Letter From Jerusalem, No. 2

Letter from Jerusalem

December 23, 2013

The blizzard I told you about lasted 2 1/2 days and dropped 15 or more inches of snow on Jerusalem. The city was and wasn't prepared. We're still slipping on ice and cars are still buried. Lots of finger pointing going around. But it was beautiful and, sadly, it did enormous damage to the trees.

Yesterday the yearly announcement by the Jerusalem Municipality appeared in the newspapers. Christmas trees are available at two locations in the city for those celebrating the holiday. They are free to all comers. The Jewish National Fund is a partner in this endeavor. It was that organization that planted most of the forests in the country, starting at the beginning of the 20th century.

The Turks, during the 400 years of their rule, had chopped down all the forests for their building endeavors and to feed the trains when they appeared. Today there are wonderful forests again all over the country that provide recreation space, picnic areas and hiking trails, etc. There is even one called the Israel Trail from the very north of the country at Tel Dan to Eilat in the south, like the Appalachian Trail.

Back to Christmas. There will be concerts of Christmas music at the magnificent YMCA building and at many of the huge variety of churches in the city. There will be a Midnight Mass in Bethlehem at the Church of the Nativity and a Christmas Market in Nazareth. These are just a few of the wonderful things to do during this season. Come and see and celebrate here.

Happy holidays to all. 

If you would like to read Letter from Jerusalem #1, press here. For Letter #3, press here.

Anita Ellis