A couple years ago we went back to visit Israel again. I saw old friends and realized slowly but powerfully, how the sites, the sounds, the smells, the kind of light in the area, the materials—and mostly the people who forever impacted me—had irrevocably changed me. I realized I was still there and that I never left. I also realized something about where I had lived (see below) and wanted to try to capture this all in a song:
When I lived in Jerusalem, I was situated in a very unique area that was yards from the Tomb of David, the Diaspora Yeshiva and the Kotel (Western wall). That area, Har Zion (“Mt. Zion”) was super rich in history where one could literally find spent shell casings from the '48 war along side p’sifas, (Herodian 2000 year-old mosaic tiles) on the ground in the weeds next to the beer cans. And I found tons of stuff there.
In my room for one inexplicable reason was anchored into the bedrock behind the wall, this huge braided steel cable that literally stretch across the valley. I never saw exactly where it ended on the other suae and we hung our laundry to dry on that thing.
years later I did a little research and found out.
And here is the cable car's story: During the War of Independence there was a problem of accessibility between the western part of the city and Mount Zion. At first the connection was maintained through a tunnel crossing the wadi. Its entrances can be seen today at the entrance to Mishkenot Sha'ananim and going up to Mount Zion, from the traffic light over Sultan's Pool. The tunnel made it possible to transfer supplies to the mountain and evacuate the injured, although in a limited manner.
The solution was formulated by Uriel Hefetz, an engineering corps commander at the Etzioni Brigade, in December 1948. In order for the Jordanian Legion soldiers not to notice a thing, a 200-meter (656-foot) steel cable was stretched over the wadi (Hinnom Valley) every night – from the hospital to a post at the Eretz Hatzvi school on Mount Zion.
The cable car reached a maximal height of about 50 meters (164 feet) above the wadi, and the rail cart could carry a maximal weight of about half a ton. Three soldiers on each side were responsible for operating the cable car, and the ride lasted about two minutes in each direction (a short night flight). At the end of each night, the cable would be taken down. The cable car was kept a military secret for many years, and was only revealed to the public in 1972.
released March 13, 2015
Matt Kanter, Drums
Linda Wolf Sax
M Hurley, song, guitars, backing vocals
Thom Miecznikowski, bass
Terrence Price, vocals