Sunday, August 28, 2016

POSTCARD FROM JERUSALEM #3 Before and After the Wedding

Having a guest here means we do lots of other things and even one or two we have never done.


Moses wearing his ID bracelet!
Before the tour, we dined at the delightful cafe where there is also a store and and the ticket desk. We were given orange ID bracelets with the website. The photos are of people who have had their pictures taken at the first stop, the ipad-like camera area. Many of them make statements that if one stands real close one can hear. At the end of the tour everyone receives a magnet with their photo.

Opened over a year ago near Yoel Salomon in Jerusalem,  FOZ is the most incredible technological exhibition we have ever seen. Our guide leads the three of us plus another English speaking couple into a labyrinth of darkened rooms and let's technology take over. Rather than try to convey this place I will provide you with the website and encourage you to look at it. Furthermore, anyone who comes to Jerusalem should put it high on their list of things to do. She also said no photography. When I got caught taking two quick non flash photos I explained about this blog. She gave me the management's card!  The two photos are from the section "The Hall of Visionaries." The first shows the below mentioned Brits and I believe Lord Balfour in the second.

FOZ tells the story of the role the Christians from Queen Victoria and Winston Churchill to Harry
Truman (as well as those who came before and after) played in helping the Jews return to Israel through the centuries. The most fascinating story to me was of George Bush and George W Bush. Their distant ancestor, the first George Bush, "was an American biblical scholar, pastor, abolishinist, academic and advocate for the restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land. " George W and Laura Bush were honored by the State for their pro Israel stance.

And look who helped in the kitchen on the meat side yet!!!

The night after the wedding Marc had the second sheva bracha honoring the newlyweds. The wedding meal counts as the first. He invited a few of his friends and the kids. A couple of wives came.  He set a beautiful table and did all the cooking himself. Frankly, I am amazed at his prowess! He cooked enough for a regiment but we were the beneficiaries of some food for the next couple of days. Two people made desserts and everything was very yummy!

As people walk out to the Citadel before the show

The finale with white doves.
This was our third or fourth time at the sound and light show at The Tower of David. We took Ashira, Zach and Moses and we all enjoyed seeing the story of Jerusalem played on the ancient rocky walls and among the archeological remains of Jerusalem's Citadel. To my recollection, the show appears to have changed over the years since it began, I believe in 2009, but the most memorable content is there. Both Moses and I got caught taking pics when not allowed!

"The Night Spectacular uses trompe l’oeil technology – the stones of the walls and structures fade into the scenes and the screened images envelop the viewers and whisk them off to a one-of-a-kind multi-sensory experience. Innovative techniques and a sophisticated computer system operate 20 projectors, 10 video players, 14 computers and 14 loudspeakers. All this in addition to some 10 kilometers of cable and two projection rooms."

Another site highly recommended to travelers of all ages!

One more Christian site in Jerusalem, this room purports to be the last meal of Christ and his disciples. Frankly, I recalled a painting which exists only in museums and was a bit disappointed to see an empty room. Moses asked to have his picture taken there thus giving credence to my conclusion that not being Christian may have contributed to my disappointment!


This annual summer fair features booths from all
over the world as well as Israel. Food, music and artists from one end to the other and headline entertainers nightly at Sultan's Pool. It is crowded, loud, and very fun. However, the concert the night we were there was so loud and with bright lights shining in our faces we had to leave before it was over.

Obviously we were in the minority!
The price of admission is for the fair as well as the entertainment so we didn't feel we lost anything (except maybe our hearing and eyesight!).

I was able to meet a few of the artists whose colorful art/jewelry I have purchased over the years, a real treat for me.

Aside from Russia and several stans (Uzbekistan, etc.), Poland, Mexico, India, Ghana (which had the most people, incl many children, as the artist was in dress and he had musical instruments everyone could play), Mexico, Peru, Colombia, China, Japan and others were  represented. No idea how sales go with these people but I do think the Israeli artists do quite well. The hours are pretty brutal as the fair is on from 6 to midnight for 12 days.

Teddy's Fountain (located above the fair ) with its lights and water showers was filled with children and quite a few parents, everyone totally dressed and drenched. It was quite a site! The fountain which opened in 2013 goes on for 30 minutes from 10am to 10pm except on Friday nights. There are 1800 lights, the geysers go up to six meters high and it is accompanied by music recorded by the New Jerusalem Orchestra.

A Siyum is the completion of any portion of Torah study. This was an added bonus for us as we came for eight-year-old Shalom Simcha's brother's wedding, his sister's bat mitzvah and his other sister's baby! The celebration was held at 6pm in the courtyard in front of the school that is tucked into the
Old City thru winding alleyways.

Shalom Simcha fourth from left
As always, the men and women were separated and we were crammed in like sardines on folding chairs, three tied together which made getting in and out quite difficult.  Crying babies, strollers, buggies, backpacks, baby carriers, toddlers, you name it, it was there! The fact that I could sneak up to the front of this event was a minor miracle.  First all the boys sang several songs then a few rabbis spoke in Hebrew. Because the entire ceremony was in Hebrew we left early. But it was nice being part of our grandson's simcha (celebration).

Lest you think we only took Moses to Christian sites and family religious affairs, we did indeed take him to the Western Wall. As he did everywhere religious, he said a prayer or blessing. He is very knowledgeable about Christianity having grown up Christian in Delhi and has now been given a crash course in Judaism!

Never seen the women's side so crowded

Decided to show Moses Tel Aviv, diametrically opposite of Jerusalem! There are new buildings everywhere, most of them skyscrapers. The streets are nearly impossible to navigate as they have started building a light rail through the city. There will eventually be eight lines with the first, the Red Line, due to be completed in 2021 and other lines to Netanya thru Raanana and elsewhere will take many years into the future.  This is obviously a very major project and it has had many false starts and interruptions for the usual reasons.

We took the bus from Jerusalem and cabbed it to lunch in Sarona. (I wrote about Sarona in last year's
blog.) Hate to admit it but after lunch we went for coffee elsewhere and ended up gorging ourselves on various chocolate concoctions at Max Brenner's Chocolate Cafe.

View walking along beach to port and Old Jaffa
Took another cab to Jaffa where we walked from the city through the port and up to the Old City where the narrow streets are lined with galleries, artists, boutiques and curio shops. After not spotting any wedding parties for the prior two weeks doing their pre ceremony photos, we found several there. They all seemed to be having so much fun as evidenced by my quickie pics!

On our way down we found a park we had never seen before. It was on the top of a hill with spectacular views of Tel Aviv and its myriad of new construction. After enjoying the time there we walked down to the Shuk HaPishpashim, the very old market that is still renewing itself. It was one of Herbie's mother's favorite places to visit in Tel Aviv. It is filled with junk and numerous new and old eateries. Some boutiques are sprinkled here and there.

Walking to Neve Tzedek was a real shlep and we arrived very hot and tired! Herbie rested at the Suzanne Dellal theatre patio where we were going at 9pm while I took Moses through the area. It is definitely getting nicer boutiques and restaurants while maintaining its charm. There we found one really gorgeous bride!

We picked up Herbie and returned to the other end to dine on sushi at Okinawa. Very delightful place with good food and service. Not too hungry after the late chocolate splurge however!

The performance, Estampa Sevilla, The David Perez Troupe, was spectacular. His troupe consists of a guitarist and a singer, joined by two female Israeli flamenco dancers. His style was so different than any flamenco we had ever seen in the past. He is a teacher as well as a dancer and gave workshops in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv as part of the tour. I think we would all hope to see him again somewhere.

Cabbed it to the bus station and took a sherut (the 10 passenger mini bus) back to Jerusalem. A long, late but very enjoyable day!


For quite a few years Herbie has had lunch with an old family friend from San Francisco, 91-year-old Burt Edelstein. His parents and Herbie's were close friends and his brother still lives in SF. He lost his wife nearly seven years ago and lost a daughter in a terrorist attack many years ago. His other two daughters, one of whom is married to Michael Oren (former Israeli Ambassador to the US) live in Tel Aviv and Hertzalya. After living in Jerusalem for over 35 years, Burt moved to a beautiful retirement place in Raanana. We had a delightful lunch and visit, taking the bus and a cab to and from the bus station.

Here is the best part! After Herbie left, Jennifer received an email from a fellow writer from whom I too took classes in Jerusalem. She mentioned her friend Burt Edelstein had recently moved to Raanana and would make a delightful addition to Jennifer's writing classes. Jennifer recognized the name so we visited him on Shabbat. Judy had also emailed Burt but he had no way of knowing that Jennifer Lang was our daughter! He also informed her he is already a writer and doesn't need anyone giving him classes. Jennifer told him she still takes classes but...He is sharp as a tack at 91 years young!

Herbie and Moses flew home the next morning on Wednesday, the 24th and I went to Jennifer and family in Raanana. A good time was had by all!

ChanaTsipora with Ruth, Zalman and Rivi's #3
The newlyweds

That night Marc and the grandchildren (plus one great granddaughter California girl Ruth) all met at Entrecote where we had eaten on a prior trip. It was so unfortunate that this dinner couldn't have been planned while Herbie was still here but with all that was going on I was totally surprised everyone came. Marc surprised me and I think himself! So nice as since it was not shabbat we could take photos. Marc andI did our best with poor light but...

Ashira had a baby girl on Shabbat morning. It was very clever of her to deliver before I left! My next and last blog will include my week in Raanana plus my visit to see all four great granddaughters the day before I return home.

PPS: The original blog was perfect. I have no clue why there are all the spaces. Very frustrating!

No comments:

Post a Comment