who lived through that day who does not remember where they were on 9/11?

We were living in the Washington, DC, area. The Pentagon was hit. Friends were inside. Who can forget the Twin Towers going down?  A shocked world watched on television as the scene was played over and over.

My son was on a Lufthansa flight scheduled to land at Dulles Airport at 1:30 pm on September 11, 2001. After spending a week in Gander, Newfoundland, he finally made it home for Rosh Hashana, but that is a story for another time.

In 2009, the Blank Family dedicated a special memorial in the hills of Jerusalem, Israel, as a “reminder of shared loss and a call for peace among nations.”

Each year, an US-Israel joint memorial commemoration is held on September 11th.  However, with the second day of Rosh Hashana falling on 9/11, this year the event was held on the Thursday before.

Israeli memorial for victims of September 11

The memorial, located in a JNF-KKL park in the hills of Jerusalem, is the only one outside the United States that lists all the names of victims.

Representatives of different groups are invited each year. This year Sar-El, Muss High School, and Nefesh BeNefesh were among the guests who came on special buses, and passed through layers of special security.

 

Jerusalem 9/11 memorial honor guard

Here the US Honor Guard readies its flags to march in and begin the memorial program.

JNF-KKL memorial outside Jerusalem Israel for victims of 9/11

The Honor Guard and all guests stood for the the US anthem. A special cover was constructed to shield the gathering from the midday sun. This year was not too hot, but plenty of water was provided nonetheless.

View of US and Israeli flags at 9/11 memorial in Jerusalem

From the memorial you can see across Route One to the main Jerusalem cemetery, and in the distance, the  Hadassah Hospital complex in Ein Karem is visible.

US flag shaped as a flame for Israeli September 11 memorial

The main monument depicts an US flag in shape of a flame. The impressive thirty-foot-high bronze sculpture was created by Israeli artist Eliezer Weishoff and landscape architect Yechiel Cohen.

The annual program began with the Kaddish, the prayer recited for the departed, recited by a close relative of a victim, on behalf of all those who fell.

Israeli US memorial for victims of September 11

MK Nachman Shai spoke representing the Israeli government.

Other speakers included diplomatic representatives, JNF-KKL leaders, and family members of victims.

US Ambassador David Friedman at September 11 commemoration in Jerusalem

Ambassador David Friedman was presented with a framed photo of the US flag taken in front of the destroyed NYC building by a witness.

Piece from Twin Towers in monument to victims of September 11

Inside the memorial, partially concealed behind the podium, is a piece of metal salvaged from the site of the destroyed towers.

Military and Fire wreathes for memorial ceremony Jerusalem, Israel

After the speeches. representatives of the military, fire and police assisted with the placing of memorial wreaths.

Amb. David and Tammy Friedman stand after placing a wreathe at Israel-US September 11 memorial

After placing a wreath, Ambassador and Tammy Friedman paused for a moment of silence.

Wreathes at base of September 11 memorial

At the end of the formal program, all the wreaths were placed at the base of the memorial.

United Airline pilots place flowers at memorial for victims of September 11

Flowers were available to place by the names of fallen. These United Airlines pilots stopped to reflect and remember.

Remembrance and Rosh Hashana were significant topics in Ambassador  Friedman’s remarks.

Jerusalem memorial to victims of September 11 flowers placed on names of murdered.

Remembering the victims.

View of fast rain bridge from park near September 11 memorial in hills of Jerusalem Israel

As the bus slowly traveled back up the winding narrow park road, the bridge for the new Jerusalem-Tel Aviv fast train towered overhead.

On the other side of the support pillars, the new Jerusalem highway winds around the mountainside.

People will be able to access the 9/11 memorial more easily in the future, as the park is currently being developed to be more family-friendly.

Wishing all a good new year.

Additional photos post on Facebook HERE