I'm shutting down this blog. In a moment I'll explain a bit about why, and what might come next, but first a word about what's still here.
Blogs are a very ephemeral type of writing. No-one reads old blog-posts, or entire blogs from cover to cover. They can be a useful way of saying immediate things, but they're not very good for saying anything of lasting value. Indeed, most of what I've written here these past four years hasn't been durable. Some bits, however, perhaps have, or so I'd like to hope. These parts I've now collected in a short series of pages, listed at the upper left corner of this screen. There are three such series:
At Don't Divide Jerusalem I've collected links to the 15 essays I wrote explaining and demonstrating why I think the idea of dividing Jerusalem is a travesty which, should it ever be implemented, will be the root of the next war.
At Seeking Peace, Living at War I collected the dozen or so essays about war and peace which I hope will have some value for readers who might stumble upon them even well after they were written.
At Jewish Culture, Israeli Culture I told about the Daf Yomi series I ran here, and about the Shirim Ivri'im one.
Regular readers will have noticed that I've been uneasy with blogging for quite a while. The reason I'm desisting precisely now is that I seem to have been offered the job of Israel's State Archivist. The appointment is not yet official, and the way these things work, it shouldn't be regarded as final until it does become official, but even were it to fall through I wouldn't continue with blogging in the present form. Assuming the appointment does come through, however, I obviously can't be both a civil servant and a political bloggger.
What next? Well, mostly I expect to be engaged in that new job, which includes some very large challenges. Alongside it, however, I intend to continue with the researching for and writing of a book about Jerusalem, the living city that it is, rather than the historical city it as been these past 4-5,000 years - though of course, the present city is also the historical one - very much so. One of the nicest things about blogging is that I've had the opportunity to listen to intelligent people as they responded to the thoughts I've been spewing. I've been wondering if it might be feasible to have a website where I put materials, thoughts, ideas, pictures and general stuff that I'll be collecting (and discarding?) along the way towards writing that book. Professors use their students as sounding boards for the emerging drafts of their research; perhaps a website could do the same? So I've put up a provisional site, over here. It's not supposed to be a daily blog, and Im not certain what it will evolve to be, but if you're interested, feel free to come by from time to time.
Another idea I've had is connected to the archivist position. The State Archivist does various things, including being the head of the national archives, and also the professional head of the entire field. This means he can acquire a good idea about what Israel's various archives have, and what stories they tell. Perhaps, if I find the time, I'll set up a blog that reports on interesting documents from our many archives. Perhaps.
I remain on Twitter, @yaacovlozowick, and whenever I feel I've got an announcement to make, it will happen there. Should I someday return to something resembling blogging, in this format or any other, for example, I'll tweet the momentous news.
Finally, I wish to thank the many readers who followed this blog, those who identified themselves and joined the discussions, and the many who never did. I appreciate the time you gave me.