Jerusalem’s street names constantly remind me that I am engulfed by the history of my people and my city. I’m fascinated by the names and seeing them shapes my day-to-day life here.
For example, I might meet a friend on Ben Yehuda – named after the man who reawakened the ancient Hebrew language, transforming it into a modern tongue.
And then we might walk on Agron – named after a mayor of Jerusalem and the founder of the Jerusalem Post (then with a different name).
Here is a day in my Jerusalem life, based on some of the typical street names I pass on a regular basis. Click on the pictures to see a slideshow with explanations about all the of the street names mentioned here:
Gershon Agron (1894-1959) – founder of the paper that became the Jerusalem Post, mayor of Jerusalem in 1955-1959
L.L. Zamenhof (1859-1917) – signed L.L., not A. as the municipality decided to call him, creator of Esperanto, the most successful constructed language
The Westerners – in honour of the North African immigrants who started the first neighbourhood in western Jerusalem
Queen Shlomtzion (Salome Alexandra) (141-67 BCE) – the only Jewish regnant queen, last woman ruler of Judea, brought prosperity to the kingdom
Mamilla – probably comes from the Arabic word that means “that which comes from God”
Mamilla is a beautiful street – can’t help but add a few more shots of it
Omar Ibn Al-Khattab (644-586) – considered the founder of the Muslim empire, reigned over Israel, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, conquered Jerusalem
King Solomon – King David’s son, a king, a poet
Yitzhak Kariv (1902-1999) – mayor of Jerusalem (1952-1955), was fired as mayor, a banker
Moses Hess (1812-1875) – a Jewish philosopher, socialist, a founder of Labor Zionism
This post is in reply to wp.com’s weekly photo challenge.
How exciting to wake up and find I don’t have Internet in my apartment. I had a list of arduous tasks, including ones connected to job searching and other such exciting things. But instead, I took it as a sign (and I don’t believe in signs). If I don’t have Internet, I have an excuse to do what I’ve been pushing off for around six months – go to the National Library of Israel and start dabbling in my latest dream – to write a book about the street names in Jerusalem.
I’m terrible at getting myself going because of my fear of failure but I called my sister Tsipora, told her to scream at me and tell me what to do, it worked, and I was on my way.
And here I finally am!
Surrounded by books about Jerusalem!
I need to go actually continue reading the books (and checking out the ones I ordered to the reading room upstairs) but I’ll just say one more thing.
Even the trip over here was inspiring. Every street announced on the bus’s speaker was the name of a person I know little to nothing about.
And this is not to mention that almost every street corner in the city is a “square” named after even more people. Just on the way here I saw:
Rechavat Yosef Chakshuri
Kiryat David Ben Gurion
Kiryat Edmond Y. Safra
And at the entrance to Givat Ram campus:
Who were these people? I’m so curious!
Who were all these people? Were they extremely influential in Israel’s modern history? What can I learn from them?
We all know that every dream begins with a first blog post. Here is mine and it’s my attempt to make my dream come true.