|"Map of Jerusalem" 1581 Heinrich Bunting|
This week marked the 44th anniversary of the re-unification of Jerusalem. For locals, it is not unusual to have a sense that Jerusalem seems like the center of the world. This 1581 map by Heinrich Bunting proves that our times were not the only ones to sense this. For better or worse, with all of the attention Jerusalem gets in the international press and in the halls of the United Nations, it seems that the world still agrees with this assessment.
This past week, during which thousands converged on the Old City in celebration of Jerusalem Day, I didn’t have to go far to discover this. It is a storefront for the Hasidic sect of Breslov Hasidim where they took an Israeli flag and wrote on it their mantra, “Nah, nach, …”, with a happy face in the center of the Star of David. Anyone in Israel recognizes their ubiquitous slogan which appears on all manner of public buildings, bumper stickers and so forth.
|"Jerusalem Day 2011" Jewish Quarter, Heddy Abramowitz|
This concrete combining of religious and state symbols, brought to my mind odd hybrids. This could be the street art embodiment of the “strange bedfellows” of party politics. You can’t make this stuff up.