Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hugging Jerusalem

Monday afternoon thousands of people were expected to gather in a love hug of Jerusalem. It was a touchy-feely thingy and those who like angry, political demonstrations stayed away. Unfortunately, I don't think it was several thousand people who showed up - it seemed like several hundred - but we still evoked stares and curiosity from passers-by.

I walked from work towards Jaffa Gate, the closest part of the old city to my work. On the way I saw two smiling hippies and I asked them where people were for the big hug. The big blonde handsome lug, took my hand and walked with me to Jaffa Gate to look for "other hippies". I stood in front of some ruins - to the right of Jaffa Gate - it looked like a much older part of the city wall in front of the more modern Ottoman-built wall and waited. In time, a big group of people came by to hug the walls of the old city and it seems that they were part of James Twyman's group from the States. It was funny bumping into James Twyman here of all places. He gave me his latest CD of his - God Has No Religion - which sounds like a good conversation piece.

Pretty soon he had his group breathing in and breathing out chanting the one of the names of God (I Am That) over and over again while we all held hands. He prayed with us for the peace of Jerusalem and for a while it seemed as if the prayers were reaching the place they were supposed to reach.

After we all went over to hug the wall. Now it seems that people who hug walls belong in a funny farm - but you know what? It actually felt good. I put my head against the wall and the ancient stones felt warm and wonderful against my face. And then I realized that if you hug the walls of Jerusalem, the walls will hug you back.


Lisa Clayton said...

We are publishing an interview with Eliyahu McLean and Sheikh Bukhari and a story about the 'Big Hug' in our upcoming publication. I would love to publish your two images of the hug with the article. We pay $40.00 US dollars for photographs. Would you provide permission? if yes, do you have a high resolution photograph available? If interested, please contact me.

jerusalemgypsy said...

Lisa - yes that would be great - but email me so that I can reply in person.

yifat said...


I'm Yifat, working with Dvora at the Jerusalem Hug preperations.

We need photos to send the press (including abroud press) for promoting the caming Hug.

Is it o.k. to use your hugging photo (The first at this page) from the last year Hug. Ofcaurse your name will apear next to it
(Pls write your name).

Do you have some more photos from the Hug? If yes and it's o.k. with you, Can you send some to my e-mail?

Many Thanks,
Yifat Haor.

יפעת said...

Hey, Love!
Your photo wants to go places.
We would like to use it for the press as a senter photo.
Please, sent me contact number ASAP.
Joseph Gubay.