The Old Man in the Old City

Last night, I went to the old city of Jerusalem. It’s breathtaking, I get shivers every time I go, it just never gets old (figuratively).
What was special about last night was that I also did a tour of the Kotel tunnels (Kotel = Western Wall). The Kotel that we actually see above the ground is only a small portion of the whole thing. This wall was built around Mount Moriah to make this mountainous area of Jerusalem more flat so that the Temple could be built on it. When the Romans came, they destroyed the second Temple and much of the upper parts of the wall. Years later, different people came and built cities and villages around the wall so that much of it was finally hidden underground. So during this tunnel tour, we got to see the rest of the Kotel and even the bedrock it was built on. We walked on an actual ancient street that was paved near the Kotel which was used by the people of Israel when they entered the city during the three yearly pilgrimages to the holy city. We stood next to a wall that is only 90 meters away from where the Holy of the Holies was once, an area which only the high priests could go to.
The tour guide also told us a story of an old man who is currently working in the Kotel tunnels and cleans them. Years ago, he came to the head of the personel of the Kotel and repeatedly asked him for a job, any job at all, until he finally got this job of cleaning the Kotel tunnels. Once, somebody saw him cleaning the tunnels and asked him why he was doing that instead of being at home with his grandchildren. The old man replied that he is a Holocaust survivor and that when he was in one of the concentration camps, a German officer told him “You Jews always talk about going to Jerusalem, but the only way you will ever get out of here is through this” and pointed at the chimenies. The old man survived the war, and the simple fact of being in the Kotel, even if it’s to clean it, is a great honor and opportunity for him. It was an incredibly moving and intense part of the tour, many people cried actually.
So this week’s issue of Billboard is out and I’m listed as the television editor. That’s some serious shit! Working my way up the journalistic ladder is actually bearing fruit. By the way, I posted some new pics of me in Jerusalem and stuff… I’ll post some more soon.
But for now, I’m exhausted. Nap time! Happy Canada Day!
Peace, love, and 500 ton bricks.
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