Next year in Jerusalem.
I say it joyfully, songfully and ever so mournfully.
I long for it. I ache for it. I wish I didn’t have to.
Jerusalem has always been a symbol of all I think I want.
I’ve lived in Jerusalem. I’ve breathed Jerusalem. I’ve soaked up her urine smelling streets with my long flowing skirts. I’ve stumbled through her alleyways and fallen down her many stairs.I’ve sat on her stoops and stood on her corners. I’ve watched her garbage cans burn with intolerance and seen her streets throng with hate. I’ve held on as she was blown apart time after time. I’ve heard her bloodcurdling shrieks and her awful silence. I’ve been in her soul and felt her torment.
I left her, torn from her clawing embrace, with the most unbelievably sorrowful feeling. I could not bear to be so far away. I hated every minute of non-Jerusalem life. I yearned, yearned, yearned for her every moment of every day. Until we were reunited.
I saw her then, for what she truly is. A pitiful, wretched place, surrounded by enemies of all kinds and filled to the capacity with all the anxiety the world produces. She is a prison, a jailed land of unrelenting torture and pain. She is adorned with a crown of barbed wire and cement walls. She is exile.
I used to question if I really wanted redemption. My answer would be Jerusalem. Of course I wanted redemption – I wanted her! Now I’m not so sure. I know she is not redeemable right now and that she will need so much effort and hard work to make her beautiful. I’m tired. I don’t want to work that hard. I don’t want her eating me up from the inside. I want to be free of her.
I want the freedom to let her be.