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Today, Jerusalem danced with a red balloon

The Old City is the heart of Israel's capital: Some days she's surly, some days she weeps, and some days....

Listen, I know it sucks here sometimes. I know the news is scary.

But can I just tell you that I walked from Jaffa Gate through the Old City and straight out of Damascus Gate, and I saw something that took my breath away?

People were having a good day.

People were smiling — and they weren’t those bullshit smiles either, the ones that curl over crunched teeth.

I don’t know WHAT the Old City was on today, but she was FUN.

There was a little girl in a pink dress dancing with a red balloon.

Her grandfather laughed and ground out his cigarette and patted her head.

I saw two priests high five each other. Seriously. They freaking HIGH FIVED each other right in front of the St. Helena coptic church.

I saw two men sitting together over Kenafe — they weren’t just sharing dessert, they were sharing a conversation… half in Hebrew, half in Arabic.

An old woman in a hijab grabbed my hand to stop me from getting hit by a truck that was barrelling down one of the alleyways.

A man handed me a green almond and said “try it.”
(It was vile, so I had a chocolate crepe with sprinkles instead.)

You have to understand something about Jerusalem: The Old City is her heart. And the heart has its moods and they always change.

Some days she is a surly bitch. Other days she weeps. And some days her heart breaks down the middle.

But today? OMG today … THANK YOU, GOD… today — she danced with a red balloon.

About the Author
Sarah Tuttle-Singer, Times of Israel's New Media editor, lives in Israel with her two kids in a village next to rolling fields. Sarah likes taking pictures, climbing roofs, and talking to strangers. She is the author of the book Jerusalem Drawn and Quartered. Sarah is a work in progress.