Hey there again,
if you asked me I’d tell you that I think it’s the energies of Jerusalem that drive people there mad (of course Yerushalayimim claim they aren’t mad). I bet that sounds rather esoteric to non-Pagans but just think about it: People might have been living in Jerusalem for about 10’000 years and it’s likely one of the oldest cities, one of the oldest settlements of mankind. If a city in Europe has a 2’000 years history it’s considered ancient – and in the U.S. if it has a 400 years history. Even worse quite a lot of those 10’000 years have been spent in war. I mean have a look at the history of the city: There hardly is a decade when no enemy was standing in front of it’s walls. Just imagine what stories must have taken part there. How much memory must be forever embedded in that stones.
And then there is that thing that Jerusalem is situated right on the border of two tectonic platestherefor making it subject to earthquakes every couple of decades (the next one already overdue). Everybody into geomantism would tell you that the amount of earth energies released at a place like that is tremendous. Not to talk about the mystery the temple mount poses to me. The whole mess about it is, in the end, about that one rock that these days can be found inside the Dome of the Rock (the hexagonal building in the middle of the temple mount) and used to be situated within the Jewish temples (actually they were built around it as was the Dome of the Rock).
There are about a million stories about that rock. The most well-known being the one of Mohammad who on his dream-journey (we might call it a OBE, a out of body experience these days) ascended to heaven to have a chat with Allah from that rock. Another one would be that the god’s whole creation started with that rock. And of course the one that the altar on which Abraham offered his only son Isaak to god – who later on replaced him with a goat – was in fact the rock in the middle of Jerusalem. Bottom line is that there is something very special about that rock. Whether it has been made special bymillenia of men worshipping it and thereby putting a tremendous amount of energy into it or whether it has been special to begin with.
When I arrived at the main bus station. The first thing I saw when coming into Jerusalem was – your really cannot miss it – the ministry of finance’s building. Then the bus drove into some kind of huge basement-garage which turned out to be the bus station. Next I had to stand in line with a xillion of people, a lot of them soldiers carrying huge weapons – of mixed ethnicity in order to have by bag x-rayed and myself been made to pass one of those things you also see at the airport. Well at this point that didn’t freak me out anymore yet it might have been very symptomatic.
What soon stroke me was that there were a lot of Kharedi-woman with their heads covered, very pregnant and with quite a bunch of children herded around them. (There are only a hand full of them living in Tel Aviv and they are living in quarters of their own and hardly mix with the regular Tel Avivi student or so.) Overall clothing was much more modest then in Tel Aviv, where elderly women are often reported to “wear clothing European teenagers would be ashamed of” for a reason. I have already mentioned Jerusalem’s cab driver later on nicknamed “the sharks” by a friend of mine. Israelis are driving like mad anyway butthose Jerusalem cab drivers are truly suicidal. The rest of it – besides the Old City which would go offtopic here – is hard to describe for it was more of a feeling then everything else. The feeling of being taken the air to breath. I always felt very free in Tel Aviv but in Jerusalem I felt like a animal in a cage. I was sooo happy to go back to Tel Aviv in the evening. It was like going home (though I had hardly been living there for a month by that time).
Sure, Jerusalem is a wonderful city. You absolutely should go there if you get the opportunity. It is just so amazing to wander through the Old City– just beware of shopkeepers – with its seemingly never-ending Cardo knowing that you are walking the very same earth then neolithic men did. And seeing with your own eyes how close the Jewish and Muslim holy sites are to each other takes your breath away. I can also recommend Yad Vashem, the holocaust museum, for the great way it was made – though I didn’t find it easy to go there – and of course the archaeological garden. Gosh there are so many places reported to be beautiful where I never went. Like the biblical zoo. It’s disturbing how long you can live at a place and how much you can travel and still there are so many things left to visit.
And once you are there take the bus to Tel Aviv and just enjoy life. Afterwards you can judge for yourself whether it is true what is said about those cities who somehow are twin cities yet in another way are so different from each other.