This Sunday is Jerusalem Day which commemorates the day where the Temple Mount was recaptured in 1967. The Temple Mount is the place where the two Temples stood and we were Jews direct our prayers too and pray three times a day for The Temple to rebuilt which will lead to prosperity and peace for the entire World.
It is a day of celebration of religious Freedom of the world. Since 1967, all peoples and religions can come freely to the City of God and pray.
The history and centrality of Jerusalem in the bible and our prayers is a bedrock of Judaism. The importance that Christians and Moslems place is based on King David founding Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple that stood there. I want to repeat. The importance of Jerusalem to Christians and Moslems is only because of the Jews. One can try to rewrite history but you can not change the facts.
The Moslems are united and led by the choir of the Palestinians and Hamas with the clear in their objectives of capturing Jerusalem. They have influenced the world, the UN of their claim. A refutation of this claim is beyond the purpose of this blog.
This a battle of the soul of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the City of God. It is City where all who believe in God can pray freely. It should be above Politics.
The single idea that I want to express is here that we Jews need to be united, stand up with proud that Jerusalem is our eternal Capital. We need to demonstrate National Pride.
Rabbi Kook posited that National Pride is not only honourable but actually serves as the necessary foundation to uncover the spiritual qualities of our nation. “Just as the Shechina, God’s presence, does not rest on any individual unless he is a strong man, a wealthy man, and a tall man (Talmud Shabbat 92a)…so too the Shechina resides only on a Nation responding with strength, wealth, and independence. But all of these are not worth anything unless they are the basis for the divine spiritual light, filled with the light of God and modesty.”(Shabbat Ha’aretz Introduction).
The need to instil self-confidence was critical even in the first moments of our nation’s very inception. When the Israelites were freed from Egypt, God required that the slaves ask the Egyptians for gold, silver and clothing. Why was this necessary? Rabbi Kook suggested that the importance of attaining wealth was really intended to lift the spirit of the nation. A transformation was necessary. They needed to think of themselves no longer as lowly slaves but rather as a nation on the cusp of attaining greatness and nobility (Ain Aya Berachot Chapter 1, #114)
Today, in our time, we are privileged to witness our nation returning home Over a hundred years ago, some fifty years before the State was established, Rabbi Kook penned these words: “We experience exile and mediocrity because we do not proclaim the value and wisdom of the land of Israel. We have not rectified the sin of the biblical spies who slandered the land. And so we must do the opposite of what they did: we must tell and proclaim to the entire world the land’s glory and its beauty, its holiness and its honor. Then, after all these praises, let us hope that we have expressed at least one ten-thousandth of the loveliness of the land: the beauty of the light of its Torah, the exalted nature of the light of its wisdom, and the holy spirit that rises within it.” (Eretz Chefetz).
So today, despite the successes of the return to our homeland, there is still a disconnect in the wider Jewish world of public Hakaratov (Appreciation) to God for the miracle of the State Israel, and the unification of Jerusalem
This I believe is the challenge for all us. All the tribes, streams today have an important role. Left wing, High tech, Dati Leumi, Hareidi and Christian Zionists.
We need to work together to bring about the centrality of God and Israel into the world.
We need to shout from the rooftops that Jerusalem is ours, and we are God’s Custodian of a Unified Jerusalem as a City of Peace and God for all people.
And this is the reason I believe is why Lag B Omer in Meron is so huge. It is a non- political message, a cry to Hashem to reveal to the world that Hashem’s light is alive, relevant and is revealing to us the secret of this world.
Hashem is trying to shine his light on the world today. Shine his goodness through his people in his chosen Land.
And that is why the battle for the truth is so intense. And opposition of the world to God, Jerusalem and Israel is so widespread.
Happy Jerusalem Day. Chag Sameach.