What is the connection between Hanukkah and the Dead Sea Scrolls? That was the topic of Meir Herman’s lecture held on the fourth night of Hanukkah at Ness Patisserie, on Emek Refaim. The lecture focused on conflicts in Jewish society; the cafe’s setup allowed for the lecture to turn into a group discussion at the end, which was complemented nicely by a tasty salmon and potato gratin.

The evening was part of “Mondays in the German Colony”, a series of free cultural events on Emek Refaim. There are children’s activities starting at 4:30 pm – upcoming events this Monday include a story hour with students of the Nissan Nativ Acting Studio, and a jazz performance by Hassadna conservatory.  The series is sponsored by Ginot Hair and is expected to bring much-needed business to Emek Refaim’s stores and restaurants.

Although the events are free,the food itself costs money – which is why Ginot Hair has been kind enough to provide coupons. The offer of 2 free glasses of wine and dessert for the couple that spends 100 shekels at Ben Ami might come in handy if you’re planning on attending the free poetry evenings that Ben Ami will be hosting on Mondays at 8 pm between now and the end of December.

This is only part of a larger series of Ginot Hair sponsored initiatives, including a series of Mizrahi music performances on Azza street on Fridays between 11 am and 2 pm during the month of December – which is the ideal time to enjoy some of Carousela’s delicious hot chocolate.

You might be wondering, why am I writing about this? It’s a far cry from my normal posts.

This is the point where I could go into my the-arts-change-us-and-bring-peace rant, but I won’t – it takes at least two glasses of wine to do that rant properly, and it requires hand motions. Instead, I’ll just say that I think Jerusalem is shining with the light of cultural events all over the city, but it’s often hard to know what’s happening where, so we wind up seeing the sparks of flame just as the candle burns out. We read reviews of events we would have liked to go to, or hear about them from friends who are merrily telling us about what a great time they had at that concert.

So this Hanukkah, I’m publicizing a series of cool events in Jerusalem – because surely the fact that there is a modern Jewish state whose capital comes alive with performances to brighten the winter nights counts as some sort of miracle?