Jerusalem in the sky with(out) diamonds
peggy cidor
Do you all remember the legend of the two Jerusalems - the heavenly and the earthly? (As if one were not enough...) Well, dear readers, it seems as though we can now exist in both Jerusalems at the same time - or almost, anyway. Follow me to Kikar Safra, where the municipality and the Ariel auxiliary company have joined efforts - and budgets - to create the largest starry succa in the world. True, some of the accessories in this celestial succa do have a distinctly earthly origin, such as the light bulbs, which were brought in directly from Paris, where they usually serve the famous Champs Elysees. But, then, Paris isn't bad as an optional station on the way to knocking on heaven's door. So for one week at least, we citizens of Jerusalem and our guests can, for the modest price of a bus ticket, live to see our dreams come true. Despite everything else, despite the gossip and the snubs, we are, no matter what they say in Tel Aviv, a heavenly city. We breathe clear mountain air, we play among the stars, and we walk on the clouds. So please, pay no attention to all those mean-spirited people who, at this moment of rapture, would choose to remind you of the dirt in the streets, municipal taxes, or any other such earthly concerns. True, we live here on earth, but our head - or at least the heads of our local leaders - is in heaven. OK, not exactly in heaven, but they are on the sixth floor, where they can try to catch the stars and put them in a succa. And now another story to remember - about the only Jewish family living in a town in North America. They built a succa - without a permit - on their balcony and their non-Jewish neighbors complained to the municipality. The inspector came immediately (the story is taking place in America, remember?) and told the Jewish family: "You have eight days to take this down." Well, our own inspectors are efficient, too, and within eight days, the starry succa of Kikar Safra won't be there, either. And we will all fall down, out of the stars and back to reality. Ouch! As we draw to a close, lest you accuse me, dear readers, of looking only at the dark side of the city, let me tell you about some very cheerful news coming from - yes, that's correct - Kikar Safra. You may have heard that recently, some of the municipality's inspectors were threatened while they were on the job, especially some of the parking inspectors. As a result of those threats, the inspectors were provided with tear gas canisters, but this was not enough to alleviate the concern of their high-ranking supervisors on the 5th floor, who looked for something more promising. Someone who recently toured the streets of New York returned with a brilliant idea: from now on, the supervisors will chase after the criminals in the streets mounted on their trusted segways (leg-powered scooters, known in Hebrew as "korkinet"). Right after Succot, the first five segways will arrive in Kikar Safra. Officials are hopeful that the experiment will be a success - and that no inspectors will be hurt and that no tourists will get confused, thinking that Jaffa Road is Broadway. Oh yes, and one more thing: just in case some of you are thinking of joining the ranks, mounting your segway and scooting down Jerusalem's traffic-congested thoroughfares, hold on to your cars, bicycles and legs. Segway speed within city limits is limited to 13 km. per hour, even though the segway can reach zooming speeds of about 20 km. per hour.
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