Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The importance of Yerushalayim, 1963


"Jerusalem is one of Israel’s oldest mountain cities, and it was an important center of settlement, a national center and a military center even before the Jewish kings established the land’s capital and religious center there. Over time it became sacred to Christianity as well; only Rome is known with the same type of holiness in their eyes. The tradition of holiness passed to the Muslims as well; in their eyes, only Mecca and Medina have greater holiness.

"However, there is no nation or religion in the world for which Jerusalem is holier or more important from a national and religious perspective than it is for the Jews. Israel and Jerusalem are nearly identical to the Jew; even if Israel is all holy, Jerusalem is holy of holies. The oath of the Babylonian exiles - “If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its strength, may my tongue stick to my palate if I do not remember you, if I do not elevate Jerusalem at the head of my joy” - does well to express the heartfelt emotions of the Jewish nation toward Jerusalem in almost all generations."

("Jerusalem" article in Maps of Israel, Published by IDF in 1963)

Yom Yerushalayim sameach,

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