Purim in Jerusalem

As soon as the Jerusalem Marathon is over,

the Jerusalem Purim marathon drew to a close.

With this leap year’s second Adar,

shops, organizations, and schools

have been preparing to celebrate the Purim holiday,

for a long, long time.

In Jerusalem, Israel, there is a street named

for Shushan and Mordechai HaYehudi,

and for Queen Esther,

Esther Street in Jerusalem

 with this sign as always a holiday favorite.

New this year was

Purim masks

a mask exhibit at the Bible Lands Museum.

masks in shul for purim

Masks, face paint, and hats were the norm

reading megilat esther

at one synagogue megillah reading,

where costumes were optional.

tent for community reading of meglia

On Emek Refaim Street a tent was set up

for community readings of Megilat Esther.

Meanwhile, there was a party was going on

down the road at the community center;

Barbara Sofer in a Purim hat

and yes, I liked Barbara’s hat.

Zev Stub out Purim night

Hats and smiles out at night with over tired babies,

Purim costume with lights

or ready to party, all lit up,

Thursday night as Purim was ending for the rest of Israel,

Shushan Purim in Jerusalem was just getting going.

Superman on Purim

This year Supermen of all sizes

Purim costume

and little fire fighters were out on the streets,

costume on Purim

but I only saw one of these big guys getting on a bus.

Problem is, often in Jerusalem, it is hard to tell

man with highlights


Purim or not Purim

or not Purim?

Purim went right into Shabbat,

so it has taken until Sunday to wish all

jerusalem street sign for purim

Purim Sameach!

Happy Purim!

Whew, but now that Purim is finally finished,

Jerusalem Old City festival

it is time for the Sounds of the Old City music festival

Arts festival after purim

and the Jerusalem Arts Festival,

and to start planning for Passover!

But first maybe a good night sleep?

After changing the clocks,

some rest would be very helpful.

Jerusalem Marathon and More

The US Vice-President went home.

The Israeli President went to Russia to meet Putin.

The flags for the Romanian President’s visit are gone,

but othere flags are lining the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

Flags and more flags are flying in gusting winds,

Signs for Jerusalem marathon

flags ready for the Jerusalem Marathon.

 25,000 runners of all ages,

2500 of them from out of country are expected.

Day and night,

Jerusalem marathon training

they have been seen training for the Friday morning race.

Weather has been cold, then hot and sunny, and then rainy,

all in the same day, the same hour!

Jerusalem Marathon

But come Friday, major streets will be closed,

 and schools, businesses, even the Israel Museum,

will not open as usual.

Jerusalem marathon

Large posters at Gan Sacher, Sacher Park

have been put up near the starting line,

Jerusalem marathon sign at Jaffa Gate

and another is at Jaffa Gate.

half marathon finish line

One finish line next to the park

has been ready for days.

Jerusalem arena for sports

The Sport and Health fair leading up to race time,

is at the Jerusalem Arena this year.

Meanwhile, there is another marathon,

the Purim marathon keeping many families busy.

Purim ‘lead up’ has been well under way,


with an extra Adar leap-year month to prepare.

Jerusalem marathon sign and Purim

Azza Zazza promises megilat Esther reading every hour on Friday,

March 25, for Jerusalem’s Shushan Purim celebrations.

Sign for Purim on buses

Buses display banners of Purim festivals.

The streets are not as crowded,

Mamilla Mall Jerusalem, Israel

and Mamilla Mall is not bustling as usual.

Mamilla Mall

But it is still the weather that keeps me inside,

first dust, then rain.

Today’s rain should clean the air for the runners.

I was glad to be out in the Old City as the sun was setting,

Dancing for sefer torah at Kotel

 to find men dancing at Kotel, the Western Wall,

Sunset at Western Wall

 singing and live music to dedicate a new Torah scroll.

Night time at Western Wall scene from steps

Life goes on in spite of the security situation.

Sports and Purim and if that is not enough,

there is a Bach Festival this week,

with music, events, lectures and art,

over several days in multiple locations.

Jerusalem tape on stone designs

 These new tape art designs are for Purim?

The Jerusalem Marathon route goes by this intersection,

but being so close to the finish line, I doubt most people will notice.

You never know what you will find next

on the Jerusalem, Israel streets,

I Swear, Jerusalem of Contrasts

Jerusalem, Israel, is a place of contrasts.

Old City Jerusalem at night

At night the streets of the Old City have been quiet,

while during the day,

building in Israel

the noise of large construction projects fills the streets.

While loud BDSers (Boycott, Divestment and Sanction),

shout hate against anything Israeli,

Jon Medved of Our Crowd led a global conference


that attracted 3,000 international participants.

The technology conferences are too numerous to attend or even list.

For two days in Tel Aviv this week, the tourism conference

is again attracting eager overseas visitors to expand their ties with Israel.

While outside on the streets “random” stabbings and attacks go on,

inside Beit Hanassi, the Israeli President’s residence,

President Reuven Rivlin and Justice Minister Ayelet Sheked

sweariing in of new Sharia lae judges

swore in 7 new Qadis, Islamic Shariah Law Judges.

The official reception was held in the same large hall

where all important diplomatic visitors are greeted.

president house muslim audience

Family and friends of the new Muslim judges

after being served a dairy buffet of sweets,

were seated for the occasion.

This week there was another swearing-in ceremony,

a military ceremony at the Kotel, the Western Wall Plaza.

Paratroopers swearing in Western Wall

Thousands of family and friends gathered

paratroopers swearing in ceremony

 to witness the newest paratroopers,

who after weeks of arduous training,

IDF photo

 receive their new rifle along with a new bible.

Muslims who swear in to IDF receive a Koran.

While the news may seem dismal and negative,

this Muslim couple who found themselves in the midst

of hundreds of armed Israeli soldiers

watermarked Muslim taking selfie at Western wall

seem much more concerned with getting a good selfie.

I walked home alone in the dark from the Old City.

It took awhile as I stopped twice to talk with friends,

but two other things got my attention.

When there is a “security incident”

At entrance to Old City

these teens take to the streets to give out Israeli flags,

post signs and sing,

Am Yisrael Chai,

the People of Israel live!

It is a leap year on the Jewish calendar,

with two Adars, an extra month until Purim,.

Purim celebrates when Haman tried to kill the Jews.


 Hamantaschen are already displayed in store windows.

They tried to kill us, they failed,

so let’s eat something sweet.

A few of the cycles and contrasts

happening daily on the real Jerusalem streets.

Purim Old, New and Ignored in Jerusalem

Purim Old, New and Ignored in Jerusalem

Purim celebrations went of for days and days,

in Jerusalem, Israel.

bus sign Happy Purim

As usual, the bus signs said, “Purim sameach.”

Purim carnival

Families celebrated with carnivals and rides for the kids.

Purim Jerusalem, Israel

Groups like the scouts had loud parties.

ice skating Israel

For the first year in Cinema City an ice skating rink was open,

image woman with face painted as animal

and this woman had her face painted to purrfection.

image man in skeleton costume

People in costumes,

cinema city Jerusalem

and well, even this whatever it was.

There was a lot happening on the streets,

Purim fun Jerusalem

 with people in a good mood having lot’s of fun.

Celebrations and huge meals,

and yes, many people drank too much.

News film crews were out

and got videos of drunken men on the street.

But, not one international film crew came on Purim

to the Israeli Foreign Ministry Building,

first votes for Israeli elections

where for the first time, some Israelis working overseas

were able to vote in advance of the March 17 election.

Israel elections

A live feed from Tbilisi, Pretoria, New Delhi and Berlin,

showed some of the locations where diplomats were voting.

photo Salim Joubran

Israel Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran,

chairman of the Central Elections Committee,

on Purim, Thursday, March 5, 2015,

visited the situation room in the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem

to observe the elections taking place at Israel’s diplomatic missions abroad.

A prominent Arab juridical figure overseeing Israeli elections,

discussed Israel’s being a democracy.

This topic may not fit the media narrative,

but it is what was happening in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Prepares for Purim

Purim is a big deal in Israel,

Especially in Jerusalem, where celebrations go on and on,

not for a day or two like the rest of world,

but starting at the beginning of the Hebrew month of Adar

and continuing for two weeks.

This year it has been hard to figure out,

what is real.

What is Purim nonsense?

What is satire?

What is a joke?

truck fro Israeli elections

 You can see trucks like this one driving around

all the time blasting happy music.

This van, however, is also promoting a political party running for Knesset seats.

No joke, and there is an official pot party too,

as in marijuana, in the race for our new government.

This year an Anglo Vote Event was held in Cinema City,

bugs bunner and goofy at Cinema City

 two of my favorite characters were with the hot chocolate cakes.

Some of the political parties were represented

and candidates answered questions in English.

As one friend noted, no female candidates were in attendance.

However, there is one new party where women do have a voice.

haredi women running for Knesset

Ruth Culian (right) and Noa Erez are two of four women

running in a new party of religious women,

בזכותן  B’Zehuton which means “in their merit.”

To their credit, this is trail-blazing effort.

It took a lot of guts for Ruth to go to law school

and start a political campaign in her community,

  maybe even more than for the Prime Minister

to make a speech in Washington, DC.

go in peace sign

.A sign wishing Bibi well was hung on the String Bridge.

There were more talking heads in the media,

for and against the speech,

than I could count.

Fromer ambassador Yoram Ettinger

Here former Ambassador Yoram Ettinger

was headed to the Jerusalem Press Club for one pre-speech debate.

The speech is over.

The Prime Minister is back,

but the talking is still going on and on.

And on the real streets,

the snow felt like ancient history, 

ice skating in Jerusalem

as a new ice skating rink opened in Cinema City.

cat resting in sun Jerusalem Israel streets

The cats enjoyed the warm weather,

flowers jerusalem

and wild flowers exploded in open spaces.

Purim treats

However, the real color and excitement was for Purim.

Purim costumes

 Children are wearing their costumes everywhere.

Adults wearing Micky Mouse ears while driving in cars.

People dressed in wild outfits and

crazy hats while eating in restaurants.

Most anything can be seen this week on the streets,

at least through Shushan Purim and the weekend,

we can assume it is all in the holiday spirit.

purim samech

Happy Purim.

March Madness: Purim, Now Jerusalem Marathon

March Madness has a different meaning in Jerusalem, Israel.

Purim is a holiday that is celebrated to the max by everyone!

Not just for March Purim Madness time,

image Queen Esther, photo ester hamalka street, picture PUrim

but all year around Queen Esther has her own street.

School children start with Purim on the first day of the month of Adar,

and this being a leap year, we had two months!

image mishloah manot, photo gift packages, picture mishloah manot for sale

Gift baskets for Mishloah manot have been on sale for weeks.

The story of Esther was read in thousands of locations.

image megila reading, picture megillah reading, photo unusual megila reading

There were readings all Purim day at different restaurants,

Zazza on Azza by Chabad Rechavia was a huge success!

image Purim celebration, photo family dressed for Purim, Purim costumes

Some families take their costumes very seriously,

this one even dressed up their dog for a Purim outing.

One of my favorite costumes this year

image purim costume, photo baby purim costume

was this baby as a super-sized bag of popcorn in a baby carrier.

image large wings, costuem Pruim, photo Purim

There were a lot of winged-creatures on the streets.

image Jerusalem mayor, photo mayor Jerusalem , picture Arkat

 OMG, this fellow looks just like Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

And HATS, lots of hats,

image pUrim, purim costume, big hat photo

big hats,

photo fur hat, image hat, picture strimel

fur hats,

image PUrim, photo costume,

pairs of hats,

image Purim, photo purim hats, picture PUrim

hats with ears,

image PUrim costume, photo costume purim

colorful hats,

image Purim costume, photo headdreass. picture Purim costume

and hats with feathers,

image Palestinian, Arab girls in Jerusalem, Purim  photo

and here are more popular Indian feathers this year.

image shaved head, photo design shaved in hair

Not sure that his shaved head was only for Purim.

image Purim, photos purim, picture PUrim

and this I really did not understand!

image balloons, photo Purim, picture PUrim

In busy Mamilla Mall there were lots of balloons.

image PUrim, Mickey mouse costume

Posing with cartoon characters

image PUrim, photo sponge bob, picture purim fun

was for everyone, not only small children wanted photos.

Also spotted in Mamilla Mall,

image boy dressed in santa outfit, photo Purim costuem, picture Purim

at least one Santa’s helper,

image PUrim, costume arab, Google guy

a Google guy,

image man with camera, photo PUrim , costume picture

and one serious Arab shooter, aiming a nice Canon camera.

image large Purim costume, photo PUrim

Some costumes

puim costumeimage, photo PUrim , picture Purim

were obvious,

image man and children Purim, photo man in uniform, picture Purim

while others, a costume or not?

image PUrim crowd, photo Purim celebrations, photo Purim Jerusalem

Thousands were in Mamilla Mall, but I thought it was less crowded this year than last.

image PUrim in Jerusalem , photo first station, picture first station

First Station also attracted crowds this year,

iamge PUrim Jerusalem, first station inside, photo First STation purim

and now some of the area is protected from the weather.

image Purim celebratons, photo chidlren in costume, picture Purim

But watch out for wild animals!

image ice rink in Jerusalem, photo ice skating, picture ice skating

And there were lines for the ice skating rink at First Station.

So by the time Shushan Purim,

the day Purim is celebrated in Jerusalem, Israel, is over,

 posting photos seems like ending a marathon.

And now the streets are filled with signs for Friday’s

image Jerusalem marathon, finish line for marathon picture, photo Jerusalem marathon

 Jerusalem Marathon.

photo purim on Jerusalem bus, photo Purim, Image special for Purim

So until next year, Happy Purim.

More photos for those of you not fortunate enough to be in Jerusalem, Israel for Purim.

Israel Museum Fancy Dress and Old Masks for Purim Inspiration

Purim time.

Time for things to be upside down.

Postal workers were on strike for a day.

Some of the light rail workers were striking too.

The Knesset members were not showing up to vote – on purpose.

The foreign service workers are they still striking?

And David Cameron is to arrive in Jerusalem, Israel.

What a great time to get away from it all.

image Israel Museum, photo rainbow, picture in side Israel Museum

A new exhibit, opened in the Israel Museum,

Dress Codes, Revealing the Jewish Wardrobe.

image new exhibit at museum, photo Dress Codes

Israel Museum Director James Snyder gave an introduction.

image Arab dress, photo wear outside Jewish women Arab world

First were garments worn by Jewish women from Central Asia,

influenced by Muslim society, they certainly were not very revealing.

 As Jews migrated from Mashhad, Iran to Afghanistan,

image burka, Jewish

 they took the chador with them.

This was what a mid-20th century Jewish woman wore in the streets of Herat.

image ornate bras, photo under garments.

However, Rock stars could find inspiration

image garments under chador, photo undergarments.

in the underneath garments on display.

image dresses, photo museum

Clothing was influenced by environment and reflects history.

image clothes, photo costumes. picture robe from Turkey

The robe design for Israeli Chief Sephardi Rabbi came from Turkey,

the red number to the left from Morocco.

Now a few favorite photos,

image belts, photo ornate belts, early men's belts

Men’s belts, earliest male bling?

image white wedding dresses., photo fancy wedding dress, picture old wedding dresses

Elegant white wedding dresses from many parts of world.

image children's clothes, old kids cloths photo, picture old children's clothes

Baby Gap was not first to make children’s clothes like little adult wear.

image wedding dress not white, picture old wedding dress, photo Israel Museum spacial dress

This ornate wedding dress from Turkey was interesting.

Unlike in today’s disposable society, a wedding dress was worn for a life time.

image Torah ark cover, photo parochos, picture parohet

Curator Efrat Assaf-Shapira explained how when a woman died,

the fabric could be used to make a parochet,

a special cover for ark where Torah scrolls are stored.

image colorful scarves, photo pretty scarf, picture special scarf

Along with colorful scarves,

Image special talis, photo talti, picture special prayer shawl

was a special talit, prayer shawl.

If these do not give you some inspiration for Purim,

image Israel museum, photo old things, picture very old

then across the hall,

image old masks, photo ancient masks, picture masks from Juedean Hills

check out the ancient masks.

image old mask, photo mask from anciwnet time. picture old mask

These masks from thousands of years ago,

were found in the Judean hills.

After the very popular Herod, this is indeed a change.

You have six months to see Dress Codes

if you miss it let me know, I have more photos for you.