It says that 10 measurements of beauty descended upon the world, and Jerusalem got 9 of them.
I am walking holding my father’s hand on the streets of Jerusalem, on our way to visit my father’s friend, Israel’s greatest living poet, Yehuda Amichai.
At that time, Jerusalem was a divided city. The border ran in the midst of apartment houses, the barbwire rolling through streets and among back yards. Two countries at war separated by a street and a length of barbwire: Israel on one side, Jordan on the other.
The wire was high, but you could still see the Jordanian soldiers walking back and forth, holding guns, smoking cigarettes and shouting profundities at the women on the Israeli side.
The barbwire passes very close to Yehuda’s home, the external wall by the entrance leading to the stairway is dotted with bullet holes.
The studio where the poet writes is facing the Jordanian side. Its window is kept wide open, even though he could easily get shot by a Jordanian sniper.
Beyond the soldiers, Yehuda’s window is facing the old city. He was born in Jerusalem; to him the city is one. He doesn’t recognize the borders; to him it’s all about the pain, the sorrow, the death, the beauty, the words -- the region.
And so his window is kept open for the muse to dawn.