To mark Jerusalem Day, celebrated this year on May 10, 2021, Boyar High School graduate Eran Ohana shared his thoughts about the city of his birth.
By Eran Ohana, Graduate of Boyar High School
Jerusalem. Suddenly I thought about the fact that there are no other cities that have a day named after them. Tel Aviv has a slogan, “a beautiful, non-stop city”, the nickname ‘Capital of the Negev’ was tossed to Be’er Sheva, Holon has been branded as “The Children’s City” for years, but no other city has received or is likely to receive the preferential treatment accorded to Jerusalem by the Knesset, which enacted a law in its name and established a national holiday in her honor.
It is said of Jerusalem that one can hate it to the point of disgust or love it without end. There is no middle ground. I’m one of those who belong to the second group. I was born in Jerusalem, but I only fell in love with it for the first time at the age of 12. And from that moment on, more reasons and excuses were added for me to love her, and I continue to loving her.
For me, Jerusalem is Boyar High School, the University, the Old City, the Khan Theater, the Cinematheque, the Biblical Zoo, Ein Kerem Inn, Falafel Shevach, Flea Market Square, the Yellow Submarine, the Monster, 17 Haoman Street 17, Bus Line 18, Pizza Pushka, Rimon Cafe on the Ben Yehuda Pedistrtrian Walkway, the Eighth Note, Yehuda’s grocery store in Borochov, the secret smoking bench in Beit Vagan …
Jerusalem is the aromas of Angel Bakery, the flavors of Mahane Yehuda, mixed with the news at Sami Restaurant in the shuk (Zichrona Labracha), the deafening noise of the old Malcha Hall, the class of the new arena .. .
It’s playing football in the snow, breaking the Jerusalem record for schools in the in 4 × 100 relay, doing tiyulim (hikes) in Lifta on Shabbat more than 30 times, going to hookah and snooker on Tuesdays, the Underground on Fridays, walking around Nachlaot and feel like you are in a painting, distribute newspapers in Talpiot at four in the morning, interrupt Shlomo Artzi in the middle of a performance at Binyanei Huama Hall, flirting with tourists in Zion Square, doing security work at the psychiatric hospitals in Eitanim and Kfar Shaul, complaining about the high prices in Mamila Mall but always going back to buy there.
Jerusalem is a heartbeat every time you get on a bus, it is the special silence around Mount Herzl every Memorial Day, the feeling of holiness every time you step near the Western Wall, the goosebumps in joint ceremonies with friends from Germany at Yad Vashem. It is the pride of marching with the family on the Jerusalem Parade, the relief of getting through the traffic jam by Sakharov Gardens. It is like being in Thailand, New York or Rome and still thinking that there is no place as beautiful as Jerusalem. It is understanding that this city can not be complete without all those who are trying to break it apart.
Jerusalem is the knowledge that a large part of the things you experienced for the first time, happened in it. And maybe thanks to her. These are the indelible memories of her, even after you have been away from her for 20 years.
It is making peace with the fact that you will continue to love, even though she will never be what she once was for you.