|Old City from Café Rimon, Mamilla|
|Judean wilderness, Arad|
And yet, this is not all there is. Many come to Jerusalem, and fail to explore further. This time, a long road trip took us down past Be'er Sheva through the mountainously inhospitable Judean wilderness, where the bedouin outnumber the rest, down past Masada, Herod's palace still majestically overlooking the Dead Sea, to Arad, a town without a traffic light where the hikers go, their litre of water per hour strapped to their backpacks, trails winding through perilously steep wadis.
My own focus had shifted. I came not to see and gawk, but to spend time with friends, teachers and students, which was, surprisingly, so much more rewarding. I spent time with the young men and women who had to sit under my tutelage, some more mutinously than others, and rediscovered their warmth and exuberance, tempered by a year of growth, and how deeply satisfying it felt to be with them and briefly share our lives once more. Colleagues were glad to see my return, wishing me well.
|What a difference a year makes...|
On the eve of Yom Yerushalayim, may we see it, in our day.