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November 06, 1992 - Image 61

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-11-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Want a Room

With A View?

were detonated by specially
designed, steel bottomed trac-
tors. "The tractor driver and
myself were insured for one
million dollars," said Mr. Ben
Moshe. (Fortunately there
were no casualties during this
particular offensive.)
After Jerusalem's unifica-
tion, no place in the city held
more spiritual significance
for the Jews than the Wailing
Wall. The once thriving
Jewish Quarter of the Old Ci-
ty, however, was in ruins after
19 years of Jordanian rule.
The revitalization of the Old
City involved city planners,
architects and builders.
Among them was Motka
Morachov whose restoration
work in the Jewish Quarter
included the Karaite
Synagogue and the Cardo, a
Byzantine street.
He found every type of ar-
chaeological relic, but Mr.
Borochov particular
remembers the discovery of
the decomposed body of an
armed soldier from the 1948
War of Independence, na-
tionality unknown. "It's a
once in a lifetime job. The
buildings of the Jewish
Quarter were just a lot of
stone and dirt, crumbling ar-
ches and chipped ceramic," he
said. "Some thought it would
be impossible to restore," to
recreate an antiquated style
while preserving old
buildings and relics. "You
can't use tractors or
bulldozers or sand blasters on
a thousand-year-old wall,"
said Mr. Borochov. "Anything
can cause it to crumble.

"There were lots of workers.
Hundreds. Trucks would
leave materials by the Wail-
ing Wall and then a team of
50 donkeys would lug these
supplies into the Old City.
Everything was done by
hand. Shovels were used for
digging, only gentle hammer-
ing on walls was permitted,
and brushes were used to
clean particularly old
structures.
"All of the materials used,
whether for building narrow
lanes or renovating old
buildings, were natural stone,
wood and iron. And special
anti-bacterial plaster was us-
ed so the old walls wouldn't
rot," said Mr. Borochov.
The building and re-
building of Jerusalem, which
has long been a theme in
Jewish consciousness, is now
being realized with both
bulldozers and shovels. Thus,
the delicate balance between
preserving the past and
building the future is another
challenge that Jerusalem, a
city of many balancing acts, is
facing squarely. ❑

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