Where we wait

Jerusalem is not an easy city to travel across, sometimes.

I was waiting for the light rail train near Mount Scopus, and my fellow Jerusalemites were losing their patience fast. A school girl in a mini-skirt whined, “Come on! We’re, like, waiting forever!” to a friend, and squeezed herself onto the bench. The young man she pushed, a student of architecture judging by his large folder, rolled his eyes. Next to him, an elderly lady huffed and squirmed to make room.

Perhaps, I thought, waiting is the appropriate activity for this particular location. Our waiting, measured by minutes, is but a ripple on a pond. Underneath this place’s surface, the land is saturated with decades of yearning.

For 19 years, between 1948 and 1967, Jews came to Mount Scopus to see the Western Wall from afar. They came here to cry and to hope. They were waiting.

The Western Wall itself is a place of even deeper yearning, I thought, checking the time. For thousands of years, Jews came to it to remember and to yearn. They stood in its shadow, and thought of the Temple, and hoped for a restoration of its glory.

“Prepare for the arrival of the Messiah!” proclaimed a sticker on the wall.

The train arrived, slick and shiny in the afternoon sun.

(This piece is an excerpt from a longer essay, “Jerusalem is Not”, which was published by the Times of Israel in 2016.)

Rachel Sharansky Danziger

Posted by Rachel Sharansky Danziger

Rachel Sharansky Danziger is a life-long Jerusalemite who's in love with her city's vibrant human scene. She blogs about life in Israel, Judaism, and parenting for The Times of Israel, Sifriyat Pijama, and Kveller, and you can follow her adventures on Facebook and via her personal blog.

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