By Tehilla R. Goldberg
JERUSALEM — Good day from Jerusalem! I’m thrilled to take up the unique dateline of my column, a continuation of my father’s View From Jerusalem from the Nineteen Seventies and Eighties.
The final time I used to be in Israel was throughout Operation Protecting Edge in 2014. I came over wounded IDF troopers and present solidarity with residents of the South. There have been no seashore days, Jerusalem meanderings, café tastings, guide hunts or aspect journeys. It’s been some time since I hung out with Israel, the nation and significantly Jerusalem, the sacred metropolis.
Simply pulling out of the airport and onto the brand new highways was wonderful. Getting cash from the ATM yielded payments bearing new faces — the purple 50-shekel invoice with the face and phrases of Shai Agnon was gone, however the brand new batch of banknotes continued to spotlight literary personalities. And now girls have been added.
The 20-shekel invoice options “Rachel The Poetess,” as she is understood in Israel, with a short quote from one in all her well-known poems, Kinneret. Leah Goldberg, an acclaimed poet, author and youngsters’s guide writer, graces the brand new 100 shekel invoice. Dira Lehaskir, “An Condo For Hire,” is a well-known youngsters’s guide. Not solely is her subtle poetry identified and studied in college, however each little one is aware of her work. The invoice highlights her poem “White Days,” replete with a picture of two swish Judean Desert deer.
Shaul Tchernichovsky has changed Agnon on the 50-shekel invoice. And Natan Alterman is the face of the brand new stunning 200. As of late in Israel, even money appears elevated to a literary pursuit.
In the meantime, the souk Machane Yehuda has reworked right into a hipster, boutique-y, upscale foodie heaven, replete with city artwork, nightlife and an unbeatable native Center Jap culinary expertise. Fortunately, the same old suspects, second- and typically even third-generation kiosk house owners, are nonetheless there.
Probably the most scrumptious lemony rice-stuffed cabbage and salatim from Zidkiyahu, the plumpest Medjool dates, the Etrog Man and his juice stall, rows and rows of recent halva in all flavors, trays of glossed baklava minimize to geometric perfection, and the spice and tea leaf market with mounds of desert colours, pink paprika to golden turmeric.
They’ve achieved an unbelievable job with the alleyways of the souk — meals excursions and tastings and upgraded bastot. I simply hope there are nonetheless stalls that present low-cost produce, in order that poorer Jerusalem residents can truly store there. In spite of everything, that’s what Machane Yehuda was initially there for.
When I used to be residing close by and Machane Yehuda was my market, the primary time I spied an ATM I used to be incensed. This was speculated to be an old-school Center Jap marketplace for The Folks. How dare they! After all, the next week, I ran out of money, and by some means my conviction melted away.
Slowly, slowly, I noticed the market change, little boutiques dotting its alleyways. I used to be nonetheless wistful for the grittiness, however now this house transcends its function as a useful resource for fish and cucumbers. The people-watching, the shouts of distributors hawking their wares, the fragrances, the chance to get misplaced among the many winding alleys—it’s all nonetheless part of the Machane Yehuda expertise.
Ready to catch a taxi on the nook of King George and Jaffa Street, the air all of a sudden fills with a soulful rendition of the Israeli basic Advert Machar, “Till Tomorrow.” I flip to see who it’s, and I see a younger man in tzitzit and kippah. Somebody whispers, “It’s Michael from Kochav Nolad,” Israel’s model of American Idol.
The magic of Mamilla is unchanged, but every time I sit on a café balcony, the sundown deepening into night time, the silhouette of the Previous Metropolis partitions take my breath away anew. It feels so peaceable, and, like time, it stretches into the faraway previous of Jewish historical past.
Just like the partitions, the ocean appears to stretch into an eternity of a special form. Close by Tel Aviv is a special world. Surfers, sailboats and matkot courts dot this panorama, the wonderful promenade alongside the seashore reaching all the best way to the traditional port of Jaffa. This journey I wasn’t capable of stroll all the best way there however seeing and listening to the late-night waves was enjoyable sufficient.
For years I’ve been looking for a gem of a Hebrew youngsters’s guide that I adored as a toddler. Not solely was I unsuccessful, however nobody appeared to acknowledge my description. Shabbat morning, I settled down for a cup of espresso and opened the newspaper to learn one of many fundamental tales of the weekend version: A reprinting of this outdated Hebrew guide collection, the one which has eluded me for years.
It was loopy. I used to be flabbergasted. Neglect concerning the renewal of the roads, of the banknotes, of the souk, of the street to the Tel Aviv seashores. They’re re-printing, or re-issuing, one of many Hebrew childhood books so near my coronary heart! (Then once more, it’s about Holland. However nonetheless.)
I’ll let you know what hasn’t modified although, as a result of some issues by no means do. And that’s Jerusalem’s magic, nonetheless enchanting as ever. Particularly daybreak prayers on the Kotel. It’s the right jet lag exercise after the lengthy flight from America. You’re up anyway. And the magic and thriller of the prayers at daybreak by no means get outdated. This time was further particular and significant to me, as a result of I had the blessing of going to hope with my father and share the expertise with him.
In contrast to the daytime, when the Kotel is one thing of a vacationer website, the individuals at daybreak are a group, who fill the Kotel with a purity that actually is inspirational. Passing by means of safety, some males have been already audibly murmuring morning prayers, siddurim in hand, as they handed their packs to the safety guards for inspection.
There’s one thing about coming into the Kotel at midnight of night time, after which exiting into the morning when it’s throughout, gentle shining off the Jerusalem stone with a halo that transforms them right into a imaginative and prescient of Yeruhalayim shel Zahav. As my father mentioned, “Abruptly, when the solar rose, silence on the Kotel reigned,” as a result of synchronicity of Shemone Esrei coinciding with dawn.
It was Friday morning, Erev Shabbat, once we went. As I left the ladies’s part, an aged, wrinkled lady with the aura of Previous Jerusalem, greeted me, a heady perfume of recent mint engulfing her. A sack of branches and myrtle was at her aspect, and he or she reached into the sack and handed them to us to make the blessing, encouraging us to savor it for after the Sabbath dusk, following the recitation of Friday night time Kiddush, when there’s the customized of smelling these perfumed branches and spices to the blessing of borei isvei besamim.
The intervening 4 years of my absence from Jerusalem highlighted a lot of the renewal that has transpired right here. But in addition, some issues actually don’t ever. As a result of Jerusalem nonetheless is Yerushalayim Shel Zahav, Jerusalem of Gold.
As soon as extra, pricey reader, I log off to you with a View From Jerusalem.
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