Jerusalem, Israel was the destination for millions of visitors for the autumn holiday season. The streets were filled with rental cars and excited tourists.
This year due to the coronavirus restrictions, the Kotel, Western Wall Plaza is mostly deserted, day and night time.
The area inside the Wilson’s Arch is closed again.
For Yom Kippur most synagogues were closed.
Some synagogues made use of their outdoor spaces with tents.
Pop-up street services were held by small groups of neighbors coming together. Doing the best they could manage with cars, cyclists, children on noisy scooters, and dog walkers coming through the random plastic chairs spread around.
The sounds of prayers filled the Jerusalem streets.
In spite of COVID-19 restrictions, hundreds of cars noisily made their way to Jerusalem and to the Knesset after Yom Kippur.
After months of loud late night disturbances in Jerusalem, the black shirts were again on their way in the morning to the Knesset.
Loud, some profane, some with young children, they paraded and screamed in the midday sun. The over the top display could still be heard when after midnight the Knesset voted to limit the protesters numbers and locations to one kilometer from home. Rules the rest of the country we’re supposed to follow.
The protesters are getting more than their share of headlines and filling news feeds. COVID-19 pandemic is a global problem, the deaths tragic.
I have decided to share good things happening you might have missed.
2. The weather has cooled, colorful clouds cover the Knesset at sunset.
That bit of red is a postal truck, nice to know the mail has not stopped moving during the latest set of lockdown restrictions.
The big crane on the left is for the new National Library under construction.
3. Building has continued all these months of pandemic.
I am fascinated by the work on the library roof structure. One day in the future I will share the progress with you.
4. The Harvest Moon was shining bright.
Mars was too far away to get a good photo of both together. However, a Blue Moon is due to appear the end of the month. Another chance.
5. Israeli Start-Up Nation was on the front line of the Girod’Italia.
In the international bike race, Maglia Azzurra, King of the Mountains, was Rick Zabel representing Israel in the blue uniform.
6. There are quiet spots to meet andkeep your distance in Jerusalem.
Hotels are closed again with the new COVID-19 restrictions. A few had opened partially over the summer for Israeli guests.
7. Lights were visible at night at the Crowne Plaza.
The hotel had been dark every night, closed since March. Presently, United Hatzalah workers are based in the conveniently located hotel.
8. Mayor Moshe Lion said keeping Jerusalem clean is a priority.
The Jerusalem Municipality clean up trucks have become a regular sight on the Jerusalem streets. The days of furnishing your apartment with cast-offs off the street are over unless you are very quick before a truck arrives.
9. Three Machane Yehudah Market, shuk, streets got names and signs, “Ha-Tut” or “Strawberry” Street was one.
Another was “Arbaat Haminim” or “Four Species” Street. The sign over a nearly deserted street which would have been packed with shoppers any other year before the Sukkot holiday.
Thousands of careful shoppers would have come to select their etrog and luluv and greens for their four-holiday species as in this old photo. This year the small kiosks on Jerusalem streets in various neighborhoods filled the void.
The fall holiday season in Jerusalem, Israel, has come to a close.
Monday night, the Jerusalem streets from First Station to the Kotel, Western Wall, to the Gur Hassidic Center, and dozens of other locations were filled with live music and tens of thousands dancing with Torahs for Hakafot Shniot.
Tourists prepared to go back to their homes, as Jerusalem fall flowers were in full bloom.
In the first year of Reuven Rivlin’s presidency, there was no line on the street outside of Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence, for the annual Sukkah Open House.
This year 8,000 people came. For many, it was their first time inside the usually closed gates.
The theme in the President’s public sukkah was Israeli grapes.
Barrels of wine were in the sukkah this year, but no samples were offered. Artificial grapes hung from the top of the sukkah. A large wheelbarrow outside the sukkah was filled with a variety of grapes that were consumed before I thought to take a photo.
MK Zeev and Maria Elkin were at Beit Hanasi early for the intermediary days of Sukkot event.
Activities for children included making a Bar Kochba coin sponsored by the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem.
When President Rivlin made an appearance, he was surrounded by media.
Crowds were both outside and inside the main hall,
in the big sukkah,
and outside on the back lawn.
Crowds. Crowd control. Closed streets. All have becomes constants of Jerusalem holiday seasons.
Even late at night, tens of thousands of visitors walking to and from the Old City is a common Sukkot sight.
Families dressed in their best holiday clothing, day or night, head toward Jaffa Gate.
The Western Wall Heritage Foundation announced that 2.5 million people visited the Kotel, Western Wall during the month.
Perhaps not the best, but surely the biggest etrog I saw, was the size of the man’s head.
The huge sukkah in Kikar Safra, Municipal Plaza, welcomed the public.
Free, live musical concerts attracted crowds to Kikar Safra on several nights.
The list of free and fundraising concerts and events in Jerusalem was long and diverse.
Day and night the sukkot lining the light rail tracks on Jaffa Road welcomed the tired and hungry .
One Jerusalem festival was set for holiday visitors.
The 11th Manofim Jerusalem Contemporary Art Festival opens soon,
followed in November by the Oud Festival for the 20th year.
The 4th Jerusalem Biennale which opened October 10 goes through November.
There are 14 locations, 200 artists and 500 works in this Jerusalem contemporary art event.
So I will end with another view of Rabbi Yitzchok Moully’s sukkah constructed of reflective plexiglass exterior panels at Heichal Shlomo.
So many photos from Jerusalem Biennale, it needs a post of its own. Coming soon.
So much happened over Sukkot holidays, so much more happening on Jerusalem streets.