Answering those who deny Jerusalem’s Jewish history (JERUSALEM POST OP-ED) By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ 03/21/12)
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Evil spirits surround Jerusalem.
Small-minded people are trying to undermine the foundations of the
eternal castle; denying its past, erasing its identity. They are
trying to take possession of King David’s holy city.
No, I will not testify about the Jewishness of Jerusalem. Testimony
will be given by the ancient coins found among the remains, etched
with names of Kings of Judea. Testimony will be given by the burned
stamps carrying biblical names. Testimony will be given by the walls
of hope, built by Nehemiah, the rebuilder of Jewish settlement in
Jerusalem over 2,300 years ago. Testimony will be given by the
tremendous stone walls which surround Temple Mount, the site of the
Second Temple, about which the Romans said nothing so magnificent had
been seen anywhere in the world. Testimony will be given by the
ritual baths carved in Jerusalem stone on the pilgrims’ route.
No, I will not testify about the Jewish nation’s devotion to
Testimony will be given by the desperate etchings left by pilgrims on
the stone walls of Jerusalem. Testimony will be given by the Holy Ark
curtains, the wine goblets and other ritual objects which carry the
image of the Western Wall stones in every place which Jews reached
around the world. Testimony will be given by the prayers, the hymns
and the liturgy recited in Morocco and Spain, in the mountains of
Ethiopia and in the steppes of the Ukraine, etching the memory of
Jerusalem in every heart.
No, I will not testify about the freedom of Jerusalem. Testimony will
be given by the millions of pilgrims; Jews, Christians and Muslims
who – for the first time in 2,000 years – have complete freedom of
religion and worship in Jerusalem, who enjoy the status quo of mutual
respect and of the safeguarding of the sacred places to the three
religions, protected by the government of the sovereign State of
Israel. Testimony will be given by the state archeological sites and
museums in Jerusalem which preserve and tell the story of Jerusalem
throughout the generations.
For 2,000 years, since my forefathers were expelled from it under the
Roman sword, Jerusalem was destroyed and rebuilt time and after time.
And when we merited to return to Jerusalem, we chose to stop the
cycle of destruction, to return our beloved city to its eternal
mission: “...that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be
established as the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above
the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it”; A city in which all
believers can raise their eyes upward.
We must condemn those who wish to return Jerusalem to the cycle of
denial and bloodshed, and who wish to erase its Jewish past in the
name of political struggle.
One of Jerusalem’s greatest rabbis once said, “If we were destroyed,
and the world with us, due to baseless hatred, then we shall rebuild
ourselves, and the world with us, with baseless love.” Jerusalem will
no longer be built on hate. Jerusalem’s future will not be written on
its destroyed past. Shame on those who wish to erase Jerusalem’s
The writer is the rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites. (© 1995-
2011, The Jerusalem Post 03/21/12)
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