The Old and the New

Finding my way around Jerusalem is an exercise in feeling lost and familiar at the same time.  So much has changed since I lived here last, some 15 years ago.  I’ve been back to Israel a few times since then, but never for more than a quick trip.  Now, I am back to exploring the intricacies of this city that is so close to my heart.  I love getting lost and then centered again along the crooked streets, navigating the aisles of the grocery store, and reviving my Hebrew with the many Israelis I encounter each day.  But I am also finding so many new and changed things: the city’s new light rail, the revamped and very hip shuk, and just the broader influence of technology on various aspects of daily life.

This visit is also new for me because now I am here with my children.  I will not be chronicling their personal adventures on this blog, but will just briefly mention that their entrance into school has gone relatively smoothly.

As we were walking home from school yesterday, we noticed that up and down the sidewalk on Emek Refaim, there were a number of mosaic squares along the way.  They each depict an ancient Jewish coin from the Roman period.


I think that these tiles are a perfect representation of my first days reacclimatizing with Jerusalem, and perhaps are a great metaphor for the city itself.

If you look closely, you will see that it is a wonderful synthesis of the ancient and the modern.  A 2000 year old coin, claimed by the modern inhabitants of this land.  It brings us deep into our history and at the same time allows for a very modern exploration of its significance with the QR scan code in the bottom left corner.  It felt so wonderfully timeless to learn more about this ancient coin through the lens of my iPhone camera!

If you would like to read the information from the associated link, you can find it here: 




  1. davidcoblin · January 7, 2016

    We are thrilled you’re doing this; it’s the next best thing to being there! David and Judy

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Larry Bloom · January 7, 2016

    Yes, its so nice to learn about the real Jerusalem more so than the tragedies we read about in the news. Miss you already at shul but very happy for you and your family that you are making this sabbatical. Larry and Jill.

    Liked by 1 person

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