April 19, 2019

The Hypertext of Jerusalem

“Hypertext: On the computer screen it’s a highlighted or underlined word, phrase or chunk of text that takes you beyond the linear – giving you instant access to definitions, enriching background and more. It takes you from layer to layer of new information.

Practically everything in Jerusalem could be written with hypertext. There’s barely a rock or street in this amazing city where I live without a back story. It you could walk around virtual-reality style with a cursor and click as you go, strata of stories would open. Here are just a few examples:

Take the Ottoman period house three houses away from our apartment or the Hotel Semiramis up the street, bombed in the War of Independence. And two houses further on, the pretty synagogue built by the Jews of Amadiya, a city 1,400 meters above sea level along a tributary of the Great Zab in Iraqi Kurdistan. The Shtiblach Synagogue next to that where minyanim are always gathering in prayer. It moved from the Old City when the Jewish Quarter was lost in 1948. And this isn’t a tourist area – just a middle-class, residential neighborhood called Old Katamon (also Gonen).”

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JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"After five years of war with the Islamic State, the biggest problem for the winners is coping with the losers. The aftermath has produced one of the world’s most perplexing postwar challenges..."

"What do we mean when we say that the “soul of the city” is under threat? Often, it’s really about politics, nostalgia, and the fear of community change."

"...the pendulum of history never stops moving. Indeed, one of the few constants of history is unceasing change. While we seem to be heading in one direction, we must remember that there will surely be pauses, turns, and reversals."

""Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé," premiered early Wednesday and it was the fulfillment of all the ancestors' hopes and dreams. Beyoncé also dropped "Homecoming: The Live Album.""

"Seven in 10 adults ages 18 to 34 received financial support from their parents in the last year, including more than half of those in their early 30s. Almost three in five millennials said they couldn’t afford their lifestyles without the support."

"Social media influencers have helped turn public lands into tourist-infested swamps. And one cantankerous man is fighting back."

"One particular myth that attached itself to Ledger was that his death was somehow a result of immersing himself in the character of the Joker."

"In 2018, for the second year in a row, American publishers released fewer translated titles: 609 books were published, down from 650 in 2017 and the industry high in 2016 of 666."

"Egg freezing had become so routine among my single peers that when I hit 35, I never thought twice. Here’s what I wish I had known."

"When it comes to Passover cuisine, most home cooks know to avoid wheat, oats, rye, and other forbidden ingredients. But what consumers might not realize is just how much cotton they eat during the holiday."

"A masked figure looms over your recumbent body, wielding power tools and sharp metal instruments, doing things to your mouth you cannot see."

"Passover is a holiday that commemorates the Jewish people escaping slavery in Egypt. It is often referred to as the “festival of freedom.” My Passover in prison was at a place called the Wallkill Correctional Facility..."