Jerusalem, if I forget you let my right hand forget what it’s supposed to do. This is a line from the song “Jerusalem” by Matisyahu. It was inspired by an actual psalm, If I ever forget you, Jerusalem, let my fingers wither and fall off like leaves.
Since 2004 Jerusalem has remained relatively quiet and peaceful. Until yesterday. Near the central bus station a bomb went off. One woman died, and 39 people were injured. May the woman, who was only 59 years old, rest in peace.
A Palestinian terrorist had placed a bag in the area, and then ran away. Inside the bag was the bomb that exploded. In Israel it is known to never leave a bag unattended or it will be detonated for security measures. Unfortunately yesterday this one was missed.
The Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat called the terrorist attack “cowardly.” While this was a big scare, one of the things I have learned since being here is that life goes on. In an article from the Jerusalem Post under the headline reads, “Bag explodes next to bus stop near Central Bus Station; blast shatters lengthy period of relative quiet; Barkat: Marathon to be run as planned.”
They thought about canceling the marathon but yesterday Benjamin Netanyahu announced that it will still run. So my life goes on as well, and tomorrow I will run my first ever competitive race. Jerusalem is having its first-ever full marathon (26 miles). With it there will be a half-marathon (13 miles), a 10k (6.4 miles; this is the one I’m running!), and a 4.2k (2.5 miles) race. I have been training this past month or so for it and I am so excited. Miriam and I are going to run together, we even have come up with a pre-run handshake.
I am really looking forward to taking part in this event for many reasons. One, people from all over the world are flying in for it. Two, it’s the first time Jerusalem is holding a marathon. Three, I think the spirit will be really high after yesterdays events. Four, I can’t wait to cross the finish line and pump my arms in the air. Five, I hope this is the first of many races I’ll be running in. Six, I’m sure there will be a six after I finish. Wish me luck!