Shalom and Welcome to another In Israel Blog
We have had a busy few days in Israel. Last week was Purim – the festival that celebrates the triumph of Queen Esther and her uncle Mordechai over the wicked Haman – in the exile after the destruction of the First Temple. This is one of the happiest days in the Hebrew Calendar and is marked (amongst other aspects) with fancy dress costumes and great merriment. It was a long weekend party.
Israel Inside Out has covered the run up to the First Jerusalem Marathon extensively. The weather last week included a lot of torrential rainfall, but last Friday – Marathon Day was cold and dry – almost perfect running conditions. The hills on the route were at least as steep as expected, but with thousands of runners participating over the four distances and much of Jerusalem closed to traffic there was a carnival atmosphere. The route was stunning, including most of the important spots in Jerusalem and running into the Old City with all the runners singing Jerusalem of Gold at full volume is an unforgettable experience. It was great to see how many runners came from abroad individually and in groups and to run into old friends at the finish line.
The Tel Aviv Marathon is scheduled for just under two weeks time and in joint honor with Jerusalem this week’s recommended spots are the Jerusalem Tayelet and the Tel Aviv Tayelet. These two beauty spots are very different; one with an inspiring view of the Old City of Jerusalem – the other with sea air views and sands. However, they are very similar in that they are both national treasures and great places to relax and to understand different aspects of Israel. Enjoy the spring and enjoy them both!
On the subject of international events it was announced that Bob Dylan is to play Israel in June and Gene Simmons of KISS toured Israel last week (he is actually a Sabra – native born Israeli.)
Last Thursday was Earth Day in Israel when we were asked to turn off our lights for an hour to save electricity and to benefit the earth. It was fun and commendable quantities of electricity were saved. On the subject of the environment we have seen some impressive rain over the past week or so. It has been announced that the water level in the Kinneret has crossed the all important Lower Red Line which is excellent news; but with the Upper Red Line still almost 4 meters away and the winter almost over the situation is far from good. When you visit Israel please think of the water level and try and save what you can. This week looks like being warmer and dry.
Le’Hitraot from Jerusalem