I’ve lived in Jerusalem my entire adult life. We live in the German Colony, which is just a few minutes’ walk from most of the hotels and a 20-minute walk from Jaffa Gate. For a city of 800,000, Jerusalem can feel like a little village. For our kids, its a couple of minutes to school or work or Scouts (where my son Etai spends most waking hours). There are days when we don’t use the car at all. If my clients are up to it, and the weather and the schedule cooperate, I almost always prefer to walk. And that goes for Tel Aviv, too. There’s no better way to get to know a city.
Jerusalem is a fascinating place to live, with a lot of different worlds adjoining one another in a space/time continuum that is unique to the city. I marvel over the fact that you can so easily hop from one dimension to another. It is also a study in coexistence. I’ve learned that there are big nasty words that frighten some people, words like Peace or Belief in a Single God, but if you can avoid use of these threatening concepts, then we are doing a pretty good job of getting along and living and let live. It isn’t perfect, for sure. But to have such a diverse group of people living at peace (peace in lower case, of course) in one potentially explosive powderkeg is remarkable. It doesn’t make the headlines; the other, more incendiary stories and sound-bites do, so that’s why I try not to read them.
Physically, Jerusalem is gorgeous, with views of mountains and distant horizons at every turn. The walls and buildings are faced with Jerusalem stone. There are lots of steps and stones and uphills (somehow, never a downhill) so it can take some conditioning, or some taxis, to get through a hot summer day. We’re right on the border with the Judean Desert, and at the top of the Judean Hills. Summer evenings can be cool (sweatshirt or light jacket) even if it was 35 degrees (95 Fahrenheit) at midday. But it isn’t very humid, which is often the case in Tel Aviv and the coast.