Best of Purim in Jerusalem

This year, Jerusalem celebrated Purim officially Thursday night and Friday. While the rest of the world moved on, Jerusalem neighborhoods came alive on Thursday night with Shushan Purim celebrations.

In a new touch, birds flocked to Jaffa Road across from the Tzahal Square. The colorful avian visitors landed the week before Purim.

Remember what was there last year? No? Don’t feel bad, I had to check.

The Purim 2021 RJS post written during Covid lockdowns is linked at the end of this blog. Oh, those corona blur events.

Those birds reminded me of the expression ‘shouting from the rooftops’ which is apparently a very old one.

Corner stone from Beit Hamikdash in Israel Museum

I wonder if it came from the proclamation of the onset of Shabbat in Jerusalem from the Temple precincts. Remember the cornerstone found in the Israel Museum?

The monster was back over Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence.

However, today Purim is over and it was taken down.

Kikar Safra, Safra Square, was lined with Purim posters early in the week.

Celebrations were held by the Municipality from 11-2:200 pm with planned entertainment. On Friday Purim celebrations are complicated because of Shabbat. When to read the megillah, when to eat the meal, and more?

I decided to make hamantashen this year, peanut butter and chocolate, blueberry jam, and homemade strawberry jam. They came out great and quickly disappeared.

I liked how the synagogue was decorated for Purim and the megillah reading when we entered at night.

And how the people came ready to celebrate in style.

Readings of Megillat Esther were too numerous to count, at night, and every hour during the day in multiple locations in many Jerusalem neighborhoods, both inside and outside.

The costumes that appeared on the Jerusalem streets were as varied as could be imagined.

At this popular Jerusalem spot, a large group crowded in for a megillah reading.

I wondered how many knew that women were reading the megillah before they came?

But the crowd stayed, and quietly paid attention, making noise only to blot out the name of evil Haman.

In the morning as I was watching for cute costumes, the first colorful couple I saw turned out to be people I know!

Our annual morning family reading has grown over the years.

In Jerusalem, I have a thing I call – Purim or not Purim? – all year long it is hard to tell what some folks are wearing. For example, one young woman had her long hair dark brunette on one side and blond on the other – and it wasn’t Purim, just a regular day on a regular street.

United Hatzalah has been working overtime with the war in Ukraine and refugees fleeing to the borders and needing assistance. This family has United Hatzalah vans parked outside regularly- not just Purim.

But their Purim mishloah manot wins my prize as most clever this year.

Pizza came in handy to serve for dinner on these Purim preparation upside-down days.

And one guy decided he was Pizza Man?

Across the street, this guy thought he could avoid getting captured?

Two couples I know in one day, double jackpot Purim fun.

Hansen House was supposed to be filled with costumed Purim celebrants, but on Friday the weather was too wet and dreary to be outside. But downtown people did come to see the colorful and varied entertainers.

As I was racing along to beat the rain and get to my Purim meal, this guy was impressive enough to get us to stop. Not only was he colorful enough for a second glance, so was his companion.

The Purim feast was a great one. The sushi was almost gone, but with enough cold cuts left over, we had some for Shabbat lunch. A good idea when there is not enough time on Friday for the usual Shabbat preparations.

Next week we have to change the clock on Friday and it’s time for the Jerusalem Marathon. Flags are up over the Jerusalem streets.

Are we really back to normal?

That’s it for now, and until next year – Happy Purim!

פורים שמח

So who remembers last year?

Here’s to hoping we really are post corona and we will see you all soon on the Jerusalem streets!

Jerusalem Purim Highlights

Purim.

Purim in Jerusalem is special.

Where else is Purim a three day holiday, that is celebrated for a week?

This year with corona restrictions and lockdowns, it was really different.

In years past, the Jerusalem streets were filled with happy people.

Scroll of Esther in Israel Museum illustrated and small on regular Purim exhibit

Reading Megilat Esther was a huge community event.

Synagogues were overflowing with people of all ages.

children dressed in costumes for Purim

Excited children came dressed in costumes, waiting for sweet treats.

This year, daytime readings were held in multiple locations on the hour.

Many readings took place outside with social distancing, like this one on Friday morning organized by Chabad of Rechavia.

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Following the Megillah on a cell phone has become common sight.

Readings were held at Thursday night outside. Jerusalem celebrated with the reading at the same time as the rest of Israel, on this Triple Purim year.

No costumed families in crowded malls as in past years.

But, Mamilla Mall was finally reopened and people came back to shop.

Holiday signs were placed in Kikar Safra, the Jerusalem Municipal Building.

Online programs from the Tower of David and Jerusalem Symphony special for Purim were available. But museums and some theaters are reopening for live audiences, however, with limited performances.

Jaffa Road was busy as the city is coming back to life again after the numerous business lockdowns.

People were on Jaffa Road shopping for holiday costumes before Purim.

There were a few costumes on the Jerusalem streets early in week.

New colorful plastic chairs are seen on many streets. With no inside dining allowed, the Jerusalem municipality has provided these chairs for outside.

Imagine stopping strangers on the street to take their photos? Then to find a family member who knows them – that is always a Purim favorite.

Ah, but on the Jerusalem streets, it is often hard to tell who is in costume.

On Purim day it is easier when someone waves and smiles across the road.

Live music played on this corner on Friday, providing a holiday mood.

Purim is always a good time to head to Shushan Street, near Jaffa Road.

On Sunday, the day after Shushan Purim, the Jerusalem streets really came alive with sounds of music.

Dozens of street performers in colorful costumes entertained.

One dance group was perfectly choreographed and drew admiring crowd.

Costumes were varied, colorful and plentiful, especially on Sunday.

Monsters were popular this year, like these on the Montefiore Windmill,

at the beginning of Jaffa Road overlooking Kikar Tzahal,

and at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence.

I hope someone explained Purim to the six new ambassadors to Israel who presented their credentials on Wednesday, entering through the main gate under the orange inflated monster.

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The ‘Follow the Lights’ event with 22 Jerusalem sites lit up at night is to run through this week.

On Purim night with the 8:30 pm curfew, these wheels were spinning.

The Knesset was lit for the ‘Follow the Lights’ but no beams on top for the three nights when coronavirus restrictions limited movement on streets.

I was glad I took this video on Monday before the the curfews began.

The Montefiore Windmill was lit up on Purim night and needed a video.

On Purim in Jerusalem, you never know what or who you will find.

When posting some Purim costume street photographs on Facebook, a person commented that it was good to see “normality” again.

Like the two giant leprechauns out for a stroll on Ben Yehudah Street?

Yoda reminds us, “The dark side clouds everything. Impossible to see the light, the future is.”

The Purim holiday reminds us to look to the bright side and light in the future from behind our masks.

The fourth monster in the Purim fancy dress series was the Jerusalem icon Mifletzet. The Monster in the Kiryat Yovel Rabinowitz Park wore a gold crown -corona is Spanish for a crown – this Purim holiday.

As we end this most unusual Purim, hoping next year in Jerusalem for all!

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Happy Purim!

Three days of Purim not enough? There are more photos HERE