Mizmor L’Dovid – David’s Psalms open gates to Jerusalem
During my last stay in Jerusalem, I walked, as I usually do, along my own beaten paths in search for the signs of the changing everyday reality of the city.
I stopped at the edge of the Valley of Josaphat and sat down in front of the Gate of Mercy. I thought about my friend who unexpectedly found himself on the life’s edge, a sharp and short ridge dividing light from darkness. And then Psalm 6 came to my mind: this is one of the Penitential Psalms. With an intention to find some hep for him – I recorded it against the background of the Shaar HaRachamim/the Gate of Mercy.
A long time ago when the Jews were not allowed to live inside the city gates, they would come up to the Gate, believing that then they were standing the closest possible to Kodesh HaKodashim /the Holy of Holies. I used to read this Psalm in diverse circumstances. I know it by heart. Yet, for the first time then, it sounded different. As in an unknown future, the Gate of Mercy, now the Gate of Time, opened up before me and I, not as much heard as I felt each of the words.
It was not me that recited the Psalms, it was the Psalms that spoke with the words of the feelings hidden inside me: anxiety, doubt, despair, love, confidence, and finally, remembrance.
I was standing in Jerusalem, in the center of Israel’s identity, where the past time cannot be separated from the present one. The Psalms spoke to me and through me from each place.
I know that a few of these Psalms are just the beginning of my longer story about what Jerusalem is and what it used to be. When the story is ready, I will share it with you.
top photo: Nikodem Nijaki, Wikimedia Commons
editing and subtitles: Tal Dahari