Jerusalem More Than Dream

Jerusalem More Than Dream

“Next year in Jerusalem”

has been for centuries,

the mantra of the Jewish people.

At the conclusion of the Passover seder

and at end of weddings by breaking a glass,

 the destruction of Jerusalem was remembered.

From May 1948 to June 1967,

the years under Jordanian occupation,

Jerusalem Old City Walls

reaching the Kotel, Western Wall or

walking near the Temple Mount,

was only for the imagination or in a dream.

A view from a look out at Notre Dame,

over a dangerous No Man’s Land,

was as close as a Jew could get.

For those under the age of 60,

the drama and trauma of the Six-Day War,

and the resulting victory are taken for granted.

The rush of feelings, of a miraculous deliverance

against giant Arab armies attacking on all sides is lost.

The significance of

Jerusalem 50 and its many celebrations are shrugged off,

Birhat Kohanim at Kotel on Pesach 5777

for today tens of thousands can reach the Kotel Plaza to pray.

However, the Six-Day War,

also saw the return to Gush Etzion,

At Harel Memorial distance to Gush Etzion lost in 1948 to Jordan

a distance 16 kilometers south of the Knesset.

And in the north,

Kinerret at Sunrise

 the beautiful Kineret, Sea of Galilee,

Golan, Kinneret

had Syrians in those Golan Heights towering above.

 Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus

was closed after a convoy of medical staff was ambushed

and 73 people were murdered in April 1948.

Memorial at Hadassah hospital to the convoy which was attacked and murdered in 1948

This memorial wall in the Mt. Scopus memorial garden

was backdrop for a reenactment of Hadassah getting its keys back

from Mayor Teddy Kollek, in June of 1967.

And the West Bank,

which was for centuries known as Judea and Samaria,

Benyamin region of Judea and Samaria

 the land of Benjamin,

West Bank land of Bemyamin

stretches as far as the eye can see,

Tel Shiloh in Judea and Samaria

and includes Tel Shilo,

which for 369 years was location of the Holy Ark,

before the time of King David and the Temple in Jerusalem.

50 years.

Half a century.

This is a wondrous time to be in Jerusalem, Israel.

The days of choking polluted air

from vehicles stuck in heavy traffic on Yaffa Road,

Jerusalem light rain train Israel Yerushalayim

are vanishing memories, as the light rail trains run by.

50 years,

things are far from perfect,

but I would not want to go back to 51 years ago.

Israel Going North: Old and New

It does not happen often,

but we got away from Jerusalem, Israel,

for a few days and we drove up north.

Nothing is far in Israel,

view of Kinneret at sunset

and in two hours you can be at the Kinneret,

the Sea of Galilee.

It looks so cool and calm,

but on the other side,

Kinneret view of water and mountain on other side

Syria is on the other side of the Golan Heights.

It used to be on the other side of the lake.

The Galil seems filled with prosperous

Arab village near Kinneret

Arab villages along the main roads.

Check out this sign in Arabic

Tnuva sign in Arabic in village in Galilee

 for the Israeli (Chinese) dairy company Tnuva.

A special ceremony honoring fallen Bedouin soldiers and security officers

Official memorial to fallen Bedouin securtiy

was held this week at the official memorial park

Israel memorial to fallen Bedouin soldier

established in honor of Bedouin IDF soldiers, police and scouts.

It is beautifully landscaped with large symbolic stones.

Bedouin memorial

In this photo, three stones represent those hung as spies by Syria.

Despite the community pride in the fallen security forces,

no names were permitted to be photographed and published.

Israel memorial to fallen security Bedoi8un

All those names are listed this in memorial wall shaped like a tent,

but I was told not to share the names.

Not far away,

rising above the valley is Mount Tabor,

view of Har Tavor,

with its narrow winding road leading up to the top.

Buses have to park at the bottom,

as only smaller vehicles can make the multiple crazy turns.

Friars Terra Santa Mount Tabor

It is truly is a wonder how the Terra Santa friars

built the original structure so many centuries ago.

Har Tavor view below

But what a view from there now!

 Jerusalem is not the only place of contrast,

old and new, for much of Israel today is amazing,

and constantly changing.

Ok, it was fun to see one of those

Israeli baby mover

 old fashioned baby transporters,

new and in use in the restaurant parking lot.

Established under difficult conditions,

in 1901, Kfar Tavor,

milk cans

has a museum with old milk cans,

while a few kilometers away, huge tank trucks come and go

from the state of art Tnuva factory.

The highways are not like the old days,

Israeli highway

Highway 6 with its large trucks reminded us

of the New Jersey Turnpike traffic.

While driving it was possible to check

  the phone for email and updates and more,

but the Kfar Tavor Museum has the one phone,

phone from Palestine

for all of the Palestina (Eretz Yisrael) area in 1926.

Wine is still processed the old fashioned way

wine barrel in Galilee

in wooden, hand-crafted barrels.

Looks like this is as close as I am getting to

the Jerusalem Wine Festival this year.

Last night I attended a special event,

in the Kfar Shmaryhu residence

of the US counselor for Press and Culture.

3 teams of Ethiopian Israelis presented

entrepreneurial projects done with mentors

in a new Tech-Career incubator program.

In 2002,

 no Ethiopian Israelis were trained in hi-tech in Israel,

now there are hundreds.

A few highlights of week, old and new and change,

Sunset view of Galilee

the sunsets were picture-perfect every night,

but it is good to be back home in Jerusalem.