Judy Lash Balint

​Judy Lash Balint is a Jerusalem based writer and photographer. She is the author of two volumes of Jerusalem Diaries: In Tense Times​ (Gefen & Xulon Press) and blogs at http://jerusalemdiaries.blogspot.co.il/ Judy hosted the Jerusalem Diaries Show on Voice of Israel between 2014-2015.
A Jerusalem Vision, Jerusalem Day–Yom Yerushalayim

A Jerusalem Vision, Jerusalem Day–Yom Yerushalayim

Aaron Ettinger was one of the paratroopers who fought in Jerusalem during the Six Day War, and was severely wounded on Salah e-Din Street near Damascus Gate.

A few years ago, at a Jerusalem Day sing-along at a synagogue around the corner from the President’s Residence, Aaron was given the microphone to recount his experiences during the two hellish days of the battle to liberate the city in June 1967.

The elderly, slightly portly man with a full head of white hair topped with a knitted kipa, spoke about the number of his comrades (mostly reservists from kibbutzim) who fell in the worst of the fighting that took place on the northern side of the Old City on Nablus Road, Salah e-Din Street and in front of Damascus Gate.

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Posted by Judy Lash Balint in Essays

The changing face of Jerusalem

A young troubador on a Bukharan Quarter balcony

The face of some of Jerusalem’s most historic neighborhoods is changing. Recently, I ventured into the Bukharan Quarter for the first time in several months. Half of the market area is now a construction zone, with some of the beautiful old, late-19th century buildings bordering Yehezkel Street demolished to make way for yet another complex of luxury apartments.

But the faces of Israelis living in the Bukharan Quarter haven’t changed much.

Posted by Judy Lash Balint in Images

Israel at 69: Memorial Turns to Celebration

Photo: © Judy Lash Balint. All rights reserved

Towards the close of Memorial Day for Israel’s Fallen, the heavy mood slowly begins to lift as Israelis emerge from the somber day to celebrate Israel’s birthday.

As night falls, bringing relief from the pain of remembrance, hundreds of Jerusalemites dressed in blue and white stream into synagogues all over the city for special prayers of thanksgiving in honor of Independence Day.

The close of the brief prayer service is the ancient call, “Next year in a rebuilt Jerusalem,” followed by a prayer of gratitude for living in the period of the beginning of the redemption and a joyful rendition of the “Shir Hama’alot” a psalm sung to the tune of “Hatikvah,” the Israeli national anthem.

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Posted by Judy Lash Balint in Essays

The last night of Hannukah

Nachlaot at dusk

​Every Hannukah I head off with my camera to the (almost) all-pedestrian neighborhoods of Nachlaot and Zichron Moshe to take in the beautiful sight of the dozens of chanukiot shining with light outside fancy, remodeled, single-family homes, mostly owned by English-speakers, and the modest hovels nearby, occupied largely by Haredi families and yeshiva students.

​Last year I waited until the final day of the holiday–a crisp, clear evening–and here are some of the results:

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Posted by Judy Lash Balint in Images
Preparing for Passover in Jerusalem’s streets

Preparing for Passover in Jerusalem’s streets

In Jerusalem, Passover preparations take place in the streets. People gather to kasher their dishes with fire and boiling water.

And children help their parents burn chametz.

Posted by Judy Lash Balint in Images