It’s Yom Yerushalayim! Jerusalem’s 50th year commemorating her reunification- under Israeli sovereignty. How blessed and truly fortunate I am to have the opportunity to raise my family in Jerusalem. I don’t take it for granted. I am reminded of the holiness through every person I encounter, every story I hear. The nation of Israel, the Jewish nation is replete with stories.
On any given day as I walk through Jerusalem’s bustling streets with my eyes wide open (Read: eyes not looking down at my phone), I see this and so much more:
A rushed dad riding a bicycle with his child strapped in the back seat on their way to Gan (nursery school) before riding to his job hoping not to be late.
“Lamed” cars with 3 driving students eagerly awaiting their turn to impress the driving instructor, in hopes that they’ll pass and receive their license. Yes, I know the thoughts going through their heads- as I just experienced this firsthand and received my driver’s license!
People of every age with their RavKav pass in their hands, waiting for the bus to take them to their destinations. Some sitting in the shade of the metal awning, others leaning against the outer glass smoking their first cigarette of the day. At least 3 others watching the electronic time table update the bus arrival times- in Hebrew, English, and Arabic. And when the bus finally arrives, everyone tries to get on at the same time. Patience. Patience. Savlanut in Hebrew. A very important word.
City streets filled with people strolling about as they window shop. Shop keepers hoping some of those people will enter their store.
Tourists. Enjoying a brisk walk. Camera pointed in all directions. Hoping they’ll capture the most inspirational photo to share on all their social media outlets. Hopefully that photo will inspire more tourism to Israel.
Palm trees. Lots of glorious palm trees. The sun shining through the impressive leaves. Giving the people relaxing below, some warmth and shade.
Police officers zooming by on their motorcycles- in black uniforms, with their helmets and guns, protecting the streets of Israel.
Chayalim (Israeli soldiers) dressed in their green uniforms.. everywhere!
A tired man hunched over, whistling a tune as if he was part of a 50-piece symphonic orchestra in Carnegie Hall.
Cats. Everywhere. With glaring eyes watching you. Not scared of the human race.
Street art proclaiming that the Nation of Israel is alive. I love passing this every day.
4 Coffee shops on one city block. Keep walking..keep walking..I don’t need the iced coffee today. Yes, I do have that much self control- ok- sometimes. Just being honest!
5 Pizza stores on one city block. The two moms and their baby strollers between them, and some greasy napkins that wiped up the oil from the pizza slices. The babies munching on the soft pizza crusts- it’s a good thing we’re post-Pesach- otherwise that would be a big mess to clean up.
8 Falafel/Shwarma restaurants on one city block. Soon he’ll be sitting on his chair feet crossed, belly out, tehina dripping down his chin looking like he’s enjoying all that flavor! Betayavon!
A packed Egged bus filled with people filled with stories. I want to hear them all!
If you have the opportunity to hear the stories first hand- of taxi drivers, of elderly on the buses, of shop keepers..I implore you to do so. It will enrich your life and show you that we are just a snippet of history. There was so much before us, and there will be so much after us.
When someone approaches you to ask you your story, I hope your story will move them with emotion. Live every day to the fullest, to your own maximum potential. Go out there and start making your own stories!
Yom Yerushalayim Sameach!