We’ve just passed Tu B’Shvat, the New Year of the Trees – the almond trees are blossoming in the hills of Jerusalem. There’s a special hike in the Masger reserve, overlooking the road to Jerusalem above Bab el Wad, the gorge that marks the entrance to the hills that leads to the city. We should remember that in 1948, the convoys of trucks carrying food for the inhabitants of Jerusalem were attacked along this road and Israelis lost their lives. Just like in the Haim Gouri poem, Bab el Wad, the cyclamen and anemones were blooming.
יום אביב יבוא ורקפות תפרחנה,
אודם כלנית בהר ובמורד.
באב אל וואד
לנצח זכור נא את שמותינו,
באב אל וואד בדרך אל העיר.
A spring day will come, the cyclamens will bloom,
Red of anemone on the mountain and on the slope.
Do remember our names forever,
Bab-el-wad on the way to the City.
To hear Shlomo Gronich singing Bab el Wad and see some film footage from the 1948 War of Independence check out this URL on YouTube.