Essays

Just another night in Jerusalem

Just another night in Jerusalem

Last night, while walking down the busy, chic street of Emek Refaim, I had to stop for a few minutes to cry. And when walking down the street on a Wednesday night can make you cry – you know you’re living in the right place.

After a shiva call last night, Josh and I took a walk in Jerusalem. And while chatting and laughing on Emek Refaim, we saw Natan Sharansky walk by us. He was talking on the phone, wearing his always present khaki hat, and going about his business in Jerusalem just like any other citizen.

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Posted by Romi Sussman in Essays
On Passover I’ll pour out wine for Mahmoud

On Passover I’ll pour out wine for Mahmoud

It’s Friday, which means I’m eating maklouba in the middle of the Muslim Quarter with Fadi.

My friend Amal took me there when I first started living in the Old City.

“What are you doing Friday night?” she said. “My friend Fadi works at this restaurant and he makes maklouba, and when the restaurant closes, all his friends come there to eat. Want to come?”

Um, yeah!

Maklouba is amazing. It’is chicken and onions and celery and carrots cooked with rice in a big old pot, and when it’s done, you take the pot, flip it over, tap it, and remove it from the rice. Some joke that it’s one of the pillars of Palestinian identity, along with resistance, struggle, and connection to the land.

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Posted by Sarah Tuttle-Singer in Essays
Next year in renovated Jerusalem

Next year in renovated Jerusalem

“Moshiach,” declared the little sticker on the dirty old wall, “is just one good deed away!”

A small picture of the Lubavitcher Rebbe waved at me from the middle of the sentence, framed by random pipes and rusty odds and ends. The door to his left was torn out of the wall, as was the gate to his right. Behind the missing doors, within the gaping spaces, construction workers were chatting with each other, sipping coffee.

When they finished, they left their dirty cups on a lose stone below the sticker.

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Posted by Rachel Sharansky Danziger in Essays
Letting Jerusalem lead me

Letting Jerusalem lead me

Maybe you already know this, but I spend half the week living in the Old City in Jerusalem.

Right now, I’m staying in this place in the Christian Quarter that looks like the kind of building MC Escher would design if he moved to Jerusalem and got really fkn high on hash and started gluing shit together.

It’s a tower made of glass and stone and metal and wood, and it’s a unicorn of a building that looks like it might blow over, and yet it’s so strong that it has endured 700 years, through blistering sun, and desert wind, and freezing hail and sieges and wars and uprisings, too.

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Posted by Sarah Tuttle-Singer in Essays
Impromptu Parakeet Rescue

Impromptu Parakeet Rescue

As I was walking home through a community garden one afternoon, I saw a group of parakeets gathered in a place where I had never seen them before. They had gathered at the top of a bare tree and were pushing at the edge of a hole in the trunk with their beaks. When I stopped to look, I saw that the parakeets were touching one of their number who had gotten stuck in the hole head-first. Its green tail feathers blended into the scenery. I could hear its muffled squawks. There was no one else around.

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Posted by Rahel Jaskow in Essays