City Under Ground

Eshkolot's Festival of Jewish Texts and Ideas

The binary nature of Jerusalem, as the "upper" heavenly city and the "lower" earthly one, is well known. Much less attention is usually paid to the fact that earthly Jerusalem actually exists upon the third level - city under ground. Innumerate caves, tunnels, reservoirs, conduits, cellars, ritual baths, tombs, crypts and sepulchers form a hidden urban matrix.

Not unlike its heavenly and earthly counterparts, this Nether Jerusalem is not only a material reality providing a key to understanding the history and geography of the place, but also a vast repository of myths and symbolic narratives, including "underground" social and artistic movements.

The aim of the seventh Eshkolot Festival of Jewish Texts and Ideas is to study the underground Jerusalem in all its variety - from physical geography and archaeology, through historical and literary sources, to contemporary art and urban development.