Jerusalem

“Everywhere I go, I go to Jerusalem” – Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

“בכל מקום שאליו אני הולך אני הולך לירושלים” – רבי נחמן מברסלב

“Jerusalem is a port city on the shore of eternity” – Yehuda Amichai

“ירושלים עיר נמל על שפת הנצח” – יהודה עמיחי

“Jerusalem has been – and for many, still is – a metaphor for destruction and the vengeance of an offended God.  She is the city where believers have killed unbelievers to give life to faith.” – Amos Elon

Ecology of Jerusalem

“The air over Jerusalem is saturated with prayers

and dreams

like the air over industrial cities.

It’s hard to breathe.

And from time to time a new shipment of history

arrives

and the houses and towers are its packing materials.

Later these are discarded and piled up in dumps.

And sometimes candles arrive instead of people

and then it’s quiet.

And sometimes people come instead of candles

and then there’s noise.

And in enclosed gardens heavy with jasmine

foreign consulates,

like wicked brides that have been rejected,

lie in wait for their moment.”

From Poems of Jerusalem by Yehuda Amichai.

“האוויר מעל ירושלים רווי תפילות וחלומות

כמו האוויר מעל לערי תעשייה כבדה

קשה לנשום” – יהודה עמיחי

It’s relatively a short walk from Mount Olives into the Old City to Jaffa Gate.  Each human step you take is literally on top of centuries of accumulated historical stories, events, heroes, villains, conquerors, and, most of all, the holy spirit.  On the walk, via the colorful bazaar streets, you can visit all three major monotheistic religions prime sacred sites.  It’s interesting to observe the different levels of welcoming and hospitality of each site.  I find it very telling.