In ancient times, it was the road from Jerusalem to the port of Joppa, as the Romans called it, or Yaffo as it was known by the Jews. Today it is one of the iconic streets in the Jewish capital. A light rail train was recently installed on it to diminish the flow of vehicular traffic heading into downtown Jerusalem. Because of its prominent place in the psyche of Jerusalem, most of the suicide bombers who struck Jerusalem during the second intifadah did so somewhere on that street.
The street is Rehov Yaffo.
Not sarcastically, but quite reverentially, it has been called “the spine of Jerusalem, of the Jewish people, of the world” by a man who has made the well-being of that “spine” and the well-being of the countless men and women who are supported by its supplety and strength, his life’s devotion.
It is easy to imagine Uri Amedi as a biblical prophet. One need only change his manner of dress. For he looks the way one might see a prophet in our mind, with a stern countenance but tender eyes. He is guided by the values and the traditions of the Jewish people. He speaks with the calm, thoughtful gravamen of a philosopher. And he is single minded in his preoccupation for the well-being of the city of Jerusalem and its vastly diverse people.
The CJN met with Amedi last month at his office in the community council of Lev Ha’ir (the city centre). He is the director of the council.