The Jewish eternal connection to Jerusalem since biblical times

Since antiquity, the Jewish people have an historic eternal connection to Jerusalem. As Psalms 137:5-6 proclaims, “If I forget thee O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to my palate, if I do not remember you, if I do not bring up Jerusalem at the beginning of my joy.”
Photo Credit: Rachel Avraham

The Jewish people have a historic eternal connection to the holy city of Jerusalem dating back to antiquity. For the Jewish people, it is the holiest city on the entire planet. Jerusalem is to the Jewish people what Mecca is to the Muslims and Rome is to the Catholics. According to the Jewish belief system, it was within the magical city of Jerusalem that the binding of Isaac took place and it is where Jacob had his famous dream. In addition, it is the spot where both the First and Second Jewish Temples stood.

When the Jewish Temple existed, it was the glory of the ancient world. The ancient Jewish priests blessed all of the nations of the world within its sacred walls, where the Ark of the Covenant that stored the Ten Commandments was located.  For the Jewish people, the Temple was the center of the world. All Jews used to visit there to perform sacrifices to G-d three times per year on Passover, Sukkot and Shavuot.

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For these reasons, Jerusalem is inseparable from the Jewish people. As Psalms 137:5-6 proclaims, “If I forget thee O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to my palate, if I do not remember you, if I do not bring up Jerusalem at the beginning of my joy.” Indeed, Jerusalem is mentioned 349 times by name in the Jewish Bible, thus demonstrating the great Jewish attachment to the city.

Even after the Jewish Temple was destroyed in 70 CE and the Jewish people were uprooted from their historic homeland following the failure of the Bar Kokhba Revolt in 135 CE, the Jewish people never lost their attachment to Jerusalem. In every single synagogue throughout the world, Jews pray in the direction of Jerusalem. In Jewish weddings, the groom who breaks the glass symbolically remembers the destruction of the Temple. At the Passover Seder, Jews passionately proclaim, “Next Year in Jerusalem.” Holidays were introduced into Judaism with the sole purpose of remembering the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem.

Although Judaism continued as a faith after the destruction of the Temple, it is important to note that a great fraction of the 613 laws that Jews are commanded to do cannot be performed without the existence of a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount. No other religion on the face of the planet holds Jerusalem in the same esteem that Jews do. For this reason, when Israel was declared to be a state, Jerusalem became its capital city for this wonderful city has always been the center of the Jewish world since biblical times.



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