The fourteenth of 19 brief meditations on the 19 blessings of the Amidah.
Return in mercy to Jerusalem your city, and dwell in it as you have promised. Rebuild it soon in our day as an eternal structure, and quickly set up in it the throne of David. Blessed are you, Eternal, who rebuilds Jerusalem.
Jerusalem of warm stone, shining from the feet of pilgrims and tourists and residents, walking, running, working. Jerusalem of garbage and beggars' hands, asking of us justice and assistance. Jerusalem of fresh hummus, an Arab spice market, churches and mosques. Jerusalem of grilled meat, bus exhaust, garrulous taxi drivers, know-it-all tour guides, charismatics, judges, visionaries and weirdos--and just a whole lot of dead people. Jerusalem of really good wine. Lots and lots of eggplant. And the sun. And moon.
Jerusalem of universe-creating love and earth-shattering hatred. Jerusalem of language, of song, of poetry, of music, of art. Jerusalem of theater and symphony. Jerusalem of corruption and hypocrisy. Jerusalem of jasmine, of rosemary, of birds. Jerusalem of stone walls and walls of books. Hills. Pine.
Jerusalem of new loves and ancient memories. Jerusalem of embrace and Jerusalem of threat. Jerusalem at sunset, quieted by diminishing light and noise, in the painful heat of the day, in the torrential wind and rain of winter, in the glory of autumn, in the blessing of spring, in tortured dreams in the middle of the night and in the ease of dawn, the steady brightening of forever waking to possibility, to wholeness, to peace.
And warm stone. Warm hearts. Warm hands. Warm souls.