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Jerusalem

Reader comment on item: What Jewish Ties to Jerusalem?

Submitted by Maurice Picow (Israel), Jun 22, 2006 at 15:40

The following was written several years ago, and recently updated to fit the times:

WHO'S JERUSALEM??

Never before have the people of Israel had to make a decision that would not only determine what will be the result in the next few years, in regards to the future of Israel itself; and in respect to the final outcome of negotiations with the people known as Palestinians. In all of the territorial areas to be decided, including Gaza, and most of the so called West Bank, one topic will ultimately be the most difficult to negotiate; and that is the final status of Jerusalem.

Yes, Jerusalem, that city that is considered holy to the three great monotheistic religions. That city created more than 3,000 years ago. King David, under the guidance of the Almighty, chose a small backwater town on top of 3 hills to be the future capital of the Kingdom of Israel. That city where David reportedly danced before the Ark of the Tabernacle as it was carried into its new Home from the former holy site at Shiloh. That city where God commanded King Solomon to build the First Temple : "For God said of King Solomon, ‘he will build me a House, and I will establish his Throne forever". That city where the Second Temple was rebuilt on the site of the former one, and later cleansed and rededicated by the Hasmoniam Priests after being defiled by the Selucian Greeks, hence the reason for the celebration of the Jewish Holiday of Hanukah.

For Christians, Jerusalem also has a special significance as it is the city where Yeshua Ha Natzri (Jesus) was instructed in the Law at the Temple, and was later killed by the Roman occupiers by the cruel punishment of crucifixion. For Moslems, the very spot where the Mosque of Omar was constructed is atop the rock upon which Abraham (Ibrahim) was commanded by God to sacrifice his beloved Isaac, only to be spared this act when he proved his loyalty to God's Commandments. It is also that place where the prophet Mohammed reportedly ascended to Heaven.

Jerusalem thus means many things to many people. As a symbol, it means everything to religious Jews as it is the place where all prayers ultimately relate to: "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem…", "L'Shanah Ha'Ba V'Yerushalayim (Next Year in Jerusalem)".

Jerusalem is the city that was central in the prayers of the exiled Jewish People for more than 2,000 years. The most holy site for Jews is the one remnant of the Temple:

The Kotel Ha Maaravi or The Western Wall.

Until now, the only way Jews were forced to give up their most Holy City and symbol, was by being defeated in war. This fact is recorded in the Bible, as well as in later writings. From the destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians, and the Second Temple by the Romans, to the defeat of the beleaguered forces in the Old City in the War of Independence in 1948, it took a massive military defeat to oust the Jewish People from its most sacred shrine: The Temple Mount. Will the Jewish People be called upon to relinquish the very site that was won back by their blood and tears in battle during the Six Day War. Are they being called upon to make the decision that will result in them giving up this site, as well as other areas no less important to them to the very people who ousted them from this place in 1948?

Of course, many secular Jews say that they are willing to give up parts of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, in order to have peace with their Palestinian neighbors.

This reality is also true in the West Bank, an area also won in warfare, with no less symbolic value that Jerusalem itself. If the areas in question, including the Temple Mount, are given by Israel to the "Palestinians", and even if Jews are allowed to worship freely at the Western Wall, it is only a matter of time until one day, some fanatical Palestinian guards overlooking the Wall will suddenly begin shooting down into the Jewish worshipers below in a manner similar to what happened to Israeli campers in the Sinai several years ago and to Israeli school girls on the border with Jordan. The Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem will become besieged in a manner similar to the small Jewish entity living today in Hebron, and The Mt.Scopus campus on Hebrew University may eventually revert back to same situation it was in during the Jordanian occupation of East Jerusalem from 1948 –1967.

So, Whose Jerusalem Is It?

Is the decision before the House of Israel: to give up that which is the central symbol of its very existence , for a few written agreements that can be unilaterally broken at any time, or to do the up-most to hold on to that which is the main reason for being a Jewish State with it's capital and most holy sites in this very place. The end choice will be very hard to make, but it is one that must ultimately be made in order to remain those who are known by the world as "God's Chosen People".

"For Out of Zion Shall Go Forth The Law, and The Word of The Lord From Jerusalem"…

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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