Jaffa Street

The old, the new, and the costly

When you walk down Jaffa street in Jerusalem, the light rail train to your left is reflected in the antique shop to your right.

The antique shops charge too much.

Some would say the light rail train does too.

After all, why pay so much, when it’s barely faster than people riding bikes…

But it’s all oddly fitting. After all, The Old is forever on sale here, and The New isn’t all that fast to come.

Posted by Rachel Sharansky Danziger in Images, Snippets

Where big is not always better

Along Jerusalem’s streets there are doors which appear to lead into tiny shops. Open the door, though, and inside you will find large and thriving businesses. From their small entrance-way, workers and machines and stock seem to go on and on and on, as far as you can see.

Off Jaffa Road, in one of those tiny little old passageways, you will find Yehudah the Shoemaker. Most days he is sitting in his workroom, which is smaller than many home closets. It may look like a cluttered mess to you, but Yehudah has the talent to fix almost any problem quickly, with his materials at his fingertips.

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Posted by Sharon Altshul in Images, Snippets
Of cats and ghosts

Of cats and ghosts

It started with a cat.

One moment, it was a nice cat: It jumped onto my lap, curled up, and purred.

A moment later, it was no longer a nice cat: It sunk its claws into my hand, bit me, and jumped off.

Four phone calls and one rabies scare later, I learned that if you ever get scratched by a stray cat in Jerusalem, you’re supposed to visit Jerusalem’s Regional Health Bureau on Jaffa street. Given the local cat population in Jerusalem, getting scratched isn’t all that unlikely. In fact, you might end up there too.

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Posted by Rachel Sharansky Danziger in Essays
A royal sanctuary

A royal sanctuary

The Jerusalem Marathon. At the starting line in Sacher Park, there is an atmosphere of a public holiday, free and invigorating. Beautiful people, who relate to each other with grace and acceptance; the classic middle class that has discovered the magic of the culture of leisure. We set off and run along the most typical Jerusalem streets of all—Bezalel, King George, Jaffa.

Lots of positive energy is flowing to the pack of runners from the cheering crowd lining the sidewalks. Then the route passes through Mamilla and enters the Jaffa Gate. All at once, deep in our bones, we feel the transition to a different geographic space. Here, inside the ancient walls of the city, another sort of energy throbs and pulsates. Centuries of life have given the Old City not only the splendor of antiquity, but also the sense of awe. A royal sanctuary.

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Posted by Benjamin (Benny) Lau in Snippets
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