What’s New in Jerusalem?

What’s New in Jerusalem?

I am always looking for something new to share.

Jerusalem, Israel has new buildings towering over the old.

New building seen from nahlaot

These old houses are in Nachlaot near the Machane Yehuda Market, the shuk.

The new tower on Jaffa Road rises above in the distance.

View of Jerusalem, israel

This  photo looking towards the Old City was taken from the center of town.

A new view for me, how about you?

Look closely on the top right, after the snow and rain, the air was clear enough to see Jordan.

Tower of Ramon airport in Jan 2016

The official opening ceremony for the new Ramon Airport outside of Eilat was held this week.  The airport control tower was already visible from the road in January 2016.

Jerusalem WeWork site under construction

I have shared many photos of construction at the new WeWork building on King George Street.

Jerusalem WeWork opening

WeWork opened in October as announced and has been busy since.

But a block away on King George Street another landmark building has also been under construction.

January 2016 old Knesset site to be museum

In January 2016, the old Knesset building on King George Street began renovations.

May 2016 former Knesset Building on King George Street

When panels went up in May 2016, people stopped to look at the historical scenes depicted on them.

Israel Knesset Museum

On the right, a sign announced the future Knesset Museum.

Site of old Knesset to be new Knesset Museum

The large tarp with larger than life Golda covering the building was removed. The panels have faded. However, the new Knesset Museum is far from completion.

Park in German Colony where work is begin done underground

The park off of Rachel Imenu Street has been hidden behind construction fencing for a while.

This week it was announced what was happening behind those walls.

Park in German Colony where work is going on underground

On the surface it does not look impressive, but underground, an historic grotto was found.

Liberty Bell Park new playground Jerusalem Israel

Years ago a simple playground was located near the entrance to the Liberty Bell Park. It was demolished and the spot left vacant. Now after weeks of construction, Mayor Moshe Lion dedicated the new “Royal Playground” designed by Sue Ela.

Jerusalem House of israeli President back garden

The garden at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence, looked green and new in the midday sun.

Basket of Israeli fruit at Beit Hanasi for Tu Bshvat

Inside the main hall baskets of fresh fruits decorated the table for a Tu Bishvat seder.

Israeli President hosts Tu Bishvat seder

Invited guests came from the agriculture and farming communities throughout Israel.

In the center of the hall was a display of ‘Seeds of Heritage’ ceramic plates by artist Orna Tamir Shestovich, with designs of plants and fruits of Israel.

Beit Hanasi holds Tu Bishvat seder

The seder included four glasses of wine, from red to white, and samples of the Biblical “Seven Species” connected to the land of  Israel.

Jerusalem Israel graffiti in Talpiot

Getting away towards the Talpiot neighborhood, new colorful paintings have appeared on the sides of buildings.

Talpiot Jerusalem Israel location to ear outside

Along the main road across from Hadar Mall is a red structure designed as an outdoor eating area,

Jerusalem Israel Talpiot red structure

and another one nearby for playing games.

Israeli, Jerusalem and state flags near Israeli President House

These flags outside Beit Hanasi are not new.

Flags near Prime Minister's house off of Keren Hayesod Street

However, these near the Prime Minister’s Residence are new. Last week workers were putting up new light poles from which these banners are hung. The Israeli and Jerusalem flags are the same, but note that the PM state flags are white with a blue symbol, the Presidential ones the opposite.

Kikar Tzion early morning

The sun rises over quiet Zion Square to start a new day.

Jerusalem old city walls afternoon reflections

In the afternoon after the snow and rain had cleared, the sky was bright blue. The strong light from the sun created reflections of palm trees on the walls of Old City.

Pink rose bud in jerusalem park

New flowers were forming in Jerusalem gardens and parks.

Banner near Jerusalem Prime Minister house

As usual a new demonstration was held near the Prime Minister’s residence.

Cat in jerusalem

And as usual, Jerusalem cats will pose for photos, or rather will stare you down in the warm sun and not be bothered enough to move. Nothing new in that.

So much more old and new on the Jerusalem streets.

So much more happening to share next time.

 

Yom Kippur Coming on Jerusalem Nights

Before Yom Kippur,

tens of thousands flock to the Old City,

and to the Kotel, the Western Wall,

for special selihot prayers.

The sounds of piyutim could also be heard coming

from the Israel Museum and the plaza at Kikar Safra.

In recent years a growing number of people,

 in religious neighborhoods,

such as Sha’arei Hesed and Nahlaot,

 come on organized tours to see and hear.

Nahlaot at night

Some alleyways were dark and quiet,

group walking tour of Nahlaot

while many others were filled with tour groups,

tour in Nahalaot with music

some with professional guides and musicians,

religious and secular,

Hebrew and English,

and students of all ages.

Certain locations in Nahlaot

Nahlaot grafitti selihot tour

were more popular, like this one with its striking wall art.

Often another group was waiting,

so it was time to move along.

On Rabbi Aryeh Levin Street

Nahlaot at night house Rav Aryeh Levine

by the house of Rabbi Aryeh Levin z”l,

a must-stop-and-see-and-learn spot in Nahlaot.

For decades Rav Levine z”l taught in Jerusalem,

and is remembered for his many acts of kindness,

visiting and caring for Jewish prisoners and the sick.

Our group went past a busy restaurant,

Aryeh Levine shul in Nahlaot

inside a Nahlaot courtyard

and up the stairs to see the synagogue of Rav Levin z”l,

Beit Knesset Ahdut Yisrael,

the Unity of Israel.

Memorial plaque in Rav Aryeh Levin synagogue

Memorial plaques line the walls

deaths in 1948 Israel mostly women and children

for Jews who perished in War of Independence in 1948,

mostly women and children,

Memorial for Israeli President Begin and Shamir in Levine shul;

and for former Israeli Presidents

Yitzhak Shamir z”l and Menachem Begin z”l.

Rabbi Benjy Levine speaking in his grandfather Reb Aryeh Levine's shul

Rabbi Aryeh’s grandson had some great stories to share.

Geula Jerusalem bakery open 24 hours

Many of the tours ended at this bakery in Geula.

It is open 24/6.

As you can see it was busy at midnight.

I am not sure how many could read the signs

Dress tzinuah do not speak lashon hara

calling for modest dress and pure speech.

Another sign is to harder to explain,

but will interest those who know

Paporus sign for Yom Kippur

 about the Shuk Kapparot.

On Tuesday morning, erev Yom Kippur,

it will be filled with live chickens and thousands of people.

Meanwhile, as on most nights in Machane Yehuda Market,

thousands of people were partying,

eating and drinking with loud background music.

As I walked home, well after midnight,

I passed more people coming.

Fathers and young sons,

young women looking for sehliot prayers in Sha’arei Hesed.

I do not know if they found what they were seeking,

but I do know that despite all the large posters and promotions,

the only place to find Matisyahu on October 13,

the Thursday night after Yom Kippur,

Soloman Sousa painting of Matisyahu in Machane Yehuda Market

will be in the shuk.

His performance has was cancelled and rescheduled for May.

Touring the Jerusalem, Israel, streets late at night

it is hard to believe that so much is going on.

The traditional greeting before Yom Kippur is

G’mar Hatima Tova.

There will be no bus service on Yom Kippur,

image for Yom Kippur

but in Jerusalem even the buses get in the pre-holiday mood.