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Sunday, June 19, 2011

I am a Jerusalemite

 kotel ezrat nashim
I envy my two youngest  daughters one thing in their lives.
When they fill out any standard form, at  the question ‘birthplace’ – they can write -   Jerusalem.
That’s something I’ll never be able to say, even though I’m proud to be able to give Jerusalem as my address today. I am a Jerusalemite by choice – they are by birth.
shaar ha'ahspot and Mt Olives
However, not everyone feels constrained by reality  when stating their birthplace.

In 1966 Shmuel  Yosef ( Shai) Agnon was awarded the Nobel prize in Literature and  in his acceptance speech at the Nobel banquet he said:
"As a result of the historic catastrophe in which Titus of Rome destroyed Jerusalem and Israel was exiled from its land, I was born in one of the cities of the Exile. But always I regarded myself as one who was born in Jerusalem."

A copy of  ‘the sacking of Jerusalem’ on Titus’ Arch in Rome, on display at the Diaspora Museum.

I understand how he felt.
We named our first daughter who was born here, Shulamit which comes from the three letters  shin, lamed and mem  from the  name Yerushelayim, the Hebrew for Jerusalem.
ירושלים    שולמית

Since then we have been blessed with many grandchildren who will be able to fill in ‘Jerusalem’ when asked for their birthplace.
We pray that their number will increase  and that from now onwards we shall remain in our homeland, with Jerusalem it’s capital ,and that the streets will be filled with the happy sounds of Jewish children learning and playing.

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