Jerusalem is very dear and special to me, but I’m hardly alone. The city is considered by billions of people to be the center of the world.
Of all the cities on the planet, regardless of their size, beauty, even their importance as intellectual, spiritual or artistic hotbeds, none is as meaningful to as many people worldwide as The City of David, Jerusalem.
Furthermore, Jerusalem is a city unlike any other, managing an existence which at once is the height of heavenly spirituality and modern ‘of this world’ earthiness. It is a composition of parallel universes, of an ancient, deeply sacred past and the ultimate ‘last word’ of the present. The residents are a multifaceted array of people, many of whom refuse to deviate from the insular, strict codes of their centuries old lifestyle and customs, living side by side with people who frequent trendy coffee shops and invent technological marvels.
For some people like myself, Jerusalem is a mystical, unexplainable condition, not unlike being in love for others, it is a state of mind, a constant tension between rival flags and faiths, or heated disagreements amongst members of the same faith. One may feel moved, energised, or get swept into the maelstrom of controversial issues. One thing is certain the city will not leave you unaffected.
Jerusalem is a city so full of majestic beauty, antiquities and historic sites sacred to around 3.8 billion followers of all religions based on Abrahamic Law. It is a vibrant, color-laden city of high learning, both religious and secular. Its exceptional beauty, breathtaking topography and fragrant, crisp mountain air would make it highly desirable place…Dayenu. But if you add to that all the other attributes and treasures the city encompasses, it becomes obvious why it has become more than legendary. Jerusalem has a palpable history, remnants of which still exist, or are in the process of being uncovered. It has an energy which is as exciting as it is calming, and many people (such as myself) claim to feel a swell in the heart as one’s ride turns the curve of the mountainous last 10-minute stretch of road, climbing the steep height toward The City Of Gold. Jerusalem is built on mountains and hills covered in olive trees, panoramic views and its buildings are made with the unique limestone, named Jerusalem brick. These building stones endow the city with special character, one which cannot be found elsewhere.
All around the centre of the City and the holy sites around the ancient walls of the Old City, there is a huge number of neighbourhoods, perhaps too many to mention.
I will elaborate in an upcoming installment.