Jerusalem Marathon

Home Run

Home Run

Would the rabbis of the ancient world have given their blessing to the twenty-first century Jerusalem Marathon?

It’s a question I ponder each March, on that designated Friday when traffic in the Holy City comes to a grinding halt. Barricades are set up to block cars and buses, and their place is taken by some 25,000 runners (and chilled-out walkers) who make their way along Jerusalem’s cleared roads. It’s a marathon, but it feels like a festival.

When I wrote my first children’s book a couple of years ago, I asked eleven-year-old Gabi, who ran with her sisters, to describe the day. In her words:

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Posted by Eva L. Weiss

Run like a…

I ran.

(Okay, only for a minute.  And only at the very end of the 10k.  The rest I walked. But really, I power walked – I am powerful here.)

Down the streets of Jerusalem, the city I first met when I was 15 and never wanted to leave but then neglected for 19 years until I started to get to know her again.

Past the Knesset where I’ll finally get my say, so much sooner than I thought I would when we moved here in the summer during a war.

Past smart museums, smoking shopkeepers, bongo players, bearded-and-black hatted men, women with newborns.

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Posted by Jessica Levine Kupferberg 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

Going with the herd

Today “going with the herd” got a new meaning for me…

Only in the Jerusalem Marathon!

Posted by Emanuel Cohn in Videos
Jerusalem the functional

Jerusalem the functional

Running the 21 km on Friday during the Jerusalem Marathon, as we passed the Khan theatre, there was a woman in a pinkish reddish hijab and flowing robes cheering us on — while photographing (or filming) all the runners with her iPhone. The mix of old-and-new, and this obviously traditional Muslim Arab just delighting in the simple human effort of facing physical challenges, transcended politics. It represented the Jerusalem the functional we rarely read about in the headlines and was for me a highlight of my race (beyond finishing the darned thing!). A great — and true – Jerusalem moment.

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Posted by Gil Troy in Snippets