Old City

A miracle on the seam

A miracle on the seam

There’s this place on the seam between the Quarters, and it’s my favorite place – it’s the one with the bombass view, with the room with the giant bed with the wrought iron posts, and the purple glass windows and a view looking onto the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The building grew out of a an old cistern 700 years ago.

And there’s wifi and hot water so basically #HappyPlace

The people who run it are Palestinians from Beit Hanina — we speak English when I come in — maybe “shwei Arabi.” I don’t hide that I’m Jewish or Israeli – ( I stayed here on Purim and paraded through in my mask and beads and shit, and wished everyone Chag Samayach and explained to the baffled backpackers from Holland WTF was going on) but once when I asked something in Hebrew, the guy running the desk said “I’m sorry, I don’t understand.”

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Posted by Sarah Tuttle-Singer
A Jerusalem Vision, Jerusalem Day–Yom Yerushalayim

A Jerusalem Vision, Jerusalem Day–Yom Yerushalayim

Aaron Ettinger was one of the paratroopers who fought in Jerusalem during the Six Day War, and was severely wounded on Salah e-Din Street near Damascus Gate.

A few years ago, at a Jerusalem Day sing-along at a synagogue around the corner from the President’s Residence, Aaron was given the microphone to recount his experiences during the two hellish days of the battle to liberate the city in June 1967.

The elderly, slightly portly man with a full head of white hair topped with a knitted kipa, spoke about the number of his comrades (mostly reservists from kibbutzim) who fell in the worst of the fighting that took place on the northern side of the Old City on Nablus Road, Salah e-Din Street and in front of Damascus Gate.

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Posted by Judy Lash Balint in Essays
The most Jerusalem funeral ever

The most Jerusalem funeral ever

You know when you start your day visiting your parents and then the man who lives alone in their building is found dead in his apartment and your sister tries to resuscitate him to no avail, and he barely has family and what family he has doesn’t know how to organize a funeral so you and your sisters and the local amazing Chabad rabbi organize his funeral, and you get in touch with your righteous former neighbors from the Mount of Olives area to help secure the funeral and complete the minyan, and the deceased man’s Tel Aviv relatives are terrified to go to the funeral because they are afraid they’ll be attacked and you tell them it will be fine and then it’s not fine because the local Arabs decide to throw stones at them during the funeral, and then after the burial you get to learn more about the deceased and how he was born in Hebron 84 years ago, lived in the Old City and then moved to Katamon after 1948, served as a paratrooper in the six day war and worked for the government for forty years, retired and became a recluse in your parent’s building until he passed away this morning and was privileged to be buried in the world’s oldest Jewish cemetery facing the Temple Mount in Jerusalem this evening?

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Posted by Miriam Schwab in Snippets
Those dreams, this city

Those dreams, this city

It came to me in my dreams as a child. Maybe it was the stories of King David and Solomon’s Temple when I was in Hebrew school. Maybe it was the images in picture books from the library with the Temple shining in the sun and sheep grazing on the hills of the city. Maybe it was just there, some genetic link dating back centuries that brought Jerusalem into my dreams. And now this city is my home, in every sense of the word. When you love something from afar, without knowing the reality of snuggling in its arms, there is much to learn when first surrounded by your object of desire. And this city teaches, as no other city in the world does. History and modernity tied together, and we learn from both that they are not mutually exclusive. Jerusalem is a city of ancient dreams and legends, always with new dreams and legends joining the ancient.

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Posted by Irene Rabinowitz in Essays
Splashing together

Splashing together

Just outside the Old City of Jerusalem is the delightful Teddy Park.

This free attraction comes to life in the summer on a regular schedule that has children of all ages – and some adults too – ready and waiting for it to start each time. What struck me was how it was a total mix of Jews and Arabs, religious and secular, all enjoying the fountains together. No one cared who was who, everyone was just having fun, cooling off on a hot summer night in Israel. A pure, happy Israeli moment. So beautiful!

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Posted by Laura Ben-David in Images