14 May 2010
What the President understood not. By Rabbi Yosef Y. Jacobson - www.chabad.org
In the imagination of my soul, I travel 2700 years until one of the corners of ancient Jerusalem, the splendid city of white gold. I can hear our Prophet Yeshayahu wiping away tears as he pronounces his words moving and immortal, "Console, console my people," says the Eternal. "He speaks to Jerusalem and cry to her."
The rest of the world, people seek meaning; you, Jerusalem, meaning people search. Jerusalem! Today I would like to consider the words of Yeshayahu and speak to your heart.
How many secrets his giant heart contain? How many impressions, how many scars are etched in the cracks of its ancient stones?
If only I could, even for a moment, feel all you have absorbed over the last 4000 years. You've been here to accept every tear, every sigh, every wound and every death. You've seen their children born and their children being murdered, brides getting married and then mutilated. You have assisted millions of Jews dancing in the streets and since then millions of them massacred on the same paths. You have heard hundreds of melodies of joy and lent an ear to numerous groans of pain. The whole history of my people is shown in the rows of old worn out and his face stone silent.
You have been a faithful witness of our collective drama, unique among all peoples of the world: our glory and our horror, our despair and our hope. Our unwavering faith in the existence of the supreme good and our rational skepticism caused by the ruthless power of evil on this planet. Above all - you have served as the energizer in our millennial long battle to build a world that reflects the infinite human potential.
When I go in your walls, O Jerusalem, I forget my ego. Around me more than myself, part of the eternal melody of my people Israel, reverberating through every inch of your soil.
In the rest of the world, people seek meaning; you, Jerusalem, meaning people search. You have been the main stage of a struggle than 4,000 years to build a piece of heaven here on earth. This bold effort always held within its space, a place in the world where heaven and earth kiss.
The Kabbalists teach us that every thought sacred, every moral instinct, every holy desire, all spiritual experience, originates within the walls of Jerusalem. You have been chosen to serve as the plant of holiness and morality in a world depraved and hostile.
And you never forgot us, Jerusalem. Since the day that the Temple went up in flames, do not you shut your eyes for even a night's rest. As a mother restless awaiting the return of a son who is missing, you never failed to anticipate the return of their children. You never accepted our expulsion of its sacred boundaries.
On this day, their children are suffering. Again, the powers of the world are trying to expel their children from its soil. This is the vision of a future democratic Palestinian state - that Jews are prohibited from living in certain parts of Jerusalem? The Arabs can live anywhere in Jerusalem, Jews are forbidden to live in certain parts of its historic capital of three thousand years?
The U.S. President and his administration naively believed that the conflict between Jews and Arabs is about this or that piece of land, not about the very existence of Israel. For years, hundreds of his children were blown to pieces by the hands of their neighbors, only because the territory was ceded to them, the territory which was immediately turned into bastions of terror. Among the victims were small children, teenagers, parents and grandparents. A large hole formed in the heart of Israel. No celebration is more full, none is genuine serenity. The laughter of many people was stolen in this small country. In the name of peace and sanctity of human life - both as a Jew of Arabic - we must not allow our neighbors to start the third intifada.
Jerusalem! What we, the Jewish people need most today is a big hug and a dose of unshakable confidence to withstand the pressure of even provoke more bloodshed. We need the courage to face the American President and all the hunters in the world and declare Israel: Do not allow Jerusalem, the heart of our hearts, to be used as a propaganda tool in the hands of people who unfortunately long for our destruction.
G-d hug you, Oh Jerusalem, for you to embrace us.
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