Purim in Jerusalem תש”פ

Purim in Jerusalem תש”פ

Purim. Part of the Purim celebration is a theme of upside down.

Haman vs Mordechai and Esther. Evil vs. Good.

Good triumphant and people living and celebrating the demise of the evil decree.

The story retold year after year, read from a megillah, the Scroll of Esther.

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

This miniature illustrated megillah in the Israel Museum’s permanent Purim exhibit is a favorite.

However, this Purim in Jerusalem was not like any other.

The municipality had an improved its Purim website with a long list of official activities.

But the huge public sponsored Jerusalem celebrations and gatherings which went on during times of war and terror in the past were canceled.

two bottles of Corona beer

Last week I was joking about my supersaturated photo of Corona bottles.

This week coronavirus – COVID-19 – is nothing to joke about – except it was Purim.

Car decorated as coronavirus on Purim in Chicago
photo credit: Rivka W

Not in Jerusalem. See those front lawns and suburban homes? This “flu bug” caught by my photographer friend with a great eye was so clever I asked her to let me share it. Please note the license plate “NF LUNZA.”

Though Jerusalem municipal mega-events were canceled due to the Ministry of Health restrictions, people still arrived in Jerusalem to celebrate Purim and Shushan Purim. Purim was celebrated in the Machane Yehudah Market,  the shuk, and Nahlaot, with singing and dancing, costumes, and yes, drinking.

Jerusalem Tower of David Purim performance
Photo Credit: Ilana Silverman Richter

The show went on at the Tower of David Museum, both days, and was sold out at the night event.

Purim in Jerusalem is not a one day, but a week-long event.

Purim costume man and dog in Jerusalem

Starting on Sunday morning, though sometimes it is hard to tell what is really a dress-up costume, “animals” were spotted.

Purim costumes on King George Street in Jerusalem Israel

The morning crowds near the shuk and on King George Street seemed bigger than regular Sunday and included, seniors in wheelchairs and babies in strollers.

Purim costume dress-up is taken seriously in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Purim costumes

These high school girls posed on their way home from school.

Two boys in Jerusalem dressed in Purim costumes as ice cream sellers

Two high school boys let me take their photo, but did not offer me any ice cream.

Jerusalem Shushan Purim megilah reading every hour for Azza Zaza

The 10th annual Azza Zaza Purim was held Tuesday night and all day Wednesday. The megillah was read at dozens of Jerusalem business locations on the hour, every hour in another location, at times even at not kosher restaurants, thanks to Chabad of Rechavia.

Construction and costumes on Jerusalem streets for Purim

At least on Purim, streets were cleared of construction vehicles.

Jerusalem family walking in costume for Purim

On the streets, creatures with wings were spotted walking,

Jerusalem on Shusham Purim

and angels and princesses of various ages.

Purim costumes in Jerusalem

Masks for costume or safety precaution?

Man in costume visiting family in isolation on Purim in Jerusalem

With over 30,000 Israelis in isolation this Purim, visitors kept their distance.

Purim costume in Jerusalem traffic

But even with fewer people on the streets, during peak hours for delivering Mishloach Manot, Purim gifts of food, traffic was enough to be annoying and dangerous.

Purim sign

Part of Purim celebration is the seudah, a big meal with good food and drink.

Singing on Purim at festival meal

Costumes are optional, but singing and music and fun are required.

Finish line for Jerusalem Winner Marathon placed before race was postponed

The Jerusalem Marathon was postponed until November 6, 2020.

The COVID-19 coronavirus threatened Purim in Jerusalem.

Family dressed in Purim costumes on Jerusalem street

Families were not out in great numbers as in the past.

I attended smaller megillah readings in private homes and didn’t roam the streets.

Purim masks at Jerusalem Megilah reading in private home

But thanks to clever friends, we will share one more Purim image that sums up this truly upside down Purim in Jerusalem.

We worried. We prayed. Then it was time to eat.

פורים שמח 

Purim Sameach

 Happy Purim from the Jerusalem streets.

When was the last time you were in Jerusalem?

When was the last time you were in Jerusalem?

Jerusalem, Israel.

When was the last time you were in Jerusalem?

It is a marvel how things have changed over the past few years.

Oh, the traffic, the road building, the light rail construction in every direction, so much is happening at once it is hard to believe.

The Cranes from the National Library work-site, illuminated at night, rise against the night sky along with the Chord Bridge for a view of colorful lights.

Jerusalem Israel from above on Jaffa Road

Construction cranes and building materials fill the area near the Jaffa Road light rail line.

View of Jerusalem Central Bus Station from high building window

This is the view in the other direction to the Central Bus Station, with old buildings and cranes.

Bread sold in Jerusalem Israel Machena Yehudah market - shuk

In the Machane Yehuda Market the daily bread

Playing ball in Jerusalem shuk as people walk by

and the young men playing ball are familiar sights.

Jerusalem Israel new building

But the buildings towering over old Jaffa Road – oh my, what a contrast to days past.

Just this past week in Jerusalem:

Digital art at the Tower of David in Jerusalem

The old Tower of David was filled with new-age ZERO ONE digital art.

Jeruslalem Biennale Art at Van Leer

The Jerusalem 2019 Biennale came to an end at Van Leer Institute and a dozen other locations.

Manofim contemporary art festival in Jerusalem

There was the 11th Manofim Jerusalem Contemporary Art Festival.

Jerusalem Thanksgiving Dinner for lone soldiers

Thanksgiving dinners large and small were held. A tent at First Station hosted 1000 IDF lone soldiers and some US Marines for dinner.

Jerusalem First Station Bloomfield Science Museum fair at night

At the same time at First Station, the Bloomfield Science Museum held a Mini Maker Fair to encourage future scientists and their families.

Jerusalem Israel launch of FEMJL<

FEM-JLM was launched at Jerusalem WeWork to encourage female entrepreneurs to go into fields of technology. There is a lot of work to do for more fem in STEM.

President Reuven Rivlin poses with Israeli Physics Olympiad medalists at Beit Hanasi

President Reuven Rivlin hosted the Israeli medalists from the International Physics Olympiad held in the summer in Tel Aviv. Notice they are all men?

Jerusalem Beit Hanasi teen science winners with President and Education Minister Peretz

The President greeted each young man.

Hopefully, in the future, there will be young women there as well.

Hebrew street sign for Day for Persons with Disabilities in Jerusalem Israel

December 3, 2019, was International Day for Persons with Disabilities.

There were signs posted and events held throughout the week all around Jerusalem.

Jerusalem street and sidewalk repair

Getting around Jerusalem for those with disabilities, and those without is not simple.

Jerusalem narrow streets

This car got through this narrow street, with centimeters to spare.

However, the next one got stuck.

One never knows when or where in Jerusalem what will happen next.

Jerusalem Jaffa Street old building near new

The very old, against the very new, a constant theme in Jerusalem.

So much more.

But enough, for now, just these photos from part of what happened this week.

Graffiti off of Agrippas Street in Jerusalem near market

Jerusalem, Israel, where even graffiti on the old walls is not like any other.

 

 

Preserving the Past, Promoting the Future, and Anchors Aweigh Jerusalem

Preserving the Past, Promoting the Future, and Anchors Aweigh Jerusalem

Jerusalem offers a wide array of activities before the new school year begins.

Searching for a good quote for “circus” I found “preserving the past, promoting the future.”

What could be more appropriate for Jerusalem, Israel?

Jerusalem Tower of David end of summer event Circus

What could be more appropriate for the Circus at the Tower of David?

Jerusalem Israel Tower of David Circus sign

In the venue of historic ancient stones, the past is carefully preserved.

The Circus being held this August is especially aimed at young families.

Encouraging. Enriching. Exciting.

Providing educational and enjoyable activities that promote the future.

Tower of David view of tables set for Shesh Besh competition in Jerusalem Israel

From the Tower of David, you get panoramic and dramatic views of Jerusalem.

From the top of the Tower of David, we could see the area above Mamilla Mall across from the Old City walls near Jaffa Gate was set and ready for a shesh-besh tournament.  Backgammon players of all ages were invited to enter the public competition.

The plaza area near Jaffa Gate was not the only place that was busy this summer.

360 Degrees music festival in Jerusalem Liberty Bell Park

The Liberty Bell Park was one of the locations of the 360 Degree music and theater festival.

Muslim woman standing with Jewish man at music event in Liberty Bell Park Jerusalem

Diverse populations attended these events that were open to the public and free of charge. This was a drum circle, with standing room also.

Muslim women picnic in Liberty Bell Park in Jerusalem during a summer music festival

I took this photo of a young woman ready to do face painting for the children in the park.

If you look closely the women behind her are wearing hijabs and having a picnic dinner.

Jerusalem Israel Bloomfield Park scene from Measure for Measure - Shakespeare in Motion

In Bloomfield Park, Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure in Motion holds its last performances on August 25, 26, and 27. The annual theatrical event attracted the attention of Yiddish-speaking children who were in the park on family outings. Shakespeare is not taught in Israeli schools, and this is one fun way to preserve the Bard.

End of August summer activities at Hansen House in Jerusalem Israel

Hansen House, the old leper hospital, now the site of innovative programs, is presenting end-of-summer activities for families. Locals may be away, but a few children were doing activities in the Hansen courtyard. Sunday night was scheduled for a grand opening.

Sign for Sukkot 2016 Archaeological campus

Preserving the past, the National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel, had a grand opening almost three years ago.

Building of Schottenstein Antiquities Campus

The huge complex was meant to showcase Israeli archaeology.

Inside Antiquities Campus 2016

The innovative architectural designed building was to be home to researchers preserving the past. Visitors could watch work being done through glass walls.

Room in Schottenstein Antiquities Campus

Rooms were dedicated to each era and the ancient finds were to be on display.

valuable pieces in museum lower level Schottenstein Campus

Down in the depths, the most ancient and valuable pieces were to be preserved and displayed.

Archaeological Campus site near Israel Museum

The front still appears the same from the street as on our exciting initial visit, only now the doors are chained shut. It will take a huge new cash infusion to promote the campus in the future.

Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem Israel

The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem (BLMJ) is next to the shuttered campus.

Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem main floor

BLMJ has rare antiquities carefully preserved and ancient relics on exhibition.

Exhibit at Bible Lands Museum on discoveries found preparing for new Beit Shemesh road

In the spring the Highway through History exhibit opened.

Beit Shemesh Road work halted because of major site underneath

Displays and photographs of the #38 Highway expansion are seen near the entrance.

Side of road where ancient site was found next to new road in BEeit Shemesh

However, driving by the site on the way to Beit Shemesh, was a very different experience.

Archaeological dig in Beit Shemesh where new road was to go.

I know they said it was big and close to the road, but as we drove by it was hard to capture how expansive the site is. Everywhere in Israel, preserving the past and promoting the future is a balancing act, as Beit Shemesh Mayor Aliza Bloch and museum curators said at the opening of the Highway Through History exhibition.

The newest exhibit Anchors Aweigh opened this week.

BLMJ exhibit on Sea Ports of Holy Land

The exhibit is dedicated to seaports and is located downstairs in the museum.

Blue and white Israeli flag at Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem Israel

 Out of the Blue and with its blue threads was the previous exhibit on display in this space.

Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem exhibit on Ports 1800s

Fifty works of Holy Land seaports from the private collection of Yossi Gilben are on display.

Image of Ashdod port in 1839 BLMJ exhibit

This 1839 lithograph by D. Roberts is of Ashdod. What a contrast to the thriving city and port today.

Lithograph from 1839 of Gaza with soldiers near water in port

Troops heading north to Sidon are depicted in this D. Roberts lithograph, also dated 1839, in Gaza.

BLMJ image of Jaffa SeaPort in 1677

Jaffa was the closest port to Jerusalem. It was not a natural harbor and lacked deep water, so those arriving had to disembark onto small crafts to reach land. It was destroyed in the 13th century after the Crusade-era and remained in ruins for hundreds of years.

In the 15th century as more pilgrims came to the Holy Land they would spend a night or two in the ruins and head for Jerusalem. Finally, in the mid-17th century, the Ottomans allowed a small group of Franciscan monks to settle in Jaffa and care for European pilgrims. Later they were granted permission to establish a hospice.

This engraving by O. Dapper is from 1677 shows the port and citadel, along with some buildings, in German, Ioppen in Palestine.

The other seaports of Ashkelon, Haifa, and Caesarea are included in Gilben’s impressive lithographs and engravings collection which has preserved the past for us to enjoy now.

BLMJ old map that was printed in error with Mediterranean on wrong side

This map placed just outside the main room is from the collection of Batya Borowski.

Incorrect map of coastline of Holy land printers error

Jewish Holy Land with allotments of the 12 tribes in German is the title of the wood engraving by S. Munster (ca. 1550).

It was pointed out to us, that the map with the south on the upper area and the Mediterranean on the right side, was due to a printing error. It seems as back as the early days of printing, even those who honored and yearned for Jerusalem did not always get their facts straight, as they had never been to the Holy Land.

Leonardo DaVinci is featured at the Bloomfield Science Museum.

The Israeli Museum always attracts families during the summer holidays.

It is hot. Streets are almost empty of cars.

But as always good things are happening on and under the Jerusalem, Israel streets as the summer wanes.