Tisha B’Av Night in Jerusalem

Tisha B’Av Night in Jerusalem

Tisha B’Av night in Jerusalem, Israel,

is unlike anywhere else in the world.

Businesses are closed and restaurants shuttered.

photo Ramadan at night

Walking in front of me as I headed toward Jaffa Gate,

which was decorated with Ramadan lights,

were a group of Muslim men and boys out to celebrate.

Behind them were three Jewish men on their way to the Old City.

photo moon over old city of david

Entering Jaffa Gate I love to see the moon over the lights of the Tower of David.

photo western wall

Near the Kotel, the Western Wall, were thousands of people, many sitting on the ground.

photo Western Wall Tisha B'Av

The diversity of the crowd was obvious.

I did not stay too long because again ,

I wanted to see the 19th Walk Around the Walls of the Women in Green.

photo Jerusalem security

Security was stronger this year.

The crowd was large for the middle-of-the-night starting time.

Due to Ramadan celebrations again this year,

 the group had to wait for several hours to start their walk.


The route goes around the walls of the Old City, and partially along the Light Rail tracks.

photo Damascus Gate at night

The Damascus Gate was busy and active with Ramadan celebrations.

photo gate of Jerusalem

At Herod’s Gate,

Israeli police, some on horses, observed to insure that the two crowds would not mix.

photo East jerusalem

For the late hour, there were still a lot of people out.

photo walk of Women in Green

At the Lion’s Gate there were speeches,

women sitting on ground

while hundreds of people sat and listened, 

photo Women in Green on Tisha Bav

 I decided to head home.  It was already after 1:00 am.

While the rest of the Jerusalem streets were quiet,

photo Western Wall on Tisha BAv,

the Old City, the Kotel, and the Jewish Quarter

were all filled with thousands of people.

While some left even more kept coming.

Tisha B’Av in Jerusalem looks like a big party.


Photos of the Fire in Jerusalem’s Valley of the Cross

Yesterday on my way home,

I noticed how dry it was in the Valley of the Cross 

and I thought as I do every year:

it could all burn so quickly, so easily.

photo fire in Jerusalem

This afternoon smoke began to rise from the valley,

which is located under the Knesset Building.

photo fire in Jerusalem

For a time the smoke was dark and the flames were high, 

image fire in Jerusalem, fire photo, flames of brush fire

and they spread very quickly.

photo smoke and fire in Jerusalem

Fire crews arrived, 

photo fire in Jerusalem

and with their long water hoses

image fire in Jerusalem

they put out the fire.

picture of fire in Jerusalem

The smoke and the smell still lingered long afterwards.

photo Valley of Cross

But what seemed obvious was that after many months of construction and mess,

Valley of Cross

installing this emergency water system was worth the inconvenience and price.

Jerusalem: More than Riots

The Shavuot holiday as celebrated in Jerusalem, Israel,

is so different from anywhere else in the world.

Tens of thousands of people went to the Kotel, the Western Wall,

 to pray at sunrise, after a night-long marathon 

of classes, lectures and programs that were

truly amazing and mind-boggling.

Ads posted image, J Street

 These posted ads are for only a few such learning events.

There was one thing very different this year – it rained at 8:30 am!

There have been protests against the new budget,

Jerusalem photo, image protest Israel

and new taxes have made for some very angry citizens.

protest poster image, JSTreet

New social protest signs can still be found in the city center

after last weekend’s demonstrations.

The Israeli Prime Minister is back from China

and a very quick visit to Russia to meet with Mr. Putin.

And I assume that most people have no idea that

the Foreign Minister of Finland Erkki Tuomioja and

  Foreign Minister of Lithuania Lianas Linkevicius are in Jerusalem.

Also, who heard that at the Hebrew University

there is a conference being held called

Canada and Israel in a Changing World, New Trends and Directions?

When the Shavuot holiday is over,

on the real streets, it is wedding season.

decorated car and couple taking weddnig photos

Brides posing in parks for photos and decorated rental cars

are normal sights, though it will be hard to come close

to the traffic-stopping Belz wedding with 50,000 guests. 

Wonder if any of their international guests will go into town?

If they do, they would see, 

photo King George Street

there is a sign for traffic changes on King George Street.

One big surprise, I found a moment with no buses or taxis.

Jaffa Street photo

For years, this large mural on Jaffa Street showed

the light rail train of the future.

photo light rail train on Jaffa Raod

Well the future is now, 

and the train is running and people are returning to the city center.

The media always reports Arab and Haredi riots in great detail.

But there was no sign of trouble today or any sign of Apartheid 

photo Israeli and Arab

as this Muslim woman and Haredi Israeli man crossed Jaffa street,

Muslim women Israel image

and these women were sitting off Ben Yehuda Street in the afternoon sun.

Summer is finally here, 

Muslim family Israel, Arabs walking .in Jerusalem, J Street photo,

and it is time to head outside and to the parks.

Poster for Israel Festival

It is also the time for the month-long Israel Festival Jerusalem,

with so many cultural programs, some in new exciting venues,

enough to keep everyone busy.

And my favorite festival, Light in Jerusalem is coming soon.

Remember last year?

There is so much to see and do in Jerusalem, 

but what did you hear about?