Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Street Talk

I stand on Zalamn Shazar’s glasses, waiting for the light to change. After the fundamental transition from red to green, I walk down the stories of Ben Tzvi, and make a left up the toga of Agrippas. Now passing through the tents of Machana Yehudah – where, like in days past, you can sell or buy anything, from your soul to apples – I emerge at the shores of Yafo, the foamy waves of twisting busses lapping at my shoes. At the intersecting canonic Kikar Davidka, I dream my way into the prophetic Haneveim. Up the “Titanic” Strauss we go, until we hit the rule of Malchei Yisrael. Now, after riding on Yechezkial’s chariot and Shmuel Hanavi’s leadership, we tread with tribulation on the tribal Shivtai Yisrael. The hundred gates of Meah Sheorim, only accessible to those dressed modestly, bring us to the “universal” Bar Ilan. Yirmiyahu’s true vision guides us through Hertzl’s distorted one. The presidential Weizmann leads us under the bridge, and up Betzalel’s architecture. A right on Usishkin’s right wing philosophy, heading toward the Ramban’s Torah commentary; when we reach the end of Nachmonides, a left on King George’s crown. Now we word our way through Ben Yehudah’s dictionary, balancing between Hillel’s “actuality” and Shamai’s “possibility”. Now through the black and white editorials of Agron’s “Post”, and down the political Keren Ha’Yesod. Past Washington’s apple trees, Mendele Mocher Seforim’s books, Lincoln’s lack of mustache, Sholom Aleichem’s Yiddish, and Jabotinsky’s revisionism. We recite the iambs of Shmuel Hanagid’s poetry, comment on Abarbanel’s prayer commentary and Ibn Ezra’s Pentateuch commentary, while engaging the disengaged Derech Azza. Achad Ha’am seems to be split, as does Ha’Palmach. Ben Maimon’s thirteen principles seem to be deserted, and they think Alfasi is a wine. Now back around and King David seems to be beckoning us. His grandson is around here somewhere, just waiting for all the streets to come together, to unite as one.

And I can see the Old City in the distance, its magnet drawing me in. Down the stairs we go and our foreheads rest on the Wall. Road-weary and tired, I realize all this roaming through wild streets and deserted deserts was worth it: our homelessness is just the journey, and our Home, the destination, is not so far away.

15 Comments:

Blogger Saad said...

"Achad Ha’am seems to be split, as does Ha’Palmach. Ben Maimon’s thirteen principles seem to be deserted, and they think Alfasi is a wine. Now back around and King David seems to be beckoning us. His grandson is around here somewhere, just waiting for all the streets to come together, to unite as one."

Beautiful.

Saad

2/01/2006 2:31 PM  
Anonymous anon said...

Beautiful, brilliant post. Truly. Israel seems to be providing some good material...

2/02/2006 12:37 AM  
Blogger The Bearded One said...

funny, i thought alfasi is a clothes company at macy's. hmph, one learns a lot reading blogs. wine... i'd never have thought...

great piece jake

2/02/2006 5:01 AM  
Anonymous Alfani said...

Thats Alfani You moron

2/02/2006 1:12 PM  
Blogger jakeyology said...

it's really the Riff (the rest was... RIFFraff)




i know u guys new that, but i wnated to get the "riffraff" in there.

2/02/2006 1:32 PM  
Blogger Avi said...

Gut geshribben.
Would this hold up to a mapquest-test? (Without selecting the "Most-poetic route" option.)

2/02/2006 10:22 PM  
Blogger The Bearded One said...

i generally dont like being called a moron, but it just sounds so cute coming from you. nerd.

2/03/2006 2:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its amazing how they were able to take such great people and turn their streets into a endless maze of junk.

Try Shmuel Hanavi, on the way to Schem.

2/03/2006 12:39 PM  
Anonymous duchess said...

no tears for Amona?

2/04/2006 11:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice piece.. its a shame you don't visit Tzfat...where you can take "Rechov HaRabbi MiLubavitch" straight to "Rechov Yerushalayim" ;)

2/05/2006 12:31 PM  
Anonymous S said...

Excellent piece...

two suggs:
break into paragraphs
add a map of (the snaky streets of) Jerusalem

2/06/2006 5:21 PM  
Blogger The real me said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/07/2006 1:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paragraphs would take away from the complex trip down history way, and it might even make it easier to read, thus taking away from the whole poetic experience.

2/07/2006 1:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you truly are amazing .. i feel like im there

2/14/2006 2:35 AM  
Blogger Nemo said...

Can't wait till your post on the street's of Tel Aviv- Allenby, Sheinkin, Dizengoff, Hayarkon, Arlorozov, and my favorite, Rabin!

2/23/2006 7:30 PM  

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