The stones of Jerusalem’s Western Wall are receiving injections, with medical-like syringes. Each 2000-year-old stone is inspected six-monthly for signs of weathering. Those needing repair are delicately injected with a liquid, limestone-based grout to protect the wall for at least another 2000 years.
105-year-old Alex Ziloni was promoted to the rank of full Colonel in honor of his vital work to help establish Israel’s Air Force. In 1948 he secretly purchased 21 Auster planes from Britain, despite an embargo and the UK’s military support for the Arab forces.
A Holocaust survivor, her daughter and her grandchildren are formally returning to Judaism. The grandmother was born at the end of WW2 and brought to Israel at the age of two. In her teens she married an Arab, as did her daughter. All 3 generations went to a Rabbinical court to officially register as Jews.
Israel briefly opened Ben Gurion Airport to welcome 302 new Ethiopian immigrants. All went into 14-day quarantine, apart from one six-year-old boy who was transferred to hospital for planned emergency heart surgery.
Emma was about to return home to the USA after having to cut short her yearlong Israel experience due to the pandemic. At the boarding gate at Ben Gurion Airport, she broke down crying. On Dec 30 she returned to Israel with 47 other Americans on the final Aliya flight of 2020.
A mid-15th century Megillah of Esther - one of the world’s oldest known scrolls from the Book of Esther has been donated to the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem. It originated in the pre-expulsion Iberian Peninsula and was gifted by Michael Jesselson and family just in time for the festival of Purim.
The Jewish National Fund (JNF) is inviting ideas for its new World Zionist Village in Be’er Sheva (see previously). Dormitories, classrooms, conference center space, cafés, houses of worship, gardens, and an iconic structure. The competition is now open, and entrants can win up to $8,600.
In January, Israeli emergency NGO United Hatzalah volunteers began taking seniors in Mevaseret Zion to vaccination centers (reported previously). It is now transporting the elderly, disabled and self-isolating for their life-saving inoculations in 36 Israeli municipalities.
Sharon took some unusual recent photos on . They include a clear view of the Knesset menorah, street signs “Jerusalem is Giving a Shoulder” (vaccinating), Gan Sacher Park’s memorial candle, the green roof on Jerusalem’s Bird Observatory and a very strange fisherman.
Purim, beginning on 26th Feb, is the happiest of all Jewish festivals and should be especially so in Israel as worries about the coronavirus pandemic begin to recede. Thank you Jacob Richman, who has updated his website of Purim resources to help everyone enjoy the festive occasion.