Letter 7

Dear Art,

The other night I took a late-night stroll to the Old City of Jerusalem.  No, this is not something I do on a regular habit.  The other night, however, was Shavuot.

I tried learning a holy book in a local yeshiva but I was way too fidgety for such an endeavor.  With grand thoughts such as “Israeli sovereignty” on my mind, I knew that I would gravitate towards the Old City.  This happens nearly every Shavuot the difference being that this year I had no patience to learn so I left for the Old City at 12:30 a.m.

It always amazes me to see the amount of people roaming the streets late at night on the holiday of Shavout.  Downtown Jerusalem, if one can use such a term, was like a stream of people coming and going to the Old City.  Of course interspersed in this scene were a few open pubs with music blasting and beer being served, so it wasn’t 100% “holy”.

The Old City, at least the winding alley at the beginning of the Jewish Quarter, was unusually smelly.  I mean really bad.  But thank G-d the smell dissipated as I passed through the “Rova” (the “quarter”), as the Jewish Quarter is known in these parts, and started my descent on the steps leading towards the Kotel Plaza.  Of course before the descent I stopped, as I usually do, to take in the view of the Temple Mount, which currently hosts the Dome of the Rock, and the ancient Mount of Olives cemetery on the other side of the city wall.

Arriving at the Kotel I simply found a chair and sat, enjoying the pleasant weather, reading a few chapters of Tehillim, and then having a conversation with my maker.  With sovereignty on my mind I asked him when the Jewish people would finally wake up and start thinking grand ideas rather than accepting the small reality.  Well, it wasn’t exactly like that but it was a bit similar.

After an hour I strolled back to my neighborhood to finish off the very restless night.

Wishing you were here to enjoy a Shavuot late-night in Jerusalem, even a fidgety and restless one.

Your friend.

Yoel

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