Nechemia Eleven: Jerusalem

“And the people blessed all the persons who volunteered to dwell in Jerusalem (Nehemia 11:2).” This sentence made me laugh a bit, honestly. I’m a formerly reluctant former Jerusalem resident. I believe I’ve written about my complex and ever-changing feelings about Jerusalem earlier on the blog, but when I first moved there years ago, I was not pleased about the situation. I wanted to live in beach-front, laid back Tel Aviv, which felt a lot better suited to how I wanted to lead my life than stony, pressure-cooker Jerusalem. I felt like I deserved blessings for agreeing to live in Jerusalem, a city that shut down every weekend, where I had to plan my outfits based on which neighborhoods I’d anticipate passing through on a daily basis, and where on some levels, all situations felt heightened. But somehow, eventually a shift happened, without me even realizing it, and Jerusalem became my home, the city of my peace. I fell deeply in love with it, and now it’s my turn to bless everyone who volunteers and gets to live there today.

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