Temple Mount

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

Where we wait

Jerusalem is not an easy city to travel across, sometimes.

I was waiting for the light rail train near Mount Scopus, and my fellow Jerusalemites were losing their patience fast. A school girl in a mini-skirt whined, “Come on! We’re, like, waiting forever!” to a friend, and squeezed herself onto the bench. The young man she pushed, a student of architecture judging by his large folder, rolled his eyes. Next to him, an elderly lady huffed and squirmed to make room.

Perhaps, I thought, waiting is the appropriate activity for this particular location. Our waiting, measured by minutes, is but a ripple on a pond. Underneath this place’s surface, the land is saturated with decades of yearning.

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Posted by Rachel Sharansky Danziger in Snippets

Bruchim HaBa’im l’Yerushalayim

We live in Ma’ale Adumim, which is a suburb of Jerusalem to the east. Every time I drive into Jerusalem, to meet a client, to go out to dinner, to shop, I pass a sign that says Bruchim HaBa’im l’Yerushalayim – Welcome to Jerusalem. Each time I see it, I think of the millennia when Jews could only dream of such a thing. I am reminded of how privileged I am to be here. A bit further down the road, just after the tunnel named for Nomi Shemer, the famous songwriter who wrote Yerushlayim Shel Zahav (Jerusalem of Gold), we can see Har HaBayit (the Temple Mount) to our left. As we pass that spot, my husband and I are conscientious about reciting the Yehi Ratzon prayer regarding the rebuilding of the Temple.

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Posted by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Snippets
We made it. Now what?

We made it. Now what?

I was born into a world in which Jerusalem was already united. For me, the image that really dominated a lot of my educational experiences, at Hebrew School and summer camp, was the iconic picture of the paratroopers at the Kotel. Wow, a picture really is worth more than a thousand words.

Reflecting on that image, I realize the resolution of that photo really has sharpened over time. I once met the talented photographer, David Rubinger, who recently passed away. He was in a Jerusalem coffee shop and we struck up a conversation; he explained and demonstrated how he had to lie on the floor of the narrow Kotel passage to get that angle he wanted.

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Posted by Marc Rosenberg in Essays
The Feeling of Jerusalem

The Feeling of Jerusalem

The energy of these stones has provided the nourishment for many generations of the Jewish people, for all those who keep Jerusalem in their hearts as the nucleus of their universe.

There is no other sensation in the world like the one when one’s hand is touching those warm, wise stones; the stones which are speaking to you; one to one.

Unique sensation
The first time I visited Jerusalem about thirty ago, in the end of 1980s, on the occasion of the Jerusalem Festival. My husband and I, both working in theatre at the time, were participating in it together with our good friends from a legendary Taganka theatre. It was the first ever visit to Israel for them as well, and we all were trembling of excitement and disbelief at being on Israeli soil.

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Posted by Inna Rogatchi in Essays, Videos

Where we mingle

Church bells ringing in Jerusalem for Holy Thursday, the amplified call to prayer emanating from the Al Aqsa on the Temple Mount, and thousands of Israelis (yes, I saw Jewish and Arab Israelis in the parks enjoying the Pesach break) enjoying the outdoors for Chol Hamoed.

This is Israel.

Posted by Irene Rabinowitz in Snippets

The untouchable wall

In 1965, the closest Jews could get to the Old City was from a vantage point at the Notre Dame Cathedral. It was possible to take a photo from across No Man’s Land, and the Dome of Rock (before it was painted gold) and the rubble along the outside wall were visible.

The Western Wall, however, was only a fantasized image.

Posted by Sharon Altshul in Images
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