You guys, it’s happening. Man the Golden Gate in the Old City, bedeck the women and the children of the city in flowers, head up to the Temple Mount and start praying like crazy because the Divine Presence is finally headed once more towards Zion and all the trumpets of heaven will announce its entrance.
That’s right. Kimye is coming to Jerusalem.
For Kim Kardashian and Kanye West (not to mention North West, the baby they never seem to leave anywhere, like not even at times when a normal person without an army of nannies would probably not bring a baby, like, say a party that starts at midnight) it’s a curious vacation choice, to say the least. While Kim might want to visit the Armenian Quarter of the Old City (have you ever been to the Armenian Quarter? I just realized that I think I never have), and might want to check on that condo in Tel Aviv she’s purportedly buying, Jerusalem, being in absence of a Fashion Week, an international celebrity party scene, or even, if memory serves, much in the way of shopping apart from hemp necklaces, little wooden camels, and like, Beastie Boys T-shirts with the band name written in Hebrew, doesn’t seem like the kind of place the self-appointed Liz and Dick of our generation would pick as the next generation on their intercontinental Tour of Passion. After all, this is a city where men and woman can’t even stand next to each other at major tourist destinations, let alone show up in coordinating bare chests/lycra bondage dresses.
But on further reflection, perhaps it makes more sense than anything they’ve ever done. Jerusalem is, of course, the birthplace of the psychological phenomenon Jerusalem Syndrome, in which an otherwise normal person becomes so overwhelmed by the history, the spirituality, the sheer holiness of the place that they become convinced they are, in fact, a prophet, a saint, the Second Coming of the Son of God. What might that do to someone like Kanye West, who already sees himself as a sort of deity? What heights of utter pomposity might he achieve? Will he start declaiming from the Mount of Olives? Might he storm the Knesset, announcing, “Tzipi Livni, Imma let you finish, but Beyonce has the best plan for a peaceful two-state solution of all time?” Or could something very different happen?
When I was about nine, at sleepaway camp for the first time, I met a fellow camper who, in addition to various other emotional and social challenges, spoke with a major speech impediment. One afternoon, as we were playing volleyball outside, he ran face-first into a pole, promptly knocking himself out. As he was being carried away by the medics, I distinctly remember hearing one counselor say to the other: “Maybe now he’ll be able to say his R’s.”
Could something similar happen to Kanye? Might he look at the ancient stones of the Western Wall, the magnificence of the Dome of the Rock, the sublimity of the Gate of Mercy and be like, “You know, what? I’m not a god. I’m not a fashion designer. I’m just a normal recording artist. Let’s call our baby Nora and get her a baby-sitter when we go out for the night.”
It wouldn’t be the first miracle to happen in the sacred city.