Jerusalem, Israel’s Historic and Spiritual Capital
Dear Friend of The Fellowship,
The U.S. just made history by announcing that it recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
It was a bold, courageous move that is long overdue, and is especially significant coming from Israel’s closest ally. But it was also deeply controversial. Though Israel declared Jerusalem its capital in 1948, for most of the world, the city’s status remains disputed.
Still, in the words of American President and Founding Father John Adams, “Facts are stubborn things.” And the facts remain: Jerusalem has been the spiritual centre of Jewish life since the time of King David. The ancient, eternal connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem is reaffirmed time and again in Holy Scripture. There has been a continuous Jewish presence in Jerusalem for thousands of years, and the city has never been claimed by any other nation or people. No wonder, then, that when the modern state of Israel was formed, Jerusalem was chosen as capital.
The psalmist said, “If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill” (Psalm 137:5). Even as we rejoice in this news, let us also pray that peace will reign throughout the region, that violence will subside, and that Israel’s people and all who defend them will be protected. And let us again resolve, like the psalmist, never to forget this ancient, holy city, sacred to Jews and Christians alike – the capital of Jewish life and culture for more than 3,000 years.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
President and Founder, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews® of Canada
Rabbi’s Commentary Archive