The Jewish holidays fall early this year.
Upon turning the calendar page to September, one finds that Rosh Hashana is only a week way.
Not sure where the summer went or how the time flew so fast.
Children are back in school and holiday preparations have begun.
Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, is getting a major make-over.
The new cafe should be finished for holiday crowds.
Music is filling the streets and concert halls.
Shir Chadash Synagogue on Emek Refaim sponsored a musical performance by Yehuda Katz.
Listen to a minute from the after-Shabbat performance in this video.
The streets of Yemin Moshe were quiet at night.
But inside the Yemin Moshe synagogue, the Solomon Brothers were leading selichot, the pre-Rosh Hashana prayers.
The twin lions in the Jewish Quarter near the steps to the Kotel, Western Wall, got a new coat of paint before the holidays. The next day, the eyes and detailing were added.
With construction for a new elevator access, the regular steps are blocked.
They had better work fast here before the holiday crowds arrive.
The moon was a brilliant orange color in the sky over the Kotel.
A bit of the sounds of the night. Amazing how fast the moon had moved, I tried to get in in the video and did not succeed.
Though it was approaching midnight, people were coming and going, but there were no overflow crowds.
The Robinson’s Arch area was empty as usual when I went to check.
However, at Heichal Shlomo, the overflow crowd was also at the back door trying to get inside.
The Old City and the Great Synagogue were not where the crowds were for the first night of these selichot prayers. They were at First Station.
Walking past the vendor stands and restaurants of First Station, in the Hangar
Yitzhak Meir was leading a musical selichot service.
His following has grown over the past few years, with a larger venue each year.
Thousands attended in the Hangar as he sang with musical accompaniment.
This was not your grandfather’s service, mumbling the words after midnight in a small shul.
You may not see this again, but approaching the New Year, Jerusalem mayoral candidates danced together at the conclusion of selichot.
The race could get nasty after the holidays, but at least for one night, the candidates joined hands and were singing and dancing together. These photos are screen shots from You Tube video.
Politicians were out the first day of school to be photographed with children going back to class.
Summer is over. Shana tova signs are up.
It’s buying and selling season in stores, at second hand fairs on Jerusalem, Israel streets,
and from pop-up vendors of all sort of housewares for preparing for holidays.
From huge holiday wishes from Friends of Zion,
to the Shana Tova gift basket I found at my door,
and another evening of selihot and prayers at First Station, many are the signs of Jerusalem preparing for New Year.
And yes already a week before Rosh Hashana, the first sukka was spotted.
Up on this porch, a family is prepared and ready in Mea Shearim,
At least for now, the faces of candidates for mayor are down, and holiday greetings are up.
Wishing all a successful school year and a very good New Year 5779.
שנה טובה וכתיבה וחתימה טובה