Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Jerusalem Identity


I haven't been to the Kotel (Western Wall) since last Yom Kippur. 
Shame on me !
Although I am in Jerusalem all the time, I hardly find my way into the Old City. Last night, however, I found the way and was glad that I did. The Kotel solved my whole identity crisis (if there is any at all).

First of all, I had planned to go to a concert of an in Germany famous German popstar. Peter Maffay live on stage in Jerusalem in front of the municipality building. Afterwards I wanted to go down to the Old City in order to see the "Jerusalem Light Festival". I got to Safra Square at the municipality and realized that I wasn't in Jerusalem anymore, as Germans in uniform had taken over. Hostesses dressed in red and almost standing attention (German like). German bodyguards were around and everybody was so serious. Everything went like clockwork and already this causes suspicion in Jerusalem where usually nothing works. At least not on time.
The bakery where I work is the best example with the "Ejn li Koach - I am not in the Mood" mentality. German have always Koach (strength) and even if they don't, they function. An Israeli employee mostly does not function properly.

Finally, ten years after making Aliyah, I was facing my long missed German - work - Koach - clockwork mentality and suddenly it looked so terribly stupid to me. I started missing the "Ejn li Koach" bakery and even the dishes waiting for me.

German guards and hostesses guarding the square in front of the Jerusalem municipality. No, they weren't threatening us with gas chambers but wanted to see a German invitation for the concert. I didn't even bother around and went straight down to Jaffa Gate to the beginning Light Festival. There I found Jerusalem and Israel. Here they were - all those noisy Israelis with no Koach leaving their garbage anywhere and yelling around. Pushing each other but enjoying the show. No uniforms and no German invitations.

The light show all over the Old City is just incredible although the organizers could have added more attractions. Nevertheless, they probably didn't have enough Koach, so never mind.

I entered Jaffa Gate where Palestinian traders made business. The Jews bought ice - cream and juices. Don’t ask about a Hechsher (kosher certificate) because Meshiach asn't arrived yet and we still have the using our free will mentality. I went through the Arab Shuk (market) to the Kotel (Western Wall). Israeli border police soldiers were guarding the way but the Palestinian traders were rather interested in business than blowing up the passing Jews.

The Kotel was great ! 
What a difference to Safra Square German uniforms. It was just unbelievable and a total different world. Here was G - d and spirituality. Here was Jerusalem as it should be.
Well, without the Third Temple but something. 
Hundreds of Jews were praying at the Wall where the sun was just going down. A group of Sephardi Beit Yaakov girls (I am not starting another "Emmanuel and why Sephardi Beit Yaakov girls don't study together with their Ashkenazi counterpart) was praying at the Kotel. I got my spiritual moments; at least until the loud "Allah Akhbar" screams came out of the loudspeaker from the Temple Mount. Suddenly I knew where I belong: To the Kotel, to Mea Shearim, to Jerusalem, to Tel Aviv but G - d, please let me escape from the German uniforms. 
JA !

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