Glimpses of Israel - Streets of Jerusalem

by Joseph Hunting

Streets are normally arteries along which we rush hoping to get from A to B in the shortest possible time. And in some respects the streets of modern Jerusalem are much the same.

But once you enter the Old City the streets of Jerusalem take on a totally different character. Immediately your pace is reduced to a slow walk, which hasn't altered for at least four thousand years. The contrast between the streets of modern and old Jerusalem is like immediately putting back the clock at least a hundred years.

There seems to be no point in hurrying from A to B along the narrow pathways lined with every conceivable type of merchandise and aromas that tempt you to sample unfamiliar tidbits or the more usual felafel.

Also in the Old City, after the shocking desecration of the Jordanians era, the Jewish Quarter has been restored with attractively paved plazas and equally attractive architecture. This again is in marked contrast to the Cardo, a restored Roman commercial street and a wall dating back to King Hezekiah's day.

One's thoughts and emotions can run riot here. Nowhere in the world has so much history been compressed into such a small area. It was here Abraham dined with Melchizedek, and it was here he offered Isaac. Later it became the City of David and still has the highest honour bestowed upon any earthly city, being called "The City of the Great King", even by the Eternal Himself.

Yet, the streets of Jerusalem have been drenched with blood more times than any other city on earth. What a paradox when this Jerusalem is "the city of peace" beloved of Jews, Christians and Muslims.

"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper that love thee." (Psalm 122:6).