I’m standing beneath the towering Zion Gate after a five-minute walk from the light rail station in Jerusalem, which took me through the Jaffa Gate, past the historic police station known as the “Kishle,” through the Armenian Quarter and finally into Har Tzion. A faint echo resonates with my every step as I make my way over the cobblestones. The climbing green vegetation and ancient stone enclosures make me feel as if I’ve entered another world, one that is pastoral, ancient and somewhat mysterious. It’s like being inside a painting.
I make my way through a picturesque alleyway to the Diaspora Yeshiva and the home of its rosh yeshivah and his wife, Rav Yitzchak and Rabbanit Shoshana Goldstein, on Maale Shazach Street. There are no numbers on the buildings, by the way, but as it turns out, there is no need for them.
“When you get to the ceramic sign on which it is written, ‘The Diaspora Yeshiva,’ phone me and I will come out to meet you,” Rabbanit Shoshana told me.
I entered through the metal gate leading to a stone-paved seating area. It turns out that I arrived on just the right day. I could hear the sounds of “Od Yishama” floating through the air. The open expanse next to the yeshivah has been turned into an outdoor garden event hall. Leaving behind the rejoicing of the celebrants, I went down a path to the right to the most fascinating home I’ve ever seen—and I say that as someone who has seen all kinds of homes in the course of my work as a journalist. The arches, old stone walls and high ceilings all create the feeling of an earlier time.