Friday, June 3, 2011


Jerusalem! Just hearing her name stirs the soul. Wednesday was Jerusalem Day, marking the 44th anniversary of the liberation and unification of Jerusalem. For 1900 years Jerusalem was occupied and ruled by strangers. For nineteen years Jerusalem was divided. Israel had reclaimed her western flank, while the heart of Jerusalem, the old city, the City of David, and the Temple Mount, were in the hands of the Jordanian occupiers.

This Jerusalem day hundreds of observant Jews as well as many G-d fearing Gentiles ascended the Temple Mount. Tens of thousand more weaved their way through the thoroughfares of Jerusalem waving the flag of Israel and wound down the narrow paths of Jerusalem's old city as they headed towards the Holy Temple's western retaining wall - the Kotel. It was a type of aliya - a type of pilgrimage ascent, reminiscent of Israel's historical festival pilgrimages of Sukkot, Passover and Shavuot.

This upcoming Tuesday night-Wednesday is Shavuot, the festival which features the bringing of the bikurim - the first fruits - to the Holy Temple, and which commemorates the Sinai revelation - the receiving of Torah at Mt. Sinai. The journey to Sinai was, as we know, fraught with danger. Both the sole superpower, Egypt, and the terrorist nation of Amalek did their level best to stop Israel in her tracks, and both failed. And as we will witness in the upcoming weeks as we proceed through the book of Numbers, countless prophets and soothsayers and kings and armies and plotters and planners would all seek to block the way, to keep Israel from entering the land and possessing Jerusalem...

Exerpt from Yitzchak Reuven
The Temple Institute

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