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Monday, January 23, 2012

Importance of Jerusalem, Zion, or the City of David to Jews

Nadene Goldfoot
Over 3,000 years ago from 1,000 BCE to 960 BCE (Jewish Calendar from 2884 to 2924) King David lived and built Jerusalem which was the capital of Judea.  To Jews only, this city has been the focus of national and religious aspirations.  It's been Israel's capital since 1948 with a population of over 600,000.  It was also our capital of our Jewish nation between 1,000 BCE and 586 BCE and also from 516 BCE and 70 CE.  You can read about it in the "Old Testament."

The Bible, Psalms, 122,3, refers to:  Jerusalem, which is bound firmly together.   I take it to mean that it must not be divided, which is what the Muslims are demanding.  They want east Jerusalem as their future capital.  Psalms was written by King David. 

The Bible, Zechariah, 8, 3, refers to: Jerusalem shall be called the city of truthLet's be honest.  The only reason that the Muslims want east Jerusalem is that it has been unified with the western section and is now a part of Israel.  They have no G-dly reason to make it their capital. 

The Talmud, Berakhot, 58, refers to: Eternity means Jerusalem. written after 200 CE, from Babylonian and Palestinian Talmuds, all before Islam when Mohammed lived from 570 CE to 630 CE.  Little did the scholars realize that Jerusalem would play a world-wide part in politics in 2012.  They were right; it is an eternal city. 

Avot Derabbi Nathan, Talmudic Commentary: There is no beauty like the beauty of Jerusalem.  Does anyone doubt the love Jews have for Jerusalem? 

Jerusalem has been under many foreign rulers, but only with Jews was it a capital with its people living in the land.  Jews of Jerusalem are the longest living people with an unbroken historical association.  It is where the President of Israel lives and where the Knesset, the Government, the Supreme Court, the Chief Rabbinate, the Hebrew University and the Israel Museum reside. Yet the UN refuses to count it as our capital. 

To us it is the most holy city and contains the Western Wall, or Wailing Wall as some know it which dates back to the time of our 2nd Temple.  Christians hold it dear with Jesus of Nazareth and the story of his life and death, with a holy place being the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  Muslims consider it their 3rd holy place after Mecca and Medina.  Their holy shrine in Jerusalem is the mosque of Al Aqsa on the Temple Mount. 

Between 1948 and 1967, Jerusalem was divided in two-between Israel and Jordan, who had illegally occupied the eastern part.  The two parts were separated by barbed wire and concrete walls.  Jordan forbid movement of people from east to west.

After the Six Day War of June 5-11, 1967 Jerusalem was reunified on June 29th and barriers were removed.  Jordanian troops in east Jerusalem had bombarded the rest of the city.  The IDF came in and in 2 days the entire city came under Israel control.  The first thing they all did was go to the Western Wall, which had been denied access to Jews for 20 years.

The population of east Jerusalem at the time included 139,000 Muslims and Christians, so that by 1990 the population of Jerusalem was 493,500.  Today it is 693,217 with 464,527 being Jews.  Today it is a thriving city holding members of the 3 faiths with their religious and secular living.  It has many problems indeed with 12% of families having 7 or more children.  39% of the population are school age, and there has been a serious housing shortage.  Israel had a large building program in all parts of the city, Arab and Jewish.  Kiryat Yovel was the largest project.  Just to give you an idea, Portland, Oregon's population is 583,766. 

The Jerusalem Law of 1980 put Israel's sovereignty over the entire city.  Israel has suffered from sabotage which were encouraged by outside elements , especially after the beginning of the intifada in 1987. Some Arabs such as Hamas terrorists have wanted to go back to the 1967 situation. 

On October 34, 1995, the USA's 104th congress passed a law to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital but has yet to do it.  They have since withheld recognition until the Palestinian-Israel peace is completed.  Israel has had Jerusalem as its capital for 44 years anyway. 

Ofra Haza, originally coming from Yemen,  sings Yerusahalayim Shel Zahav, or Jerusalem, City of Gold so well.  When the sun hits Jerusalem, it looks like it's made of gold, and the way countries have coveted it, you'd think it was truly made of gold.

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