Reflections from Jerusalem

avi's picture

Average: 4.8 (5 votes)

I am in Jerusalem.

Although I live in Israel (in Tel Aviv), visiting in Jerusalem is for me like going abroad.

There is this shift of vibe that you can clearly feel when you enter this beautiful city, like the change of atmosphere you feel when you land in a foreign airport. I've been here maybe hundreds of times and yet each and every time I feel again this shift.

Once I thought that it is simply pure political reasons that brought all the three monotheistic western religions all together to choose Jerusalem as a top sacred place for each of them like babies or puppies that will always want to toy the other baby/top plays with. I am not sure about that anymore - there is this strong spiritual current here that you cannot ignore, you feel transcendental, you feel that you left all your worries behind in the Shaar Hagay (the valey that leads to Jerusalem).

I visited many religious places in Israel as well as in India and Europe and no place come nearer Jerusalem.

I came this time for a work meeting in some financial institute. Then changed my cloths and hit the streets. I am sitting now in a lovely Cafe near the Bezalel Art Institute located in a picturesque alley. Zipping from my Caffe Late I am starring through the big glass window at the diverse people passing by - Hasidic orthodox men dressed in black, Muslim Arabs with their Kafiya on their head, religious women dressed in modest cloths, young and attractive art students with their belief in free love and even two nuns (Greek Orthodox, I think).

All these different people with different beliefs manage to live together harmonically. But the politicians, mainly religious politicians, are a different story. They will not let harmony to prevail, they are not satisfied with living per se they want exclusivity and control over this land which is considered by them sacred and are willing to inflict conflict, hatred, killing, cruelty to achieve their sectarian goals?.

Control? Is it not an antithesis to spirituality?
Sacred land? Isn't referring to soil and sand as sacred minimizes god the absolute which is supposed also to be sacred? Are there different levels of sacredness? Let's say god scores 10 on sacredness and a piece of land scores 6?
Conflict, hatred, killing, cruelty? Are the goal justifies the means? Isn't the way (the now) supposed to be more important than a goal (the tomorrow) especially when spirituality is concerned?

Oh yeah, it is so easy to blame these politicians but these religious politicians represent an integral part that exists in each and every one of us that wants exclusivity and control over toys other than Jerusalem and for that exclusivity and control, backed by a well constructed ideology, is willing to fight with a stranger, with a neighbor, with a friend, even with a family relative. Even here in this spiritual website I sometimes notice this.

It's getting dark and very cold. I need to pack my stuff and head to my car and back to Tel Aviv but before I close my laptop I would recommend 2 things: Firstly, let's each and every one of us honestly spend 5 minutes and see our private "Jerusalems" we tend to fight over everyday, maybe our intimate awareness will radiate some global awareness. Secondly, I recommend each and every one of you, even if you do not belong to one of the three conflicting religions to make the effort and visit Jerusalem and experience by yourself the special spiritual vibe of this city that luckily is apparently resistant to any political conflict.

kalgo's picture


Been there, felt that, missing it. I hope to visit JM again very soon. Magical place.

Regarding politicians, as part of my work I used to meet politicians a lot. I have one thing to say and this is not an exaggeration or a paraphrase, I mean it, seriously: Except of a few, they all are mentally ill. I repeat: I don't say it as a figure of speech: they genuinely have serious mental problems, each with his/her own flavor, let alone the terrible energy in their presence. I am not a psychiatrist but I believe what I've seen in most of them is some combination of paranoia and manic depression (with mega megalomania).

They govern the world and no wonder the world is full of conflicts especially in some centers known for their strong energy such as Jerusalem.

kalgo | Tue, 01/13/2009 - 17:52
mayasurfer's picture

different perspective

I spent 3 weeks in Jerusalem 2 years ago, staying at a hostel in the old city. It's probably the most brainwashed and superstitious and unenlightened place on earth. It's not only the politicians, it's those weird belief systems that create division and seperateness. It might look like harmony on the surface but it's really just a way of coping and surviving in a crowded place. Underneath there is no harmony, every group for themselves. Just have a look at the wailing wall (how much longer do they need to "wail"?) and then those same people go on building ever more settlements on palestinian territory because God gave that land to them.... to watch those hysteric Christians crawling around those stuffy old churches and the priests fighting amongst themselves over every bit of territory... meet those young israeli "soldiers", patrolling the narrow alleyways, young girls with guns almost as big as endless masses of nigerian and korean pilgrims in awe of the "holiness" of this city...the aggressive commercialism ...there is nothing "holy" about Jerusalem...all you see is how organised religion is the cause of most of the evil in this world, how those brainwashed fanatics who think their's is the only path to "God" are screwing up our world and themselves of course. And those idiotic christian missionaries from Alabama and Oklahoma, who tried to convert me, man, Jerusalem is a madhouse. A magic madhouse. But if you rather be amongst really beautiful, open minded people go to secular Tel Aviv.

mayasurfer | Wed, 01/14/2009 - 11:06
shond's picture

you say almost the same

I think he's talking about a deeper level than what you are talking about. What you describe is precisely the "above the surface" separatism and conflicts inflicted by the politicians and religions that he talks about.

I also felt that Jerusalem has a different dimension, I felt there a vibe of tremendous serenity and holiness despite the conflicts that were at their pick then (I was there during the Intifada).

shond | Wed, 01/14/2009 - 11:17