One Jerusalem!

Study of the Foundation Stone  © DTNoll 4-16 דורונול
Did you ever wonder what in the world is going on in Jerusalem and why is it such a hot-spot on the planet? Let’s look at a little history to see if we can figure it out. It all starts way back, but let’s just begin in 1948 when a convoy of 78 Jewish medical personnel, on the way to Mount Scopus on the eastern side of Jerusalem, was attacked and the personnel killed in an Arab ambush in which the bodies of the fallen nurses and doctors were mutilated and left as a message to other Jews. After this massacre, Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital both closed their doors on Mount Scopus and moved locations to the relative calm of western Jerusalem.

One month later, during the defensive war that the fledgling state of Israel fought with every single Arab neighbor in the region, the Arab Legion captured the police station on Mount Scopus, isolating it from the rest of Jerusalem. The Jordanians occupied eastern Jerusalem until Israel won it back in another defensive war in 1967, reuniting east and west Jerusalem, and Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital both moved back to their facilities and reopened on Mount Scopus.

Jerusalem has been the holiest city and the capital of the people and land of Israel for over 3,000 years. Our sages tell us that the name Jerusalem (Yerushaleyim in Hebrew) is a combination of two words: "Yireh" and "Shaleyim."

In Genesis 14:18, the Torah states that when Abraham returned from warring with the four kings, he was greeted by Shem, the son of Noah. The Torah refers to Shem as, "Malki Tzedek, King of Shaleyim and that, at that time, was the name of the city of Jerusalem.

Later in the Torah (Genesis 22:14), when G-d told Abraham to bring his son Isaac as a sacrifice on Mount Mariah, which is where the Holy Temple was later built by King Solomon, Abraham named the place "Yireh"; "And Abraham called the name of the place Hashem Yireh"—The Lord will see (Genesis 22:14).

Combining the names of Yireh and Shaleyim, we arrive at Yerushaleyim. Shaleyim in Hebrew is the word for complete. It is also the exact root (שלם) of the word for peace, Shalom. When we interchange Shaleyim with Shalom, the word Yerushaleyim means G-D will see Peace and Completeness.

I think it is safe to say that it is our job to make Jerusalem complete, something we still seem to be working on, and to make it peaceful. We are partners with Hashem in this and until we stop messing around with the politics of human beings, we will be doomed to fail. It's time to unite and to work together...

Next year in Jerusalem!

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