Text and photographs by Julia Schiller
While peculiar personalities inhabit every city in the world, Jerusalem seems to have a unique reputation for attracting eccentric individuals.
J. came to Jerusalem a decade ago from the United States and has never left. Living in the forest surrounding the city, he has built a carefully constructed, camouflaged hut. Protected by several tarps and layers of branches, the hut also includes a makeshift latrine, a space to store food and a small sleeping area made out of sticks and leaves.
Claiming to have left a successful chiropractor practice, J. currently prefers to concentrate on alternative medicine that focuses on Apitherapy; the medicinal use of bee stings and products.
HE TREATS people for free on the street, often to the curiosity and shock of onlookers. Indifferent to materialism, he never begs for money and subsides mainly on produce in the market that would generally be thrown out. Avoiding all toxins, J. abstains from alcohol, tobacco, processed foods and obsessively steers clear of main roads to prevent exposure to traffic pollution.
Large parts of his days are dedicated to meditating and writing bizarre combinations of biblical verse, poetry and prophecy in strangely flawless penmanship. Although this kind of alternative existence is extreme, J. seems content with his detachment from mainstream society.