Whenever I walk through Jerusalem's Old City to the Kotel, Western Wall, my eyes are drawn to this "sports field," of sorts.
I wonder when it was set up. If we had made the decision to live in the Old City, where we started our life in Israel, would our kids have been able to play there?
We made aliyah in 1970. Our boat docked on September 5th of that year. We lived in the Maon Betar on the corner of Rechov Hayehudim and Rechov Plugat Hakotel. Now the building is being used by "Netiv Aryeh."
There was no "Rova Yehudi," Jewish Quarter then. There were a few, barely a handful of Jewish institutions, primarily Yeshivat Hakotel, Nachal Moriah and the Betar House when we moved in. There were also just a couple of dozen, at most, Jewish families living there.
|In the Moriah Book and Judaica Store, which was the first to open in the Old City after its liberation in 1967.|
There were no proper sidewalks, as the paths were being dug up to make way for modern infrastructure. Even though we were interested in staying, the logistics of bringing up a young family there were just too daunting for us. Remember that we were a very young, inexperienced couple with no family and few friends at the time. And in all honesty, there weren't yet many (if any) easy to purchase housing options there.
So, we bought an apartment in the Bayit Vegan neighborhood. And that's where we moved when our eldest was born that following summer. We literally went straight from the maternity ward to our apartment, even a day after the hospital had wanted to release us. I told them that I had no place, yet, to go and needed just one more day.
Every decision, large or small, creates a different reality.