Yad Vashem: Behind the Camera on Yom HaShoah

Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day,

is international, but more intense in Jerusalem, Israel,

from a simple memorial candle display in a hotel lobby,

to the national commemoration at Yad Vashem.

Since the program is televised at 8:00 pm,

it starts on time,

Yad Vashem for ceremony Yom Hashoa

  people start arriving hours early to the plaza.

IDF honor guard at Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Day

The honor guard poses for photographs before.

Survivor torch lighter Labi and son Maurice Labi

One of the six survivors honored to light a memorial flame,

Joseph Labi and son Maurice were kind enough to pose,

more on his story next week when there is time.

IDF honor guard at Yad Vashem Yom Hashoah

This was one of my favorite photos.

sunset sky at Yad Vashem for Holocaust memorial event

The sky at sunset was a scene stealer this year.

Yad Vashem for Yom Hashoah

When the Prime Minister enters all stand, block the view,

and either try for a handshake or cellphone photo,

Ceremony at Yad Vashem for Yom Hashoah

and it is a large crowd of hundreds.

RAv Lau lighting memorial torch at Yad Vashem

Rabbi Meir Lau, a child survivor, lit the large memorial flame

after the Israeli flag was lowered to half mast.

After President Reuven Rvilin spoke,

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at Yad Vashem Yom Hashoah

PM Benjamin Netanyahu spoke for 15 minutes,

Netanyahu speaking at Yad Vashem for Holocaust memorial day

using his hands to emphasize a point.

lights at Yom Shoah Yad Vashem

Six flames, six survivors,

one for each million murdered by the Nazis,

in the Shoah, Holocaust, each with an incredible story.

Yad Vashem for Yom HaShoah crowd

During the videos retelling their stories,

you could hear a pin drop,

no one coughed, no one moved,

except to wipe away tears.

After the program ended,

crowd at Yad Vshem for Yom Hashoah ceremony

I held my camera high to see who was in the crowd.

But in the sea of invited guests,

with Israeli political and military leaders,

a large German government representation,

it was hard to find anyone.

US Ambassador Dan Shapiro at YadVashem for Yom Hashoah

However, US Ambassador Dan Shapiro lingered

to talk with this family.

Selfie at Yad Vashem for Yom Hashoa

Many selfies were taken that night,

but this last one of the night is a favorite.

For too many families remembering is not a once a year event,

but a lifetime spent reliving horrors.

However, from the depths and sadness,

the signs are up for

Yom Haatzmaut,

Yom Haatzmaut sign in Jerusalem street

Independence Day giant celebrations

are being planned for next week,

in Jerusalem, Israel.

But first,

Shabbat shalom.

שבת שלום

Jerusalem Spring Colors

Passover is over.

It is back to school,

except for high school students who are on a two-day strike.

Back to work, back to “normal”

and trying to get back on a schedule.

Trash after holiday needs to be collected

It will take awhile to clean up mess left behind

by tens of thousands of people in all the outdoor spaces.

But I started the week indoors at the Israel Museum,

Israel Museum contemporary art

where colors are waiting to greet you.

What a treat,

I had a guided tour with the curator.

I am so pleased that I went back to get more of

 Pharaoh in Canaan: The Untold Story.

sphinx in Israel Museum exhibit on Pharaoh and Canaan

From a visiting the sphinx

Old dice from ancient Egypt Israel Museum Pharaoh exhibit

to games from ancient Egypt,

this is a fascinating era in history,

and one I had not thought about before.

With Passover over, do not worry,

there is no time to get bored.

It is now time for the Yoms,

Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day,

then next week Yom HaZikaron,

Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism,

followed by Yom Haatzmaut, Israel Independence Day.

Planes flyover Jerusalem Israel for Yom Haatzmaut

I love to catch the dress rehearsal flyovers.

Two planes flying over Jerusalem for INdependence Day show

This year there were only two small planes,

against the blue sky with wisps of white clouds.

Planes over Jerusalem Israel for Independence Day show

Only two short flights,

Planes flying in formation over Jerusalem Israel for Yom Haatzmaut

with two planes flying in formation.

I assume there will be much more action mid-day on Yom Haatzmaut,

and I plan to be in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park for the show.

The blue and white Israeli and Jerusalem flags

 Israel flags lining Jerusalem streets for holiday

are waving over many Jerusalem streets,

hung annually for the Yoms.

But new this week,

Colorful umbrellas in Music Square Jerusalem Israel

these large umbrellas

Music Square stage Jerusalem Israel

are hovering over Music Square in Jerusalem,

small umbrellas off Yoel Salomon Street Jerusalem Israel

with smaller ones in the lanes as you approach

the square from Yoel Salomon Street.

Jerusalem flowers colorful unusual

Color from real flowers,

food #D art on Jerusalem Israel streets

or another 3-D street art piece, or

Angry Birds poster in Hebrew in Jerusalem Israel

I love movie posters in Hebrew,

especially this red one is for “Angry Birds.”

Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day,

begins tonight, real torches will be lit at Yad Vashem,

but many buildings have not only blue and white Israeli flags,

Remembrance flame over King David Hotel for Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance day.

but also red and orange memorial flames,

like this one on the King David Hotel.

Slow, sad music has started on the radio.

On the Jerusalem, Israel streets,

it is easier to remember,

“Never Again.”

After Hail on Passover, What Next?

Hail in April,

in Jerusalem, Israel?

Not only was there a hail storm as the holidays ended,

April hail storm in Jerusalem

but this was the scene the next day also.

It looked and felt like winter, not spring.

scene of Jerusalem String Bridge during hail storom

The city looked black and white,

Hail stones from April storm

as 4 mm hail stones fell.

But now,

the Passover things are put away,

and visitors have returned home.

The Happy Passover signs on buses have changed,

bus sign in Hebrew

to wish Jerusalem riders “have a good trip.”

 The skies have cleared

Street near Kikar Safra

and people have returned to the streets,

two Muslim Girls walking in Jerusalem

 some of which are lined with flowers.

Pres and Mrs Rivlin

Two hundred and fifty invited guests associated with OneFamily

filled the main room

at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Home,

with President Reuven and First Lady Nechama Rivlin,

Tastes of Life

to launch a new cookbook.

“Tastes of Life” features foods that mothers made for their

children who were victims of terror.

Each mother shares not only a recipe,

but memories of their loved ones that are gone.

Very different,

but still another way to remember a lost loved one,

St Lousi French Hospital Jerusalem Israel

a new Healing Garden was dedicated by a New York family

in the Hosptial Saint Louis Francais.

In the sunshine, supporters of Kashouvot,

an organization advancing Pastoral Care,

heard the story of Randie Malinsky z”l

who passed away in October

after losing a battle with cancer.

Now hospice patients and families can sit in the garden,

French Hosptial Jerusalem

to talk or watch the light rail and the rest of the world go by.

The “French Hospital” was built in the mid-19th century

and stands next to the Notre Dame,

across from the Old City Walls, near New Gate.

It boasts the only strictly kosher nunnery in world.

Also this week for all to see,

car flag for Yom Haatzmaut

the first Israeli flags are flying from car windows.

Flags over Jerusalem Israel streets

And the large trucks have gone around hanging Jerusalem,

Blue and white flag

and large Israeli flags over the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

The radio is playing sad, slow music,

as soon it will be Yom Hashoah,

Holocaust Remembrance Day,

and the beginning of another busy holiday season.