Old City Walk (Jerusalem)

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All the elements that compose an Old City walk in Jerusalem are tightly packed in together. So much of the mix remains explosive. I’m unable to think this place without just a little Deleuze. A hyper-stratified place. I find it difficult to move between its parts without the sense of friction and conflict. In this small version of Kafka’s China, it’s a place from which no message or messenger can ever make its way out. In theory, the compressed little world of the old city, caught between the Ottoman walls, is framed by the open, smooth space of the Temple Mount-Noble Sanctuary. Designed by King Herod, the large plateau hangs spiritually above the street level, just under the sky. In practice, however, its space too is hedged in place by restrictions, which makes it difficult to move, sometimes for non-Muslims, and sometimes for Muslims. Nothing about Jerusalem is easy or equal. It doesn’t have to be this way.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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