I’ve finally started to write my book. The declaration of doing so on this blog several weeks ago helped me reach the goal. Once I realized I could not write the book at home, no matter how wonderful my room of my own, I was able to act. The next day I went to the National Library.
As I climbed the steps from the free parking lot to the National Library on the Givat Ram Campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, I realized how difficult it is to write a book. There are unexpected twists and turns. You walk down narrow lanes, not sure where you will end up. You come up against steel walls, thinking this is the end, but you go there anyway, turn right and find another path. Eventually, you see the light. After another short climb, you burst into the open space and romp among the tall trees. Guessing that the library and salvation are to the left, as you remember from your last visit in 1967 when you were studying hif’il and huf’al in the august reading room, you bear left and climb some more. Yes, your memory still works. There in its clean Bauhaus frame above and behind the cedars pines and sycomores, stands the National Library of Israel. Crowds throng to its entrance. You join them, deposit your coat and purse and receive a black bag for your laptop and a clear plastic bag for the belongings you will need for the next hour or two while you write your book. You climb yet another flight of stairs, though by now your camera’s battery has gone dead, but it doesn’t matter. The Ardon glass wall tells you this might be the best place in Jerusalem and slowly, as you open the door to the reading room in which you first mastered the difference between hem and hen, you realize you have come home.