When terror knocks on Jerusalem’s gate

When terror knocks on Jerusalem’s gate

When terror knocks on Jerusalem’s gate, it doesn’t discriminate.

We who live here know the drill well. Sometimes we are close enough to hear the sirens. We run to the Internet to check out the news sites. Facebook and Whatsapp begin to fill with updates. It used to be bombings; nowadays it’s stabbings and rammings, as once-innocent kitchen knives and scissors turn into weapons, and cars and trucks are propelled into innocent bystanders.

When the news of today’s attack on the light rail started filtering in, we all held our breath. A young woman, aged twenty or so, was stabbed on the trolley line between IDF Square and the New Gate, outside the Old City. My kids take that train. So do their friends. No names yet. We continue to wait anxiously. Bad news travels fast.

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Posted by Shira Pasternak Be'eri in Essays
A woman was murdered in my city today

A woman was murdered in my city today

Nothing captures Jerusalem better than the light rail train.

You have to wait for it: Jerusalem is a place of waiting, and yearning, and praying for one redemption or another.

(One could even say that waiting is this city’s natural condition.)

You have to squeeze into its crowded interior: Sometimes, Jerusalem’s sky seems to press down on us, cramming us into each other’s inner spaces, because how on earth is one city supposed to contain all the dreams and pasts and contradictory hopes we pour into it from the depths of our souls?

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Posted by Rachel Sharansky Danziger in Essays

Five more stars

“Hear O Israel, the Lord is One”
This they whispered, with the rising sun
And the words commanded, were in their hearts
When their silent prayer was torn apart
With a cry to Allah, G-d, by another name
But this with intent to murder and maim
And this house of learning, hope and prayer
Was filled with fear, death and despair
And as sadness descends, reopening scars
Tonight we will see five more stars.

As a nation we mourn for those we never knew
It is strange what you feel for a fellow Jew
Whose life was taken this chilly November
A date that now we will always remember
And our thoughts are now with them, their children and wife
How will they now celebrate life?
Was it written in stone that this was their fate?
To leave this world in bloodshed and hate?
And as we look to heaven, this autumn night
We will count five more stars, shining bright.

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Posted by Paul Mirbach in Poems