Last night, I completely forgot it was the evening of Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day). If I had remembered, I might have at least considered going down to the Old City to pay my respects and tributes.
What is it about modern Jerusalem that makes it so easy to forget? Is it the modernity in it? Is it the politics? The imperfection?
Part of it for me is the political implications. Sure, 41 years ago today, Jerusalem was ‘reunited’ – on paper. In some of our hearts. In some of our minds.
Part of it for me is the general apathy. The municipality tries to make the city more attractive, tries to find the bridge between ancient and holy, and modern and successful. It’s not working though. People are leaving. The city is becoming more Charedi, Arab and touristy.
Part of it for me is the letdown. For the first 12 years of my life Jerusalem was a holy city, untouched by rubbish. When I visited here for the first time, I was severely disappointed. Blame the high expectations on my diaspora yeshiva education, on my enthusiastic tefillot, on my imagination, but the fact is – it’s just not even close to the Jerusalem I thought I was supposed to long for.
I suppose the main thing about a reunited Jerusalem of 41 years is the attainment of the Old City. Maybe later I will go down and there and say a word or two. Or maybe I won’t.