City Planning in Jerusalem

Urban planning in the Municipality of Jerusalem could call itself “Terrestrial Jerusalem” based on a long-standing phrase from the Jewish tradition. Try pronouncing “Yerushalayim de’le’Tata” – yeh roo shah LIE yim dĕ lĕ TAH tah.

The literal translation of this Aramaic phrase is “Jerusalem of Below.”

Jerusalem Below
Jerusalem Below

We humans try to develop the earthly Jerusalem consistent with the values of the Divine Jerusalem – Jerusalem of Above.

So what constitutes the Jerusalem of Above?

Patience, my friend.


I feel justified in having stolen the original logo from a disreputable organization. I made significant changes such as rewriting a Hebrew language title with this traditional one in Aramaic.

What looks like Arabic script is nonsense. I scrambled the original Arabic title into figures that are not Arabic letters. This line of figures represents the character of a holy Jerusalem that illuminates the entire world.

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Dogs – Barkers and Neighbors

The ‘barkers’ never get the idea that I’m a friendly neighbor.

Mostly, my neighbors’ dogs have gotten used to my presence. In one case, for instance, I lived in an apartment where I shared a landing with a neighbor. I had to pass her door every time that I entered and left my apartment.

I wasn’t surprised that her dog barked as I climbed the stairway up to the landing when she first moved in.

Soon enough, though, this dog recognized my footfalls, not to mention my smell. It would still run to the door to check out what was going on, but it didn’t bark.

If this dog had had any doubt whether I was friend or foe, I greeted my neighbor with a friendly “Hi” and a friendly face.

Contrast this with a ‘barker’. The driveway of the family home abutted our neighbor’s driveway. Nearby, starting at the end of the driveway, my new neighbor had three dogs. (That’s a story by itself.)

I hadn’t yet learned the lesson of this post – that some dogs never stop greeting a neighbor with barking.

I had some friendly conversations with my new neighbor, visible to the dogs. In order to stop the barking, I naively asked my neighbor if she minded whether I bring over some dog biscuit crumbs to share with the dogs through their chain link fence. She told me that it was fine.

The dogs got used to the idea that I might have some biscuits. Two of them were well trained. They eagerly sat down. Sometimes, I gave them nothing, though; sometimes some biscuit crumbs. Regardless they didn’t bark.

The ‘barker’ never stopped barking – whether I fed him or not. He was actually so high-strung that try as he would, he couldn’t really sit. He’d lower his rear end, and then up it would pop.

Where I live now, I pass a neighbor’s doorway on my way to a laundry room. His/her ‘barker’ still won’t stop barking at me. At times, this dog even barks when hearing the building’s front door open.

It looks like I have a ‘barker’ as a non-neighbor.

Return Envelopes

Until recently, return envelopes in bills,* for instance, have been inserted in mailings with the flaps turned forward.

Not an especially big deal.

I take out a bill and want to replace it in the mailing that I received, but the flap gets in the way.

This should be the worse thing that ever happens to anyone.

Then all of a sudden, I received a few bills from the same businesses, and the return envelope has been inserted turned around in a sensible way.

What happened?

Is the Vast Eternal Plan changing?


  • bills in the mail – Why not? I often pay them electronically, but I like the offline paper copy. Among other things, the paper copies remind me to enter the electronic debits into the register of my checking account. If I were a rich man, perhaps I wouldn’t bother to balance my checkbook.
  • Actually, I am a “rich man.” My riches include children and grandchildren who live practically around the corner, good health (for my age, having reached the milestone of 64 years old as I write this), and on and on.

A dialogue line that could have been

In Plain Sight – TV Series (2008–2012)

In an early episode – perhaps even in the pilot – U.S. Marshall Mary Shannon wants to relax next to her pool. She has tried to leave behind her boorish, hick background, but her mooching mother and sister have run away from a jammed-up situation to stay with her “awhile.”

Mary tries to be the adult in a relationship with a mother who has never grown up. Mary’s negotiating with Jinx (her mother) develops into a noisy squabble.

Jinx realizes that neighbors might hear their raised voices, and their poor behavior may reflect badly on them.

“Shhh.” Jinx tries to lower the noise level – which is really her own noise level.

“People will think that we’re trailer trash,” Jinx squawks.

Mary’s rejoinder is lame. The writers were having a bad day.

Mary’s telling response could have been, “But Mom, we are trailer trash.”

Sirius – the Star

Recently, I was awake before sunrise, and I spotted the constellation Orion in the southeast just before sunrise. This was at Kansas City’s Kosher Barbecue Competition and Festival, Sunday, August 21, 2016.

Follow Orion’s belt Earthward and you see the star Sirius, apparently the brightest star in the sky (in the Northern hemisphere, at least, where I am).

The constellation Orion has been “behind” the Sun until recently. Before that, it was blotted out by the daytime sky. Even Sirius is too faint to be seen (with the naked eye, at least) during daytime.

Sirius skims the horizon. It’s not part of a zodiacal constellation as Orion is. Sirius is not in the path of the Moon or the planets, for example.

I noticed the distinctive Orion and located Sirius by 5:45 AM Daylight Time. Sirius was in an east-southeast direction while the sun was rising in the northeast. Sirius was visible until 6:15 AM or so. By that time, the sky was too bright for the naked eye to detect Sirius. The sun actually rose at about 6:38 AM.

When I first noticed Sirius, is was about a handbreadth above the horizon but finally reached about another handbreadth higher.

Who cares? What difference does it make?

Besides interesting me – a star that is easily seen and that skims the horizon – the first sighting of Sirius marked the beginning of the ancient Egyptian year. Sirius first reappears from “behind” the sun during the inundation season of the Nile River. In the near future, the Nile’s waters recede from having flooded Egypt’s agricultural land, and have deposited fresh silt. Egyptian agriculture begins again.

This fresh silt is the source of Egypt’s agricultural fertility. Egyptians harvested at least two crops during the growing season. With irrigation from the Nile, they often harvested a third crop. Egypt had been the breadbasket of the region. Egyptians regularly exported surplus wheat.

Awake, O Egypt, awake.