Jerusalem of Brown.

It’s unfortunate that we’re still abused with news stories about Jerusalem Holyland scandals. Or Olmert. Whatever.

That’s what we happened to be talking about on our way to our offices in Jerusalem today when we noticed the dirty skyline from Gilo hilltop:

Paging Pig-Pen? At first we posited that it was a dust storm but soon realized we could ignore the facts no longer: The pollution piling over the city is a hovering mass of brown dirty existence.

Of course, I did come from New York. But I never got to actually see it from the top of a hill like that.

Feeling the home land.

After almost a week of driving back and forth to work through trees and hills (the way God intended, no doubt) I have to say that it’s as if I’m only just now settling into my Israeli life. Jerusalem is more international, more global… in importance, position, people. It was a very different Israel, if Israel at all.

Now I feel tucked away on an Israeli yishuv, surrounded by nature and silence. No one has to know I’m here and I can just look up and feel like I’m standing with thousands of years of history, the image of God and myself.

I’d suggest to people that if they’re thinking of moving from Israel because it didn’t work out – and they’ve only lived the city life – try this for a change of pace and appreciation. Of course, I’ve only just arrived, but for now I’m betting that this will be a very different experience.

Bet Shemesh trees and hills

Live, from Tzur Hadassah.

The move went surprisingly well on Sunday. We’re here, unpacked and spoiled in this young building with its (existent) heating system and modern tiles. Katamo-who?

Alas, I am still exhausted from the last three days of little sleep, zero nutrition and inevitable fatigue, so I will post some gorgeous views from my kumah bet apartment and leave the textual updating for another time.

Tsur Hadassah
Tzur Hadassah
Zur Hadassah

The view from my office.

“But ya know what, I can look out my window at work and think how lucky I am to live in Jerusalem and in Israel … and then, with two feet on the ground, get back to work.”

Amechad‘s comment got me thinking. Not for too long, not too hard, but I what I was thinking was: I have a very nice view from my office. Ok, not my office; I don’t have any windows that lead outside. But my office in general claims some really pretty views. Sometimes in meeting I just stare out into the hilltops and pick out houses I can see along the decline.

So I thought I’d share where my eyes focus when I get the chance. A partial view from the conference room:

Jerusalem view