Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Jerusalem Day 5768

So many things to do, so little time in 24 hours of "Jerusalem Day!" Although many tempting activities city-wide beckoned, nothing beats parading down Jaffa Road with hundreds of thousands of our closest friends, walking around the Old City singing "Am Yisrael Chai," entering through Damascus Gate and marching to the Kotel, where we met up with hundreds of thousands more of our Jewish (and Jewish-supportive "Christian Zionist" and "Noahide" friends) and we were ALL TOGETHER (albeit often in a stifling, too-close-for-comfort and somewhat oxygen-deprived way).
Walking - no, marching - into the Old City via Damascus Gate, past closed Arab-owned stalls and stores, young Arab men stood on balconies, rooftops and through windows looking at us - and by "us" I mean the huge crowd of flag-waving, kippah-wearing Jews singing songs about rebuilding the Beit HaMigdash (Holy Temple, whose site in currently occupied by their Dome of the Rock ).
Yes they were looking at us, and smoking, waiting and thinking. One lone late middle-aged Arab woman stood alone in a doorway and our eyes met. "Sorry for all the noise," my eyes said to hers, "But that's what you get when you live in the middle of the world's most contested piece of real estate."
"I hate you and all your kind, and we will eventually get you," her eyes replied.
"No you won't, and you'll only bring more misery on yourself and your people by trying. Can't we all just get along?" My eyes pleaded with hers.
"No," she narrowed and spat me a glance. "Never."
"Sorry to hear that. See you."
"Yes you will."
All this happened in a moment, in the blink of an eye - literally. Then, carried along by the immense jostling crowd, we moved on.

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