Happy Jerusalem Day
Jerusalem – City of Gold
Jerusalem – City of David
Today is Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, please let us pray for the peace & safety of the ancient city
“Jerusalem”, wrote historian Martin Gilbert, is not a ‘mere’ city. “It holds the central spiritual and physical place in the history of the Jews as a people.”
"Jerusalem of Gold" (Hebrew: ירושלים של זהב, Yerushalayim Shel Zahav) is a popular Israeli song written by Naomi Shemer in 1967. The original song described the Jewish people's 2000-year longing to return to Jerusalem; Shemer added a final verse after the Six-Day War to celebrate Jerusalem's unification under Israeli control.
This beautiful version of the song is sung by the late OFRA HAZA…one of my favourite songs
At that time, the Old City was under Jordanian rule; Jews had been barred from entering and many holy sites had been desecrated.
Three weeks after the song was published, the Six-Day War broke out. The song was the battle cry and morale booster for the IDF.
Shemer sang it for them before the war and festival, making them among the first in the world to hear it.
On 7 June, the IDF captured the eastern part of Jerusalem and the Old City from the Jordanians. When Shemer heard the paratroopers singing "Jerusalem of Gold" at the Western Wall, she wrote a final verse, reversing the phrases of lamentation found in the second verse. The line about shofars (Ram’s horn, which was used as a warning signal) sounding from the Temple Mount is a reference to an event that actually took place on 7 June.
For more than 3,000 years, Jerusalem has played a central role in the history of the Jews, culturally, politically and spiritually. A role documented in the Scriptures. All through the 2,000 years of the Diaspora, Jews have called Jerusalem their ancestral home.
In 1004 BCE, King David declared the city the capital of the first Jewish kingdom.
David’s successor and son, King Solomon, built the First Temple there, according to the Torah, as a holy place to worship G-d.
Unfortunately, history would not be kind to the Jewish people. Four hundred and ten years after King Solomon completed construction of Jerusalem, the Babylonians seized and destroyed the city, forcing the Jews into exile .
So much so that at the end of the Passover service, we say “Next year in Jerusalem” (L'Shana Haba'a B'yerushalayim).
This is in contrast to the Islamic world, who grossly inflate Islam’s links to Jerusalem.
No matter where Jews have lived throughout the world for two thousand years our thoughts and prayers are directed toward Jerusalem.
Jerusalem.- even today, everywhere in the world, Jewish ritual practice, holiday celebration and lifecycle events remember Jerusalem.
Jews in prayer always turn toward Jerusalem.
The Ark of the Covenant ,which houses the Torah scrolls in Arks (the sacred chests) that hold Torah scrolls in synagogues throughout the world face Jerusalem.
Jews end Passover Seders each year with the words: “Next year in Jerusalem.” The same words are pronounced at the end of Yom Kippur, the most solemn day of the Jewish year.
“Next year in Jerusalem” (L'Shana Haba'a B'yerushalayim)
A three-week moratorium on weddings in the summer, recalls the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem by the Babylonian army in 586 BCE. That period ends with a special day of mourning – Tisha B’Av (the 9th day of the Hebrew month Av) – commemorating the destruction of both the First and Second Temples.
Jewish wedding ceremonies and other joyous occasions – are marked by sorrow over the loss of Jerusalem. The groom recites a biblical verse from the Babylonian Exile:
“If I forget thee, OJerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.” He breaks a glass in commemoration of the destruction of the Temples.
When Jews pray they face Jerusalem; in Jerusalem Israelis pray facing the Temple Mount – when Muslims pray, they face Mecca. In Jerusalem, Muslims pray with their backs to the city.
Even at burial, Muslim’s faces, is turned toward Mecca.
Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran. On the other hand, it appears in the Torah at least 667 times.
“Zion,” another name for “Jerusalem,” is mentioned 108 times.
It appears in the New Testament 154 times.
Jerusalem was never "Palestinian".
Before June 7, 1967, Jerusalem was for a couple of decades, under the control of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. There was no screaming and yelling that it "belonged" to the Palestinians. For thousands of years, there had and has been a continuous Jewish presence in Jerusalem.
In 1967 Israeli soldiers liberated the Temple Mount area, site of the Western Wall--the holiest site in Judaism--they found the area to be dusty and garbage strewn. To the Muslims who controlled it, "East" Jerusalem was not important. Instead, they forsook Jerusalem, focusing their attention on Amman, Jordan's capital. It was only after Israel reclaimed Jerusalem--after Jews reclaimed it from Muslim occupation--that it's "importance" to Muslims was suddenly reborn.
The destruction, desecration and systematic looting of Jewish sites in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem was beyond belief.
57 ancient synagogues (dating back to the 13th century), libraries and centres of religious study were ransacked and 12 were destroyed. The remaining one still intact, , used for housing people and animals.
The Jewish shrine, the Western Wall, became a slum. Appeals were made to the United Nations and in the international community to declare the Old City to be an 'open city' and stop this destruction, but there was no response. This condition continued until Jordan lost control of Jerusalem.
Jewish residents of Israel were not permitted to visit their Holy Places in East Jerusalem. Christians, too, were discriminated against. In 1958, Jordanian legislation required all members of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre to adopt Jordanian citizenship. In 1965, Christian institutions were forbidden to acquire any land or rights in or near Jerusalem. In 1966, Christian schools were compelled to close on Fridays instead of Sundays, customs privileges of Christian religious institutions were abolished. Jerusalem was bisected by barbed wire, concrete barriers and walls. On a number of occasions Jordanian soldiers opened fire on Jewish Jerusalem. In May 1967, the Temple Mount became a military base for the Jordanian National Guard.
Upon their entry, Israeli soldiers saw these signs of Muslim respect for "East" Jerusalem, among others:
* Various holes were drilled into Jewish graves and coffins on the Mount of Olives, also a holy site in Judaism, so that Jordanian Muslims could urinate into them. Jordanian Muslims also desecrated Jewish headstones from gravesites by making them into sidewalks and floors of barracks, including latrines, just like the Nazis did. (source)
On the Mount of Olives, the Jordanians removed 38,000 tombstones from the ancient cemetery and used them as paving stones for roads and construction in Jordanian Army camps, including use them for their ablutions.
Graves were found open with the bones scattered. Parts of the cemetery were converted into parking lots, a filling station and a road was built to cut through it.
The Intercontinental Hotel was built on the top of the cemetery. The official caretaker of the cemetery, built his home on the grounds using the stones robbed from graves. In 1967, the press published extensive photos documenting that Jewish gravestones were found in Jordanian Army camps as well as in Palestinian walkways, steps, bathrooms, and pavements.
* The Intercontinental Hotel--a prominent meeting place for PLO terrorist leaders and operatives--was deliberately built atop yet more Jewish graves. About 38,000 smashed or damaged tombstones were counted.
But--even the desecration of dead Jews and holy Jewish sites aside--how important is Jerusalem to Islam, anyway? In truth, not very . . . except as a political football against Jews and Israel.
Nothing of Islamic significance ever happened in Jerusalem, unless you count the building of the Dome of the Rock Mosque on top of a Church, which was built on top of the Holy of Holies of the Jewish Temple, the "Beit HaMikdash." Ditto for the building of Al-Aqsa Mosque nearby on the holy Jewish Temple Mount. (The fact that many Islamic terrorists met in Jerusalem to plot attacks on Jews and Christians there and elsewhere, does not establish an Islamic religious claim to the city.) (source)
Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Professor in the Department of Arabic Studies at Bar Ilan University notes:
Islam rediscovered Jerusalem 50 years after Mohammad's death. In 682 CE, Abd Allah Ibn Al-Zubayr rebelled against the Islamic rulers in Damascus, conquered Mecca and prevented pilgrims [Hajjis] from reaching Mecca for the Hajj. Abd Al-Malik, the Ummayad caliph, needed an alternative site for the pilgrimage and settled on Jerusalem, which was then under his control.
In order to justify this choice, a verse from the Koran was chosen (sura 17, verse 1), which states:
Glory to Him who caused His servant to travel by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque, whose precincts We have blessed, in order to show him some of Our Signs . . . .
Clearly there is nothing here noting that Jerusalem is the site of the "Farthest Mosque."
The site is actually and had always been Mecca. But because Abd Al-Malik needed a place to send the Hajjis, and needed a solution fast--with Mecca blocked by warring Muslims--he randomly chose Jerusalem and made up a story to justify it.”
The city which gave birth to both Judaism and Christianity vandalised.
That changed after the Six-Day War in 1967, when Israel regained control of the whole city.
One of Israel’s first steps was to officially recognise and respect all religious interests in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem: 4000 Years in 5 Minutes