Tanya Hajek
Host of Niagara to Israel with Love Celebrations

Jerusalem, my beloved

Where the sun kisses the stones until they become alive.

I have a confession to make: when it comes to Jerusalem, I am a – stone-hugger. Seriously now. I’ve been a stone lover my entire life. Ever since I was 4 years old. But Jerusalem? It’s another story. That’s where a stone lover becomes a stone-hugger. You think I am kidding? Keep reading! 

It was a hot, early summer morning in the mid ’70s. I still vividly remember rough, rocky hills and mountain tops covered by the piles of shiny stones, surrounding our puffing train from both sides. Showered by the sparkling morning Sunrays of Dalmatia. Humongous pieces of heavy rocks mounting up so high above my tiny head, sneak-peaking through a half-open train window. They looked scary. Yet, exciting! POWERFUL!! I could feel my heartbeat going faster and faster with an expectation rising till the point I could hardly breathe. I was about to discover the greatest fascination of my little life. Just one more rail peace, couple more train puffs aaand – THERE-IT-WAS!! Emerging between those glorious rocky mountaintops, suddenly, almost like a lightning strike between my eyes – the Adriatic Sea!! In all it’s beauty. Prostrated before my BIG little eyes, basking in the brilliance of heavenly lights. This massive, wavy, glittery, endless horizon stole my little heart forever. The thrill and overwhelming joy swept over me like a wave crushes against heavy stones. I couldn’t stop screaming, yelling and jumping up and down. Oh, the stones and the sea!! I was MESMERIZED. Adding the palm trees and the enchanting aroma of salty water mixed with lavender, rosemary, Roses of Sharon, olives and grilled fish – made me feel like I just discovered another dimension of life. THIS is MY world!! That’s what I said. And it was pretty accurate. My grandpa was born and raised in Dalmatia and some of my ancestors come from Israel, Greece and Italy, my DNA test would show decades later. Did you know that blood speaks? (Genesis 4:10:  Hebrews 12:24) My hot Mediterranean blood recognized the place. It’s in my veins. It felt like home… 

41 years later it felt like deja vu all over again. This time – landing in Tel Aviv. Watching the shores of Yaffo through the plane window, splashed by the Mediterranean Sea almost at my hand reach, made me tremble. Every fibre of my being started shaking as we touched the ground. I took a longest, deep breath as we walked out. Kept it in my lungs for some time, allowing myself to realize the beauty of the moment. I was breathing Israeli air. For the first time in my life. The sweetest aroma I ever felt. The palm trees, the sea, buildings made of stones, nearness of salty water, Roses of Sharon breaking through stony paths and dangling from stony walls… everything around me was whispering loudly: this is home, this is home… Everything in me kept yelling silently – it is home…

Walking the streets of Jerusalem triggered a silent earthquake in the deepest parts of my being. This earthquake is still travelling through my veins and my soul feels the aftershocks. Rumbling my inner world. It’s like tectonic plates of my heart are being moved. They are repositioned in alignment with Abba’s heart for His beloved City. The City of David. No wonder that our hearts need to realign with God’s heart for His Holy City when this City was named by the man after God’s own heart. You can’t stand at David’s City gate without feeling the heart of David. Letting the golden strings of Heavenly harp tuning your own heart’s strings until it becomes a heart of gold. The heart of a passionate worshiper, fierce warrior, brave patriot, anointed prophet – the heart of the King. Broken, contrite and humble.

Yerushalaim, my beloved. Where the Sun kisses the stones, until – they become alive… yielding a way to sprouting roots of the most colourful flowers. Gazillion restless petals dancing a dance of life on the rocky podium of ages past. In the shadows of millennial olive trees, oozing the healing oil of joy and gladness.

Under reflections of Creator’s brilliant Glory, the stones of Jerusalem twinkle. You stop. AWESTRUCK, like a child staring for the first time through the sparkly microcosm of that crazy kaleidoscope, it got as a Birthday gift. Tapestry of emotions interweaving your hearts. You feel her heartbeat pulsating through the heat of these stones. The heart of the daughter of Zion. You hear her silent cry, the screams of terror, sounds of clashing armours cutting the night, swords and shields colliding in a midair, mother’s travail over baby’s last breath, armies and horses stumping on precious Jewish blood, fires burning and stones crumbling, her world falling apart…
Sudden QUIET.
You can hear Jerusalem breeze drying the tears off your cheeks. The agony of her soul started singing a tiny, little girl’s song. All you want is to give her a hug and comfort her like a mother comforts her child. That’s where the stone lover becomes – the stone hugger. Yerushalaim, my beloved…
Everything in this City speaks. Including the stones. You just need an ear to hear and eyes to see.
Call me a silly, romantic fool if you will, I am just not giving up on my sweet little memory keepers, like this precious Rose of Sharon. I picked her on the streets of Jerusalem almost 2 years ago… But the time is irrelevant when it comes to Jerusalem. The Times of Israel are ever present. That’s where the tears of yesterday flow into the hope of today, birthing the joy of tomorrow. Where long time dead dreams are suddenly resurrected, becoming visions fulfilled.
The seed of inspiration breaking the stones, tearing the ground underneath the heavyweight of history. The power of life, flourishing from within the Land pregnant with the PROMISE. Rising up from the fountain of life. The streams of living waters flowing through her streets, splashing the stones with kid’s laughter in the land of the living. I can feel my heart pounding in my throat. Captured forever by the walls of (g)old. In the City of the Great King.
When you see the Roses of Sharon on Jerusalem streets, slow down… breathe in that blooming desire. They are my silent longings to walk that path again
About the Author
Tanya Hajek is a writer, Real Estate Investor, Evangelical Zionist, Jewish-Christian Communities bridge builder. She organized and hosted the most extravagant celebration of Israel’s 70th in Canada (City/Government officials, Israeli Consul General & Economic Attaché present) with glorious 7-min fireworks for Israel’s 7 decades above Niagara Falls and illuminated the Falls in honour of Israel’s national flag for the 1st time in history. Born only 30 miles from historic Pranjani Airport where brave Serbian villagers rescued over 500 US Airmen during WWII; continuously living on borders (Serbian-Croatian; Slovak-Austrian and US-CAN), holding triple citizenship & speaking 4 languages, being a natural bridge-builder is who she is. As a grandchild of a Holocaust survivor, passion to see the nations of the world coming to the realization of the importance of favouring Zion is in her DNA. Tanya Hajek answers the call of raising up 21st Century Esther’s Army.
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