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Jerusalem Undivided

05/24/2017 12:57:13 PM

May24

Rabbi Kathy Cohen

We are taught that God gave ten measures of beauty to descend to the earth and nine descended upon Jerusalem while the rest of the world received just one. This is not the beauty that the eye beholds but rather the tremendous love that only the soul can grasp. I feel this every time I enter Jerusalem. I have no words to describe it, other than to say that an abiding feeling of holiness envelopes me.

I love Jerusalem. I love its history, it’s present and it’s promise. Touching the Western Wall connects we the generations past who came to this site to reveal the innermost prayers of their hearts. There is a smell and feel to the Old City of Jerusalem that is different than any other place on earth.

I cannot imagine being barred from the ancient city of our ancestors. My Grandmother used to tell me about her trip in 1958 to Jerusalem and how she could only see the Wall through binoculars. She never dreamed that in her lifetime her grandchildren would be able to touch the Wall. Fifty years ago Jewish young men bravely fought to reunify Jerusalem and fulfill the dream of our ancestors. Many gave their lives and to them we are forever indebted.

Jerusalem is not the perfect city. The politics and tensions are difficult. The ultra-orthodox grow in strength and make others feel unwelcome. East Jerusalem is occasionally a hotbed of anti-Israel feeling. Yet, this little imperfect paradise is extraordinarily special.

A few weeks ago I marched with our teens from Safra Square (the governmental center of the New City) to the Western Wall plaza (the spiritual center of the Old City)  as a statement that the city is once again undivided. All are welcome but Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people. It is the Capital of Israel and it does not matter one iota where the American embassy is located.

Jerusalem means the “city of peace”. It is not yet the city of peace but I truly believe that when we finally reach that day we will have a true taste on the messianic times. “If I forget thee O Jerusalem, may my right hand wither.”

Tue, August 22 2017 30 Av 5777