JERUSALEM IN THE SNOW (PART 6) 150 150 Sarity Gervais

A discussion on the importance of Jerusalem to Jews in modern days, far more than just a symbol or an iconic site to tour as it is to other people.

As I mentioned before, Jerusalem is important to an astonishing number of people, just to reiterate, the number is estimated at 3.8 billion – Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and quite a few more.

However, to Jews and to Israel, Jerusalem has a unique political importance, for many reasons, one of which is it being the seat of the Knesset and the Capitol of the young State of Israel. For centuries, Jews returned here to die, yearning to be buried in the soil of the homeland. It means so much more to the Jews than to people who haven’t considered it home. For a long time, immemorial Jerusalem was a focal point of Jewish yearnings to return to the homeland. It has been a focus of Zionist reconstruction, a symbol which tied us together and infused us all with the courage to go on even in the face of evil attacks and acts of great cruelty. First Prime Minister David Ben Gurion recognized this fact and put a lot of effort into maintaining constant presence in the city.

Jerusalem was the scene of Arab massacres and ethnic cleansing of Jews in 1921, 1929 and 1936-39, a painful reminder that the place is hallowed ground, soaked by the blood of our great grandparents and grandparents, even parents or brothers and sisters to the older generations.

In 1948, it was the scene of great bravery and devastating failure in the Israeli War of Independence. Jerusalem must be Jewish for it is the capital of the state of Israel and the very symbol of Jewish national revival.

The place remained the focus of Zionist reconstruction and even through multitudes of occupations, what was called Palestine pre-the 1948 U.N. agreement, the country had a constant Jewish presence. Every Passover Seder ends with a Mantra: Ba’shana Haba’a Bey’rushalayim Hab’nuya… Next year we’ll be in the rebuilt Jerusalem. Thus, the city serves as the centre of Jewish national revival.