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Preview: Jerusalem Daily Photo

Jerusalem Daily Photo

Updated: 2015-09-16T19:07:01.803+03:00




(image) So this little interesting character was discovered near the Israeli Knesset, in what is known as the Wohl Rose Garden. If I didn't know better, I'd say it looks as if she is on the moon.



(image) Do you think the owner of this bicycle thought it was a "smart move" to leave it unattended near the most adventurous and enthusiastic creeper in the city? I am always astounded by dramatic irony....






About a week after the Day of Atonement came the festival of booths. Jerusalem became alive with little makeshift shelters or סוכות succot in Hebrew. My beautiful wife and I went on an anthropological excursion looking at all the different types and colours. We witnessed some Jerusalemites fulfilling their religious obligation to sit, eat and sleep inside the succah over night. I didn't have the courage necessary to photograph anyone asleep though.



This is the Kaparot Ceremony during which a chicken is held above the gentleman's head while he makes a prayer. Followers of this tradition believe that it help them receive a fortuitous seal in the Book of Life for the coming year.



(image) When I first started thinking about reviving the photo blog for my city, I decided to take a walk and see what there was to see in the neighborhood. One of the events that I stumbled upon on that "faithful" day was the Kaparot ceremony. This is a tradition that is practiced before the Day of Atonement by some orthodox Jews, but in my opinion needs a little revision. The ceremony involves the use of a live chicken - which is held up overhead, and the person making the blessing reads the verses photographed in this picture. Tomorrow I will show you what that looks like.




This photo was taken on an adventure I took to a particularly religious neighborhood of Jerusalem. In the foreground you can see a father and his two children making their way home before the start of the holiday. In the background you can see (to the right of the stairway) the beginning of a wooden structure or booth - סוכה Succah in Hebrew. Jews build these Succot (pl.) during the Festival of Booths which concluded this evening after sun down. I'll give you a little more detail on why and when booths are built during this time of year over the next few days.



Today, starting this evening begins the gradual closing of the season of Jewish high holy days... From Sunday we will all be going back to work for a long stretch of vacation-less grind up until the Festival of Lights in December.
What's more the autumn winds have begun ushering in the cool reminder that winter will soon be here - at which point every one who says they prefer winter to summer will be changing their tune, and vice versa.



Dearest friends,
It has been ages since my last posting... so much so that I feel a stranger all over again to the intricate nuances of routinely conversing with you in this manner. Be this as it may, herein are the first bold steps to getting Jerusalem Daily Photo back on the road to actualizing its potential.
Jerusalem has also been out of her daily routine now for the past month or so - plenty of time to discard our daily distractions and get a feel for the culture of our city. I can't quite remember which came first, the on-set of the Jewish high holy days or the start of the holy month of Ramadan - either way very few of the city's residents had an occasion to escape the soul searching that characterizes this time of year.
This photo was taken when the bike's owner disappeared to attend to some urgent merry making round the corner...




Okay, so this is the Sherover Theatre. It is really a sight to see close up. I actually have a theory, and this is unconfirmed, that the building was intended to look like Noah' Ark. The building has a distinctively boat-ish feel to it, and round the back there is a statue of a dove with an olive branch in its beak.

The adventure began while I was photographing the theatre a few months ago - in preparation for this blog, when a security guard from the neighboring President's Residence came out and wanted to give me a piece of his mind. (We both agreed that if he did that, he wouldn't have enough for himself, so... I said thanks for your time, and he thanked me for mine...and I disappeared down the alley.)

Then at the begining of the week my dear friend Sally asked me to photo the inside of the theatre, and low and behold, another security guard appeared. He told me that if I got caught by the theatre management - i'd be sued - Hm!

So I said thanks for your time, and he wasted more of what should I do about poor Sally?



This baby speaks for itself!
Dedicated to Bob Dylan.




In my eyes, these three musicians really capture the cultural melting pot that characterizes Jerusalem.

Do you remember the posting about the traditional Jewish head coverings, and how each different type signifies a different stream within...well here we have three different people, expressing their identity in their own way, each with a different choice of head covering. (Obviously based only on the various visual cues available - I unfortunately didn't get a chance to chat to them.)

What's also interesting is their choice of instruments. On the extreme right hand side is an Arabic instrument known as an Ud - as in wood, should, Jonny Be... The others I have no information what so ever, but I have an inkling they are from India somewhere...any ideas?



During May, my life was so overcome with wedding planning and entertaining my dear family, that I completely forgot to post this interesting item of "street art".

It appeared during the May Day celebrations. I love the little trees for sale above - its almost dramatic irony - capitalism sitting on the shoulders of socialism...

The red text in Hebrew says "Happy Workers Day", and the black text asks whether the corrupt members of the government have had enough yet.

Some people really seem to find the angles.



Okay, so a little while ago I showed you some photos of the old hospital just round the corner from our apartment.

Its is known as the Hansen Hospital and many years ago it served as a haven for lepers. As was the case in those days, little was known about the disease except for the fact that it was highly contageous - and so the only real way to prevent an epidemic was total isolation. Similar to those who lived on Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa.

The insignia on the building is testimony to the fact that the building was erected and maintained by a Christian religious sect.

On a totally different note, one of my best childhood friends in living in Belgrade and has been toying with the idea of maybe starting up a Belgrade Daily Photo. If anyone has any words of encouragement for my dear friend Goran - please feel free to contact me.

Enjoy your week.




Dearest readers,

Shalom to you all after many many days have passed.

Thank you all for your encouragement and enthusiasm - which graciously helped me get off my married ass and back into the world of photography, which I have come love so dearly.

What you see in the picture, is the rakefet, or רקפת as we say in this neck of the woods, my favorite is Israeli flower. Those of you who know your flowers will recognize this little lady as a Cyclamen persicum. Because of her love for cold climates and rocky terrain, Jerusalemites are fortunate enough to experience this beauty in winter and spring time.

What is distinctive about this flower is the fact that its petals are folded backwards - hiding the flower's delicate organs. Legend has it that this is because one day the flower looked at her reflection in the water, and was so astonished by her beauty, that she could no control herself...

Thanks for hanging around...




Dearest readers,

Jerusalem daily photo is going to be taking a holiday for the next 2 weeks. I am getting married on the 24th!

Hope to see you all soon.




Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the pomegranate!

Now, when I set writing to you this morning about the Hebrew term for pomegranate - RIMON, I thought that I would tell you the interesting fact that in Hebrew the term for the fruit and the term for a handgrenade are the same. After giving it a little thought, and taking into account the fact that Jerusalem has been the site of countless battles and wars throughout her troubled history, I decided to not to reveal this unfortunate fact.

However, when I started reading a little about the etymology of the word, i discovered that in French, a promegranate is known as la grenade, and it was from this source that the weapon derived its name.

Fancy that!

Eurasian Jay


With summer steaming a head, and after a heat wave like none other, this Eurasian Jay was spotted in the evening sun.

Apple Blossom



The apple blossoms are starting to decorate the countryside and I thought that you would like to see one up close. Its weird to think that apples are known more for their fruit than for their flowers, but aren't these guys a snazzy pair?

Ants Matching



Ben Yehuda Street Mall


Eliezer Ben Yehuda, after whom this street was named, was the first individual to compose a dictionary for the Hebrew language. It wouldn't be fair to give him all the credit, because he would not have been able to complete this task without the dedicated assistance of his trusty wife and companion - who actually helped him collate the document.

Hours before the Sabbath arrives in Jerusalem, Ben Yehuda street is a bustling hive of tourists, locals and sooth-sayers. These young yeshiva boys are trying to eek out a living by juggling.

Can't be easy - juggling careers.



This is a photo of a secret garden that my fiance'e and I discovered a couple of weeks ago in the neighborhood. Tomorrow I plan to venture into a few of the other charismatic areas in the city...we'll see how it goes.



Okay, so natural born Israelis are often referred to as sabres or sabras - the edible fruits of the cactus, or prickly-pear.

The reason given for this is that Israelis tend to be rather coarse and prickly on the outside, and sweet and squishy on the inside. (Having never really inspected or tasted the innards of my fellow countrymen and women, I'd have to vouch only for the former part of this statement.)

This picture was taken literally a hop-skip-and-jump from our apartment in an old abandoned leper colony hospital. Its overgrown garden has been left fallow for ages. In recent weeks it has become the site of a new community garden.

Running in the Jeans



Today is a special posting - one of my favorite pictures from the new burst of energy I received when I joined this community.

All the comments are so encouraging and supportive - not only the ones we receive on our blogs, but the ones we feel compelled to offer when visiting our neighbors in this virtual world. In fact, we have helped shape this community to literally thrive on the free giving and receiving of positive encouragement in exchange for a little artistic expression.

To me - this exchange is truly noble.

Netherlands...not quite windy enough


This is the Montefiore Windmill in Jerusalem's Yemin Moshe neighbourhood. It was built by Jewish philanthropist Moses Montefiore in the 1860s as a way of encouraging poorer Jews to settle outside the walls of the old city. It was his way of trying to "make poverty history" (sorry, I couldn't resist).

Anyway - after all that effort, the windmill never actually made it to operation because it is situated in an area which doesn't have enough wind.