June 27, 2019

The Heart of Judaism

“Among the dreamy pines
As evening light is slowly dying
And a lonely bell still chimes,
So many songs, so many stories
The stony hills recall …
Around her heart my city carries
A lonely ancient wall.

These beautiful words of longing and love to Jerusalem — sometimes described as Israel’s second national anthem — were written some 52 years ago by legendary composer and writer Naomi Shemer. She penned them a short while before the Six-Day War that resulted in reunification of Jerusalem.

On Sunday, June 2, we will celebrate the youngest Israeli national holiday, which commemorates the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City. Yom Yerushalayim, or Jerusalem Day, marks the 1967 return of the Old City to the heart of the Jewish people, along with the only remainder from the Second Temple, the Western Wall, which is now under Israel’s rule in the modern State of Israel.

Jerusalem, Zion, was, is and will always will be the heart of Judaism. In the Hebrew Bible, the name Jerusalem is mentioned 669 times. Jews never left Jerusalem, physically or spiritually.”

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