Head Of English
The King David School
No doubt there are a number of centres of the world – that is, places where lines of significant learned wisdom and thought intersect. Surely Jerusalem is one such place, representing the intersection of thinking about faith and spirituality for Muslims, Christians and Jews
I have heard stories about the prophets, about Israel and about Jerusalem from boyhood. About Abraham, about
Isaac, about Solomon. About the Holy Temple, about the City of David, about the Mount of Olives, and here I was on that selfsame mount overlooking the Old City of
For me, entering the Old City was a time of acute sensitivity to all of the faith traditions of the place. The Western Wall was touching in its stolid silence as my prayer joined those of so many before me and so many still to come.
The Jewish Quarter was poignant in how it represented the battle, so frequently against the odds, for the survival of Judaism. And how touching were those six-year-old boys in the school so earnestly learning to recite the Torah.
The Muslim Quarter was more of a mystery to me, so I need to spend more
time there just feeling the spirit of the place. I wondered what the Muslim man was thinking and feeling as he raced past and up a flight of stairs on his late way to pray, a flurry of gowns being all I saw.
The Christian Quarter was, like the Jewish, touching, especially the sincerity of the pilgrims as they kissed what they felt were sacred stones and lay hands on similar places of significance.
The tunnels surprised
me. Especially their extensiveness. And even more, what they revealed about the significance of, and meaning created
by, the Holy Temple. A single brick the size of a bus – how better to create meaning?
But not all Jerusalem is about the soul. How better to celebrate the here and now than by spending some time at the market? As Shabbat approached, the music got louder, the vendors more passionate and young women broke out into install dance. How wonderful.
We trundled through the buffeting wind on the way back to the hotel, each drop of rain a blessing equally on all from God.