Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Eternal Capital

The flags. They are the first thing I notice as I look toward the stage at the bottom of the Amphitheater. White and blue, in the seats, and on the dance area. I feel drawn to the flags, almost mesmerized. I feel connected to these flags, in a way I could never connect to the red white and blue. This is my land, I think. My country.

The music starts. We are celebrating Yom Yerushalayim , the day Jerusalem was reunified, with a concert. It has been 44 years since the unification of Jerusalem. It was paid for with the blood of Israeli soldiers, taking it back from Jordan, who grabbed control of the old city in 1948.

I am at the concert with my middlest. He has a smooth, pure voice, and has performed at Yom Yerushalayim, but tonight we are celebrants, not performers. I wonder what he thinks as we watch the concert. Is he thinking about future concerts that he will sing in, or watching the band leader to see how he runs his show? I will ask my middlest later, I tell myself, but for now we'll just enjoy the concert.

"אם אשכחך יךושלים" he sings. If I forget you, Jerusalem, "תשכך ימינית" - cut off my right arm. The song seems more powerful this year. With so much talk about a Palestinian country in the '67 borders, about dividing Jerusalem, this song sends us a reminder.

Netanyahu had it right last week in Congress. We do not occupy Jerusalem, just as we don't occupy Judea and Samaria. Its our country, our eternal capital. And we won't give it up. It is worth fighting for, worth international condemnation, worth the price of blood that was extracted from us in 1967, and in every attack including the bombing at the bus stop a few weeks ago.

The concert continues, and my middlest leaves our seats and walks to the amphitheater floor. A few minutes later, he has a flag in his hand. All around him people are dancing, but he is only watching.

What does he see, I wonder. The pose is familiar. It reminds me of me standing at third base, coaching my team. Arms crossed, legs apart. If only I was 25 years younger, 200 pounds lighter, and looked like Veev's family, we would be identical.

The concert ends and we walk back to the car. I want to ask him what he sees when he watches the concert, but I decide not to ask right now. I reflect on what I have seen. The flags, the connection to the land, and the detemination to continue to fight for Jerusalem as our eternal capital.