Peculiarities of the National Pilgrimage

Old German men and women come to the Holy Land each November, warm their long bones at the edge of the Dead Sea, sigh with bravura over their lost youth right at the entrance to Yad Vashem, admire Jacques Offenbach at the Israeli Opera.

Old sentimental Austrian men and women come to the Holy Land in the middle of May, sip cloudy cappuccinos at Landwer Café, founded by Viennese refugees back in 1933, unveil their bulging veins on Bograshov Beach at noon, and buy cheap antiquities at the flea market in Old Jaffa.

Only tired old Russian men and women don’t come to the Holy Land in the fall or in the spring, they don’t drink bitter vodka at the Viking Restaurant on Ben Yehuda, they don’t listen to the new runaway poets at Babel Bookstore on Allenby Street, don’t shuffle their heavy feet over the pouty stones of the Old City,

because old Russian men and women have already died or haven’t yet been resurrected.

See the author’s Russian-language version

To the main page →