Another Week of Presidents in Jerusalem

Helicopters hovering above the Jerusalem, Israel, streets

 are usually a sign of bad news.

But during the third week in February,

it could be anything or anyone,

with so many presidents and dignitaries visiting.

In the US, Monday’s Presidents Day combines honoring

George Washington street

George Washington,

Jerusalem Lincoln Street

and Abraham Lincoln.

The two Jerusalem streets honoring them are next to each other,

but note that in Hebrew ‘Lincoln’ is pronounced, Link-o-lin. 

As usual, there were many more presidents here during Presidents week.

The American Conference of Presidents Leadership

Mission to Israel is being briefed by a whole range of speakers.

Ido Daniel slide at Conference of Presidents Jerusalem

The sessions on threats and security are very daunting,

with Iran, ISIS, Hezbollah, Syria, PA and Hamas at our doors,

1914 crisis of Jews in holy land

but just read if you can this telegram from August 1914.

It begins, “Palestinian Jews facing terrible crisis.”

‘Nothing new under the sun’ might be the best response.

However, this was a good week

to get out of the hotels and houses.

nature spot in Jerusalem

With sun shining and warm temperatures,

it was a great time to walk

in Gan Ha’atzmaut, Independence Park,

although not many people took advantage,

Gan Haatzmaut

which could be even better for the few who did.

flower, rose, park

While there were few roses in bloom,

almond blossoms

the almond tree blossoms burst forth this week.

I now appreciate the Tu B’Shevat children’s holiday song.

From not seeing any blossoms for the Tu B’Shevat holiday,

starting Friday they seem to have popped out all over.

Rain and now shine,

runners have taken to the streets.

Jerusalem marathon sign 2016

The Jerusalem Marathon is a month away,

and those seriously participating are seriously training.


I am sharing again,

Jerusalem rainbow

in case you missed this double rainbow from last week.

Until the next rainbow, it will be a favorite photo,

even though the real thing was so much more impressive.

Now off on a photo walk, to show tourists,

some of what is really happening off the Jerusalem streets.

Always different, as you never know what you will find.

In Jerusalem, Tu BiShevat Traditional and New

Spring-like weather

warmed the Jerusalem, Israel, streets this week.

birds on minaret

Birds stopped to rest on their migrations.

almond flowers

The almond blossoms did indeed burst out,

white roses

and roses opened.

Jerusalem Israel gan Sacher park

Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, was the spot for school outings.

People could be found in the sunshine,

two men exercising in Gan Sacher on nice day

 upside down

Muslim man at prayer

and bowing down.

image girl taking photo in garden behind King David Hotel

It was perfect weather for a photo walk

new light bulb in old neighborhood of Yemin Moshe

to find the traditional mixed with new.

All perfect for Tu Bishevat,

the 15th day of Hebrew month of Shevat,

the Jewish New Year for agriculture,

the birthday of trees.

image fruit basket

At Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence,

the holiday fruit baskets overflowed,

with special Israeli treats.

Rivlin host seder

A seder hosted by President and First Lady Rivlin

 was set for students and farmers to celebrate.

two men taking selfie at Bat Hanasi

Early arrivals had time for a selfie.

man looking like Ray Charles

No, Stevie Wonder did not drop by to entertain,

but there were Hebrew songs by Israeli singers.

This photo was taken last month while waiting for

John Baird to arrive on his official visit.

US Senators led by John McCain were to come in the afternoon.

US flags were ready and we, well, just had fun doing this.

Even Shimon Peres was back at Beit Hanasi,

not for a Tu Bishevat seder,

image new bust of Shimon Peres in Presidential gardens

but his likeness is now on display in the gardens

image Israel president house garden

along with the other former Israeli presidents.

image man with hat over face

At least one of the men in this small old cemetery in town

did not want his photo taken,

man making sushi in cafe window

and it was sushi week at cafe in Mamilla Mall.

So while we were watching the snow scenes in US,

all this and more

was happening on the Jerusalem, Israel, streets.

Tu BShvat Beit Hanasi 014mc

Hope you enjoyed Tu BiShevat too.

Tu B’Shevat in Jerusalem

School children all over Israel learn by song that

on the holiday of Tu B’Shevat, the new year of trees, 

almond tree in bloom image ,

“Shkadea Porachat,”  the almond trees are blooming.

In Jerusalem,

 it is much easier to find roses blooming than almond trees.

The fifteen day of the Hebrew month of Shevat is also

dried fruit image, mall image

the holiday when dried fruit displays fill the shopping malls.

Machane Yehuda market, the shuk, always a source of dried fruit and nuts, 

machane yehuda market image, image of the shuk in Jerusalem

has even more piles and varieties on sale this time of year.

dried chilli image

The dried chillies in the shuk yesterday

regulach image, rows of little cakes image

and these little rogalach seemed really special too.

Generations of American Jews 

associate Tu B’Shevat with “bokser” or dried carob pods.

lemons on tree image

However, I prefer our lemon tree full of fruit as a symbol

of the start of the growing season.

Many people will attend a special Tu B’Shevat seder at night at a

table set with red and white wine and dried fruit and special prayers. 

But some stores have been ready for a while with costumes and props,

and for some… it is never too soon to get ready for Purim.

Happy Tu B’Shevat where ever you are!

See Tu B’Shvat from  last year for a rainbow of beauty in Jerusalem: