Haredim admire the view of the Old City 390.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
As a central New Jersey native, some of the brightest memories from my childhood
winters include majestic white stuff the likes of which coated the streets of
Jerusalem on Friday.
Like in January 1996, when schools closed for a
week, and my brother and I tunneled throughout the six-foot-high piles of snow
that the plows had created on the sides of the streets. Or the New Year’s Day –
it may have been the same year – when family friends came over, and we slapped
together a veritable igloo-fortress out of snow and branches in our front
As my Sabra friends awaited with bated breath Friday morning’s
precipitation – my boyfriend woke up at 6 and ran to the window to monitor the
storm’s progress – I poked fun at their excitement.
When my boyfriend’s
brother called him at 9 a.m. to tell him that their father was waiting outside
at the Beit Hakerem Light Rail Station, after driving in from Rehovot to see the
snow, we rushed to get ready to join them.
“This must be nothing to you,”
my boyfriend’s father told me, as we boarded the Jerusalem Light Rail to head to
the Old City, and huge snowflakes wafted past the windows.
it was something special.
The city, did, in fact, look magical, and it
was amazing to take in a “first” experience that I had experienced so many times
before, through the eyes of my boyfriend and his family.
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tapered off rather quickly, and by the time we arrived in the Old City, most of
the stone alleyways were watery messes, but from the top of the Austrian
Hospice, tourists and Israelis alike were photographing the city’s snow-capped
roofs. And just outside Jaffa Gate, my boyfriend was happy to pelt his dad with
a snowball he assembled from the grass.
While the rest of the day was
mostly rainy, around 11:30 p.m., the flakes returned. This time we took his
sister and her boyfriend – both also visiting Jerusalem – for their first snowy
foray. Walking around Herzl Avenue, where snow had once again begun to
accumulate, we snuck up on each other with snowballs, danced around amid the
falling flakes and had the kind of fun I had all but forgotten – and certainly
taken for granted – from the heights of my New Jersey, fort-building days.
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