Jerusalem Prepares for Season of Celebrations – the Yoms

Jerusalem Prepares for Season of Celebrations – the Yoms

The Passover and Easter celebrations are now over.

However, the spring holiday season in Jerusalem, Israel,

is far from over.

As soon as those Passover dishes are put away,

it is time for the roller coaster of emotional  ‘Yoms’:

Yom HaShoah,

Holocaust Remembrance Day,

Yom HaZikaron,

the Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror,

which is immediately followed by

Yom HaAtzmaut,

Israel’s Independence Day,

and this year is a big 50 for

Yom Yerushalayim,

Jerusalem Day.

As soon as the celebration of freedom ends

Lord and Lady Gainsford in Jerusalem

international guests gather at Yad Vashem,

for the official opening ceremony for Yom HaShoah,

to remember the 6,000,000 Jews murdered in the Holocaust.

Each year 6 survivors are honored with the lighting of a memorial flame.

Six survivors who light flames on Yom HaShoa

Here the honorees posed for a photo before the televised ceremony,

each with their own incredible story.

Ready for ceremony in Jerusalem Holocaust Remembrance Day

The lights on the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial Plaza

serve as a hauntingly beautiful background at sunset.

Taps and flag lowered at Yom HaShoah at Yad Vashem Jerusalem Israel

Taps is sounded by a lone IDF trumpeter,

and the honor guard and all assembled stand as the Israeli flag is lowered.

Flames and survivors on Yom Hashoah Jerusalem

Six survivors lit flames, aided by either a child or grandchild,

with some of the young relatives currently serving in the IDF.

The next day, there is another ceremony, less well-known,

Knesset greeting in flowers outside on lawn

which is held in the Knesset.

Flowers at Knesset Jerusalem Israel

The Knesset entrance plaza has new landscaping,

Israeli flags flying at half mast for Yom Hashao Jerusalem

where the flags fly all day at half-mast.

Israeli Knesset pin with Israeli flag

Israeli flags were featured on the Knesset pins given out to guests.

Again, six survivors lit memorial flames.

100 year old man lighting torch for Holocaust Remembrance Day

This survivor is 100 years old.

The President and Prime Minister attended and spoke,

and the Chief Rabbis added traditional Jewish memorial prayers.

In this televised ceremony as well,

a short video of the survivors’ harrowing stories was shown.

Speaker of Knesset Yuli Edlestein at Remembrance Day ceremony

At the ceremony, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein,

led the reading of a list of names of those who did not survive.

The Prime Minister, President, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court,

and members of Knesset, all added names of family members

to the list of those who were murdered,

“To every person there was a name.”

However,

from the retelling of darkness in the Chagall Hall of the Knesset,

Rose Garden Jerusalem

one exits to the sight of the blooming roses in the Rose Garden.

Along with with flowers in bloom,

the Yoms are a time of blue & white Israeli flags,

huge ones down sides of buildings,

tiny ones blowing from car windows,

Flags and flowers in Jerusalem

big ones on schools,

Jerusalem cafe Israeli flag on tables

and small ones on a cafe table.

Signs for Yom Haatzmaut in Jerusalem Israel

Signs are up for celebrating Yom HaAtzmaut,

Israel’s 69 years of Independence,

Hebrew sign for Ceremony for Remembrance Day

but first there will be Yom HaZikaron,

a time to remember those who gave their lives

Memorial flame on Menachem Begin Memorial Center Jerusalem

with annual memorial flames displayed on buildings.

Jerusalem and Israeli flags are flying above the Jerusalem streets,

Jerusalem 50 years mew white flags

along with this new white flag,

which marks 50 years of the liberation of Jerusalem,

Hotels are booked out

and flights are hard to come by,

as tens of thousands plan to join in the celebrations of

Yom Yerushalayim, 

filling the Jerusalem streets with more flags

and joyous days  of celebrations.

From Yom Hashoah to Yom Haatzmaut

This time of year is always busy,

 starting with Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day,

until after Yom Haatzmaut, Israel Independence Day.

Six symbolic torches were lit at Yad Vashem on Yom Hashoah

Yom Hashoad at Yad Vashem six torch lighters

for the six million Jews murdered in World War II.

Another symbol of mourning is

Knesset flag at half mast

the large Israeli flag on top of the Knesset

Israel flag half mast

flown at half-mast.

Israeli flags on cars

Small Israeli flags can be found on cars

Israeli flags draped down side of police station

and huge ones unfurled down buildings.

This week even the skies were blue and white,

Clouds in sky over open road outside Jerusalem Israel

from the road leading out of the Judean Hills,

blue sky and clouds over Kineret

and all the way up over the Kinerret.

There were hundreds of ceremonies

for Yom Hazikaron,

remembering the fallen soldiers and victims of terror,

all 23,447 who lost their lives.

One new and special program this year

ammunition hill

was held at Givat HaTachmoshet,

Ammunition Hill.

As the sun set and the memorial siren sounded,

a capacity crowd was on hand

to remember lone soldiers who fell,

it was sponsored by

The Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin.

Israeli soldiers marching

An honor guard watched as the Israeli flag was lowered

memorial flames

and a memorial flame was lit.

Israeli soldier with rifle

Young people supporting and giving comfort to each other,

wore these Yizkor strips on their hearts,

Yizkor sticker

remembering those who lost their lives.

From nightfall and during the entire day,

thousands visited to the military cemeteries,

from Har Herzl and gravesides throughout Israel.

But as soon as Yom Hazikaron ends,

Yom Haatzmaut, Independence Day begins,

Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence,

Beit Hanasi garden Herzl bust

is getting ready for a big day of celebrations.

The gardens in front and back

Back gardens Beit Hanasi

are ready for the invited guests.

inside Beit Hanasi waiting room

The waiting room inside has had a makeover.

120 selected IDF soldiers will be honored

on Yom Haatzmaut.

Since some of their faces cannot be shown,

soliders being honored Beit Hanasi Jerusalem Israel

 this photo from the back will have to suffice.

President Reuven Rivlin came out at the rehearsal

and seemed to really enjoy

President REuven Rivlin greets soldiers to be honored on Yom Haatzmaut

the few moments he spoke with the honorees.

The pilots of special planes also rehearsed this week

planes in air show Jerusalem Israel for Independence Day

 for the traditional mid-day air show.

From mourning

we turn to celebration

and preparing for

 Yom Haatznaut,

68 in flowers at Beit Hanasi

Israel at 68.

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.”