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Why Jerusalem Is So Important To Jewish People?

Jerusalem is more than just a city to the Jewish people; it’s our heart and soul. It’s where our ancestors walked, where King David ruled, and where the Temples stood as the center of our spiritual world.

King David in the City of David (AI Generated)
King David in the City of David (AI Generated)

Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel, stands as a testament to resilience, faith, and identity. We celebrate 57 years to the reunification of East and West Jerusalem in 1967. It's not just a celebration of a historical event but a celebration of a living, breathing city that has been at the heart of Jewish history and spirit for over 3,000 years.

From King David to Today: A Chronicle of Faith and Sovereignty

Gerard Van Honthorst King David Plays The Harp
Gerard Van Honthorst King David Plays The Harp (Public Domain)

Around 1000 BCE, King David captured the city from the Jebusites and made it the capital of his kingdom. This was not a mere political maneuver; it was a divine mandate. The Bible tells us in 2 Samuel 5:7, "Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion—which is the City of David." From that moment, Jerusalem became the spiritual and political heart of the Jewish people.

Solomon, David’s son, further cemented Jerusalem’s significance by building the First Temple, a place where God's presence dwelled. Despite its destruction and the subsequent Babylonian exile, the Jewish connection to Jerusalem remained unbroken. When the Jews returned and built the Second Temple, the city once again became the epicenter of Jewish life.

Fast forward through centuries of conquests and diasporas, the Jewish people never relinquished their spiritual bond with Jerusalem. This unwavering connection was poignantly expressed by the Psalmist in Psalm 137:5-6, "If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill. Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy."

A force of paratroopers watches over the Old City, the Six Day War.
A force of paratroopers watches over the Old City, the Six Day War. (Wikimedia)

The Modern Era: Triumph Over Enemies

The 20th century saw Jerusalem in the center of conflict (again!), especially during the British Mandate and the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. The 1967 Six-Day War was a turning point. Israel liberated Jerusalem from Jordanian occupation, Israeli forces reunited Jerusalem, once again bringing it under Jewish sovereignty. The words of then-Defense Minister Moshe Dayan spoke the sentiment of Jews worldwide: "We have returned to our holiest of holy places, never to be parted from them again."

Today, Jerusalem is a thriving, modern city, a mosaic of cultures and religions. Yet, it remains deeply rooted in its Jewish identity and history. Jerusalem Day, celebrated annually on the 28th of Iyar, is a day of joy and pride for the Jewish people, symbolizing the unbroken connection between the Jewish people and their ancient capital.

Israeli men celebrate on Jerusalem day in front of Damascus gate
Israeli men celebrate on Jerusalem day in front of Damascus gate (Shutterstock)

The Flag Parade: Controversy and Celebration

One of the most visible and aspects of Jerusalem Day is the Flag Parade. Thousands of Israelis, waving the blue and white flag, march through the streets of Jerusalem. Critics argue that this parade is provocative, exacerbating tensions between Jews and Arabs in the city.

Let’s be clear here: Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. It is a city that reflects our heritage, our triumphs, and our tragedies. Waving the Israeli flag in our capital city is not be controversial; it is be a proud affirmation of our identity and sovereignty. The flag represents our history, our struggles, and our victories. It is a symbol of our right to exist in our ancient homeland.

However, respecting people should be a priority, and extremists from both sides should be not be allowed around the parade, as they ruin it for the rest of the people who came to celebrate in peace. The parade should celebrate unity and peace, not a flashpoint for conflict.

Sunset aerial view of the Temple Mount
Sunset aerial view of the Temple Mount (Wikimedia)

Why Jerusalem Matters

Jerusalem is mentioned over 600 times in the Hebrew Bible, symbolizing the eternal covenant between God and the Jewish people. Every prayer, every celebration, and every Jewish yearning has Jerusalem at its center. It represents our past struggles, our present resilience, and our future aspirations. For Jews, Jerusalem is not just a place on the map; it is a living, breathing testament to our enduring legacy and divine promise. When we Jews pray - we always turn in the direction of Jerusalem, because that's where our heart is.

Jerusalem has withstood millennia of turmoil and remains a beacon of faith and resilience. Its story is far from over. The modern city, with its high-tech industries and ancient stones, embodies the spirit of the Jewish people: enduring, adapting, and thriving.

In a world where history is often rewritten and identities challenged, Jerusalem stands firm. It is a reminder that some bonds cannot be broken, some histories cannot be erased. Jerusalem is more than a city; it is the heart of a people. It is a symbol of the enduring covenant between God and the Jewish people.

Let us celebrate this Jerusalem Day with joy and pride. Let us wave our flags high, not out of spite, but out of love for our homeland. Let us honor our past, live fully in the present, and look forward to a future where Jerusalem, the city of peace, truly lives up to its name. As the prophet Isaiah envisioned: "For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Isaiah 2:3).

Here's to Jerusalem—eternal, indivisible, and ever-inspiring. Happy Jerusalem Day!

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Jun 09











Psalm 91:4:

“He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.”

Psalm 122:6:

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper who love you.’”

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