Downtown Jerusalem

Last-Minute in the Sunshine

I’ve described Jerusalem by the shining white stones of its buildings. I’ve tried to capture Jerusalem in words like “intense” and “holy” and “diverse.” I’ve made friends out of the acquaintances on Jerusalem’s buses and in her cafes. And I even introduced a sabra to the Jewish people in the hills of Jerusalem’s Ein Karem (his passport has no country, but we know).

Still, it’s the wee hours before Pesach that showcase quintessential Jerusalem for me (how appropriate, as we near Shavuot). After midnight, the city is dark. The streets are nearly empty (it’s a city that doesn’t fully sleep). Cafes are finishing their final scrub-down before the holiday, sponga water cascading into the gutters. Homes stand empty of leavening for the holiday (or it’s been sold…or so we trust). And the florists…well, the florists are open. Because Jerusalem is in the final throes of preparation for Pesach, and everyone needs flowers. It’s almost the last minute, and the florists don’t close until right before candlelighting.

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Posted by Anne Gordon in Essays
“Na na banana” in the Pantheon

“Na na banana” in the Pantheon

Sometimes, you encounter Jerusalem in absentia.

It happened to me once, when I walked through the Pantheon in Rome.

The ceiling curved above me, the gilded walls loomed all around me, and I knew that I was supposed to look up at that marvel of Roman architecture, and feel awed.

But I didn’t feel awe.

I didn’t feel admiration.

I looked at that beautiful building, and laughed.

The emperor who commissioned the Pantheon – Emperor Hadrian – ordered the execution of one of our greatest sages, Rabbi Akiva.

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Posted by Rachel Sharansky Danziger in Snippets

We’re here to stay

On July 21st 2016, almost exactly a year after 16-year-old Shira Banki was murdered in Jerusalem’s Gay Pride Parade, thousands marched again through downtown Jerusalem. This graffiti was left behind, stating “Here to stay.”

Posted by Rafaela Barkay in Images

Victory Day in Jerusalem

Today there was a gathering of World War II veterans in Jerusalem. There were many Russian veterans and their families. And red flags. And men sporting medals.

Posted by Irene Rabinowitz in Images

Where languages abound

Today in Jerusalem I was checking out at the SuperSol on Agron. I was able to understand and respond in Hebrew.

I realized that the two women behind me in line were speaking in French and could not respond to the checkout lady in Hebrew. At that moment, the young woman on the register said that her mother had made aliyah from Belgium and spoke Flemish and French and that she could also speak a little French. Within three minute, this little interchange went from Hebrew to English to French with a smattering of Flemish thrown in.

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Posted by Irene Rabinowitz in Snippets
Water from the rock

Water from the rock

In the center of downtown Jerusalem, in a grassy park nicknamed “Gan Hasus” (Garden of the Horse) after the horse statue at its center, water flows from rocks.

Posted by Yehuda Sussman in Images