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A Jerusalem Love Story, Minus the Love

A Jerusalem Love Story, Minus the Love

I finally finished the A.B. Yehoshua novel I was reading, which freed me up to read the Meyer Levin novel I found at my favorite used bookstore in Jerusalem. Titled, The Spell of Time: a Tale of Love in Jerusalem, its subtitle was inspiring, if you know what I mean.

In other words, I was hoping this tale of love in Jerusalem would rub off on me.

Beyond that, Meyer Levin was a Chicagoan, or, as Augie March would say, he was an “American, Chicago born.” Me, too! Or rather, I am an American, Waukegan, Illinois, born. But why split hairs?

The important thing is that Levin was an obsessive guy – first with the Leopold and Loeb case (me, too!) and later with Anne Frank (not me). More importantly, he was a cranky old literary Jew with a serious pair of eyebrows. I have always had a soft spot for men with crazy, bushy unibrows. And a nice, tweed cap.

But where am I going with this? Me, who just got off a plane from Chicago for a stealth visit with my family. The whole thing made me think: What am I doing in Israel? In Jerusalem? So far away from the ones I love the most. According to the Levin novel, people come to this ancient city on “…a quest for knowledge, for revelation.”

If that’s the case, what revelations will Jerusalem unearth for me? Will I also experience a tale of love? In a bit over a year, love has so far eluded me.

Only recently have I started to feel older and disappointed, like an old woman stooped under a heavy burden.

Only my burden is within: This too, too heavy heart.

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