by Shlomoh Sherman
On the last day that we spent in Yerushalayim we decided to see, once again, the City behind the walls. We wanted to buy some last minute gifts for friends back in the U.S. On this particular day we found ourselves in the Christian part of the City. On our way out we passed by the church of the "holy sepulcher" and we decided to have a look at it. We entered the church and went to the place designated as his final resting place. 'So this is where it all began' we said to each other without words, and we left in a state of extreme depression. This was the final image that we took with us out of the Eternal City. And the thought of it has haunted me to this day. Why, I have asked myself, did we decide to make this the final stop of our stay in Yerushalayim rather than, say, the Kotel? What subconscious motivation had we. I have pondered this questiain almost self-betrayal over and over out of a sense of guilt. But belive that I have come up with an answer if not THE answer.

The alleged tomb of Yoshke, the final resting place of a man who was killed because he was a Jew with a vision as meshuge as that vision was. Still and all, the death of that remarkable solitary Jew so transformed the history of the gentile world, and as a consequence, our history as well. His death, which caused men to dream and hope, that death which was to have ushered in the apocolyptic age of universal salvation, after two thousand years, has shown itself to be the extreme HEVEL HEVALIM [emptiness and nothingness] par excellence. All the wars, crusades, inquistions, pogroms, and expulsions have found their common point of concentration in the cross hanging around the neck of the whore walking the streets of any big city in the Western world. This is the bitter irony of Christianity. It has brought untold misery to both gentile and Jew. It has brought salvation to none; only a futile empty dream, a dream dreamed by a sick, tormented Jew who decided to give up his life because he could no longer bear seeing the stranger oppressing his people. This then was the tomb of the man who was to be the precurser of Bar Kokhbar and Shabbatai Zevi, a tomb as empty as the promise it gave rise to,- empty except for an old priest with a charity box in his outstretched hand and an idiot's grin on his face.

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