Allen in Jerusalem

Allen’s Ashes At Har Hazeitim – photo by Bob Rosenthal

Bob Rosenthal, poet, teacher, long-time secretary for Allen, and Trustee of the Allen Ginsberg Trust, recently back from visiting Israel, writes with a delightful piece of news:

“When Allen died”, he tells us,” an old friend of his, Steven Bornstein, suggested that I take a pinch of his ashes to the Mount of Olives (in Israel). I neither promised to (do so) nor not to do (so). But I did, in fact, sequester a smidgen of Allen’s ashes with the intention of bringing him to Jerusalem some day. This July 2011, I completed the mission. No graves were dirtied but Allen was delivered. I said a prayer for world peace- surely Allen’s sweet voice is in the celestial choir?”

The Mount of Olives, or Har Hazeitim in Hebrew, sits just outside the old city – Jerusalem -opposite the Holy of Holies, now the Dome of the Rock. It is the oldest Jewish cemetery, and legend has it that the souls there will ascend to heaven first when the Messiah eventually arrives. The closed gate to city opposite the Mount of Olives is sealed, but Jesus entered Jerusalem through that gate and the Messiah is thought to be coming back through the same gate.”

[Har Hazeitim or The Mount of Olives – photo by Bob Rosenthal]

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