By Adam LeBor
The millennia-old port of Jaffa, now a part of Tel Aviv, was often called the "Bride of Palestine," one of many really cosmopolitan towns of the Mediterranean. There Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived, labored, and celebrated together—and it used to be regular for the Arabs of Jaffa to wait a marriage on the residence of the Jewish Chelouche kinfolk or for Jews and Arabs to either assemble on the Jewish spice store Tiv and the Arab Khamis Abulafia's twenty-four-hour bakery. via intimate own interviews and generations-old memoirs, letters, and diaries, Adam LeBor supplies us an important examine the human lives in the back of the headlines—and a bright narrative of cataclysmic change.
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Extra resources for City of Oranges: An Intimate History of Arabs and Jews in Jaffa
The blessings. " False blessing! We have all left our homes. Will we ever return? Other memories jostle, push, come to mind. A walk in the mountains with her husband. Rachel remembered the serenity of that day. Not a word was exchanged. Yet she was more aware of the presence of her husband than ever before or ever since. The birth of the children. The noise and excitement in the house. Parents, cousins, visitors with radiant faces. And the unknown poor man with the same blessing: "What do I wish you?
No one moved. Shots. Violent explosions. "I am wounded," someone cried. "I am blind," answered someone else. " shouted Milou the Fool. The bunker was shaken by a new explosion and Sarah felt herself penetrated by a shattering light which made her lose consciousness. Is it a madman? The Messiah? Sarah felt someone sharing her solitude, but she lacked the strength. She felt the ghetto weighing down on her. It was the dead who shared her solitute; the ghetto was their communal cemetery. Vayehi erev, vayehi voker.
They became friends. "What did you do . . " "Really? Then heaven must have sent you to me. " "For my children. For their mother. For my friends. For my illusions. " His friend made him recite Kaddish not once but ten times. It was not the Kaddish we know. We do not know, I fear that we will never know, the Kaddish that two Jews recited in those days in an abandoned cemetery. Sometimes, I even wonder if it was not Kiddush which they recited. Not the Kiddush we say on Friday nights here and throughout the living communities of Israel when we sanctify the wine and bless the Sabbath, but another, different Kiddush: "Vayehi erev, vayehi voker—and it was evening and it was morning, Lord.