From ancient times to more recent past, and up to the present, Jerusalem has been a bright shining light, a crown on the head of Judaism, eternally Jewish and grand.
It seems right to discuss the importance of Jerusalem in pre-Zionist Judaism: Jerusalem remained a center of Jewish attention and thought, throughout the entire history of the dispersion. Jews pray in the direction of Jerusalem, and Jewish prayers call for the rebuilding of Jerusalem as a symbol of the renewal of national life. The Passover Seder meal service concludes with the words
"This year we are here. Next year in Jerusalem."
"Jerusalem" and "Zion" were often synonymous in Jewish thought from the days of the prophet, as for example:
"And the Torah shall be disseminated from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." (Isaiah 2:3)
The chief focus of Jewish worship in Jerusalem after its destruction was the Western retaining wall of the temple, which was not destroyed, and which became, in its exposed portions, "the wailing wall" (in Hebrew, "The Western Wall"-identical with the entire Western Wall retaining wall of the temple, and not a part of it, as Muslims sometimes claim).
History aside, Jerusalem is a vibrant city of high tech innovation. One of the best medical centers and hospitals in the world, Hadassa, where surgeons are doing ground breaking work in reconstruction of burns and wounds. Hadassa is located in Jerusalem. It has a synagogue with12 stained glass windows, courtesy of one of the most mystical and original artists in history, Marc Chagall, and a shrine which is one of the most beautiful in the world.
The parliament, or Kneset, is the center of legislative and political life, a noisy, rambunctious place where representatives of umpteen parties are far from shy in expressing their opinions. If you can, try to get in and take a look…It’s passionate, upsetting or highly inspiring, depending where you stand on issues.
The Hebrew University on Mount Scopus is a testament to the brain power of "the people of the book". It’s Institutional Ranking places it at 97th by Performance in Academic Ranking of World Universities in a Broad Subject Fields: in Mathematics and Science, it ranks around 50th, in Social studies, Computer Science and Physics, it ranks at 47th place. Economic and Business studies are at 70th. English, Medicine Chemistry and Social studies bring down the average with scores between 51-200, which does wonderful innovative research work and produces many people of influence with brilliant contributions to the scientific humanistic fields worldwide. Ehud Olman is one of the many famous alumni. The university ranks as 172 worldwide with work in advanced research in psychology, literature and more. The Hebrew university of Jerusalem is wonderfully diverse and has some of the great minds in the nation, either as permanent or guest presenters.
The cities many Yeshivot are filled with people dedicated to sacred study, the university of Jerusalem is wonderfully diverse and has some of the great minds in the nation, either as permanent or guest presenters and teachers.
As my bus left Central Bus station, I looked out the white glistening snow covered city and felt tears of joy run down my cheek.