In the grand scheme of things, he might not have seemed to be a major figure. After all, he was only a mayor.
But, he was Teddy Kollek, and his city was Jerusalem.
He passed away this morning, and with his passing a bit of living history goes with it.
Jerusalem is the city that it is today because Teddy ran it for almost 30 years from 1965 until he lost to his successor, Ehud Olmert, in 1993 – only a year after my arrival in Jerusalem.
Was he a good man?
I don’t know, butÂ I do know that he heldÂ one of the mostÂ amazing cities together – in the face of the unimagineable. War and terrorism didn’t faze him. The religious and the secular, the Arab and the Jew,Â Christians andÂ Jews and Muslims were all one to him.
HeÂ certainly wasn’t perfect.Â Some things didn’t workÂ right, and some things only worked okay. But, when Jerusalem needed to be unified after theÂ Six Day War inÂ 1967, he was there. He did his job.
WithÂ such a monumental task as that, there can be no greater epitaph.Â