A most enjoyable evening begins after my 6:30 p.m. appointment with the dentist. I feel I deserve a reward after agonizing in the dentist’s chair, trust me I am so thankful for my emergency dentist bronx, but I have never been a fan of visiting a dentist’s office, so I arrange to meet my friend Ragna, to celebrate her birthday with a cup of tea. Anyway, it has been ages since I’ve been to the midrahov, the pedestrian mall on Ben Yehudah Street in downtown Jerusalem, with its outdoor cafes and restaurants.
We start by walking over to where the earring, wooden watches and jewelry vendors have set up their stands to display all sorts of ethnic and indigenous jewelry, including original creations of their own. Some of the vendors look pretty original themselves, and their unpolished approach to the customers is refreshing, as is the whole atmosphere there.
Ragna and I continue up Solomon Street, which connects with Ben Yehudah Street at Zion Square. As we walk along, mingling with immigrants and tourists from all over the world, we are reminded of the microcosmic marvel that is Israel. They call this two-block-long area “Jerusalem’s Living Room.”
We find a place to sit and order tea. Now you must realize that when sitting at the outdoor tables of the midrahov, a person is entitled to stare at everyone who passes by. And some people pass by many times an evening, to notice and be noticed. Here is another area of creativity—a real parade, and most entertaining. The parade includes old beggars, who gain much profit by their ability to get you to laugh or feel sorry for them. We imagine the people of Jesus’ time, and we speculate about the differences between the people of his day and those parading before us. We decide that the only real difference is in the style of dress—the same problems and needs that existed then still exist today.
Oh, how quickly the time has passed! We get up from the table at 10:30, realizing that the public buses stop running at midnight. What a pity we have to leave the thousands of people still sitting drinking coffee and enjoying life. The Russian immigrant artists are still drawing portraits and a couple of long-haired young men are playing their guitars. Perhaps, on your next trip to Israel, you will have the opportunity to have a cup of tea on the midrahov, and buy a pair of earrings from the sidewalk vendors.
Next week I have another 6:30 p.m. appointment with the dentist. Hmmm!