A spirited encounter

A special weekend at the Prima Royale Hotel provided a blend of magic and mystery.

nahlaot nachlaot 224 (photo credit: Shmuel Bar-Am)
nahlaot nachlaot 224
(photo credit: Shmuel Bar-Am)
It's easy to fall in love with Jerusalem. The lanes, the stones that have borne witness to long-past love stories, the clear air and gentle breezes - they all combine to create the perfect backdrop for romance. Add to this author Dorit Silberman, whose books and writings deal with seemingly impossible and improbable loves and tell of her dealings with spirits - and her husband, detective and writer Michel Hadad - and you have the perfect cast. Silberman - aside from having a PhD in literature, leading writing workshops and being a lecturer, lawyer and respected author - claims to have met and communicated with spirits of the departed, whom she has revived in her books. At a recent workshop, Silberman taught us tactics for exorcising the demons within us, which we are not prepared to accept, while speaking to them at eye level. The challenge was easier in her charming presence. Mika Shuruk discovered this winning formula. She gathered a group of topnotch people who were able to provide a thought-provoking weekend at the Prima Royale Hotel in Jerusalem's Talpiot neighborhood. Shuruk can produce concept weekends with the foremost talents in the field - the weekend might be devoted to gastronomy, music appreciation, etc. - all within the framework of a pleasant stay at one of the Prima hotels in the country. The Jerusalem weekend was filled with the mysterious. Oded Amitai, a former journalist who for many years has led tours of Jerusalem and Jaffa, deftly led us among the colorful houses of the Nahlaot neighborhood, while recounting some of the fascinating loves stories connected to its homes and streets. He showed us the house where he was born, with its metal cladding, and told us about his mother, the beautiful Rachel née Kramer, and her desperate love for an Irgun soldier, Meir Feinstein, who tragically was murdered by his own countrymen while incarcerated in a British prison. It was surprising to discover that within a few hours the city took on a deeper color, with even the trees bearing a historical burden, such as the tree where Zalman Shazar - Israel's third president - stood when he told the poetess Rachel that he could not leave his wife and children for her. Her disappointment may well have made her vulnerable to the tuberculosis to which she succumbed several months later. Indefatigable businesswoman Galia Albin allowed herself to take a break and spend the weekend in Jerusalem, sampling the delights of the city while expressing her support for the Jewish Agency and its newly elected chairman, Natan Sharansky. The spirit of Jerusalem added ballast to her patriotic fighting spirit. The weekend was filled with encounters, experiences and stormy debates on the nature of love and ways to make it work for you [or how to fulfill it]. And the hotel staff was welcoming and helpful throughout. The writer was a guest of the Prima Royale Hotel