"Sing that it is 2000 years old, and renewed every day..." These are lyrics from the last verse of a Naomi Shemer song.
Those lyrics occurred to me as we sat is Teddy Park today. Teddy Park is a new park in Jerusalem built in memory of the long time mayor of the city, Teddy Kollek. In accordance with municipality laws, the park is done in Jerusalem stone. The facade of all buildings in the city also must be done that way.
In the park, there is a big, beautiful sundial. Around the circumference of the sundial is a quote from the book of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) that talks about the rising and setting of the sun. That sundial captures the city for me.
When we were getting ready to go, people would ask how long it has been since I have been to Israel. Without giving numbers, it had been way too long. Instantly, people would say "it has changed so much." I figured as much, but truly did not know what to expect.
We have not done splendidly in getting out of Jerusalem. This is fine. Jerusalem has changed. The plaza outside Jaffa Gate is now safe and delightful. The LRT is wonderfully functional and a delight to take around town. The area around Damascus Gate is bustling at all times of the day and night. The list goes on.
A trip to Jerusalem requires going to the outdoor market, Machane Yehuda. It too has changed. The fruit and vegetable stands are still there. Now there are small cafes and restaurants as well. It is a wonderfully bustling, loud place. The flavours, the smells, and the crowds are exactly as I remember them. The restaurants and cafes add a wonderful touch.
Some things also remain exactly as I remember. The basic layout of the city remains the same. The wide variety of shops sell merchandise that I remember. There are stores everywhere for jewelry and for religious material.
That new sundial with the scriptural quote encapsulates both the old and the new. Both are still quite evident in this city. It is still a city I love, for many of the same reasons, and for many new reasons. It is as old as time, and it is brand new every day.
Have a great day.