Getting stone(d) in Israel:
Israel is a big ass stone and so are the Israelis.
Stone is a big theme in Israel. If you explore the entire country you see stone everywhere. The buildings are made of Jerusalem stone. It is a natural resource here. It is easily quarried because it chisels without much effort, yet when exposed to the atmosphere it hardens; it becomes stronger and more durable. The stone has many names, varieties and colors.
When the sun hits this rock, it looks a bit like gold, hence the term- “Jerusalem of gold.”
Even the new buildings here in the Municipality of Jerusalem are required by law to have a façade of Jerusalem stone.
Aesthetically I love the look of this stone, both rough and smooth- it is stunning to me. I am surrounded by this stone everywhere I go and I want Israelis to understand something about the streets they walk on and the buildings they inhabit.
אבן is Hebrew for stone and is a constant reminder to a living testament of our people.
When you visit our ancient ancestral sites, you can see how the Jerusalem stone has remained intact. Machpelah survived (Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs), as did the Temple Mount and the Kotel.
Machpelah is an imposing first century, Herodian, Judean structure. It is still flawless with its six-foot thick walls.
The people of Israel are stoic, they are rock solid, and they are like an unbreakable ossified rock carved from the earth. Israelis are stone. Nothing breaks them, nothing penetrates them. You cannot make a hunched over 90-year-old grandma shed a tear. She is as solid as the IDF soldier or the political MK.
I gain strength from this stone every day. When I feel doubt or begin to fret. I look at the floor beneath my feet, the walls and the streets. I tell my self, אני בןא- אנחנו אבן
We are stone. I am stone.
When I read my newsfeed filled with articles on BDS, anti-Semitism or the latest hate group with 200,000 members on Facebook dedicated to our demise- I say those words to myself- Anachnu evan, Ani evan.
We are a people of stone. Remember that Israelim.
Lastly, our most ancient textbook describes the truth of our people:
“…Behold I’ve laid (out) a foundation in Zion of rock; a firm rock, a precious cornerstone, firmly founded, the believer will not behold it imminently.”
(The above translation is the most authentic to the original Hebrew, thanks to a colleague and friend of mine for sharing it with me- you know who you are.)
Another translation reads:
“YOU SEE, I LAY IN ZION- A FOUNDATION, A STONE. A TRIED STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER STONE. HE THAT BELIEVETH SHALL NOT MAKE HASTE.”
(Other versions say: “…will not be disturbed or give way to sudden panic.” Another version says” “…will not be ashamed” or “…rush here and there.”)
Stand your ground Israel. We are not going anywhere. Ever. Anachu evan.