Western Wall

The Western Wall

Michael Rogatchi (C). The Western Wall. Oil on canvas. 43 x 110 cm. 1999.

Posted by Michael Rogatchi in Images

Hooked

One of my earliest memories is the first time I cast eyes on the Kotel.

I was 5 years old, and I was already under Her spell. After experiencing the Kotel, though, I was hooked.

I was hooked on the vibrancy of Jewish people of all different kinds coming together to pray.

I was hooked because of the technology protecting us juxtaposed with this ancient wall that reminds us of who we were, who we are, and what we have the potential to become.

That was the moment I knew. I knew that my life would be ruled by Her, dedicated to bettering Her, and that my I would raise my children to feel the same.

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Posted by Naava Shafner in Essays
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
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
Jerusalem, city of contradictions

Jerusalem, city of contradictions

May, 2014, 7:00 AM, Amman airport.
I am returning to Jerusalem from a celebratory conference that began with so much promise. Two Israeli doctors developed a solar battery hearing aid and contributed it to the Jordanians who suffer high incidence of infant deafness, the result of common tribal in-marriage. If treated before age 3, there is hope for normal speech and a normal life. Heretofore, the families of deaf children routinely tossed hearing aids when the battery ran out, sadly long before three years. There are homes for the deaf all over Jordan.

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Posted by Blu Greenberg in Essays

The thread of Jerusalem

Inna Rogatchi (C). The Thread of Jerusalem.

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(This work and others have been exhibited internationally widely and will be presented in Finland, Scandinavia and the Baltic states in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the re-unification of Jerusalem and the 70th anniversary of the state of Israel.)

Posted by Inna Rogatchi in Images

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
Among the Mourners of Zion and Jersualem

Among the Mourners of Zion and Jersualem

 Late last night, I found myself embraced by the walls of the Old City. My brother and I made a last-minute trek there from the Gush to pay a shiva call to a long time Old-City family who just lost its patriarch, a rabbi whom I hadn’t seen since I was 15 but was my brother’s third grade teacher in Los Angeles and whose son was my classmate in second grade.

We parked near the Zion Gate, said a small blessing for the miracle of finding good parking parking, and then meandered down narrow stone paths and under arches to find the house of mourning.

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Posted by Jessica Levine Kupferberg in Essays