Jerusalem - A City Immortal
The Walled City of Jerusalem is unique and anyone walking through its narrow streets experiences this special feeling. It is in the air.
The history of Jerusalem goes back thousands of years. King David, the second king of Israel, established it as the eternal capital of Israel. This was around 1000 BCE.
King Solomon, David’s son, expanded the city and built the first Temple in Jerusalem. The city became not only the administrative capital of Israel but the spiritual and holy capital of the People of Israel.
The city has been fought over sixteen times in its history. It has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times.
The region including Jerusalem was ruled by many, the Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantine empire, Arabs, Crusaders, Turks, Britain and others in between. The rule of other nations over Jerusalem and Israel continued for over approximately two thousand years.
It is here that the prophecy that the chosen people become a light to others began glowing. It is the birthplace of Christianity. Jesus who walked and died in Jerusalem two thousand years ago, ensured its holiness for Christianity. The Moslems, originating in Abrahams son Ishmael, turned towards Jerusalem in prayer and is one of the Islam worlds three holy sites.
Yet, and even though Jerusalem has been ruled by the many powers that came and went throughout the centuries one truth always prevailed. Throughout history the Jewish people who persevered as a nation, have always seen Jerusalem as their historic capital. It is not only the holiness of the city (First and Second Temples), but also the capital of the State which was given to the Children of Israel in the Bible.
Today it is the center and pinnacle for the modern State of Israel. Israel has been an independent state only three times during its long course in history. All three were Jewish with Jerusalem as the capital. No other nation or people has ever claimed the land or even ruled over the holy city.
This holy immortality of Jerusalem is in the air as one traverses through its narrow streets.
Yet, it is only under Israeli control that freedom for all materialized.
Throughout the centuries of occupation by various empires the basic freedom of religion, or for that matter any freedom, was frequently limited or non-existent. Under Moslem rule before the creation of the modern State of Israel it was virtually impossible for Christians and Jews to freely practice religion within the walls of the Holy City. As is even to this day in many parts of the Moslem world.
The walls of Jerusalem do not have any bullet holes and have never been hit by mortars. In 1967 in the Six Day War, the Israeli army took over the city without firing one shot at it. It was inconceivable to Israeli High command that anything could be damaged in this city by military action, even at the risk of life. With enormous efforts, the paratroopers of the Israeli Defense Forces, advanced alley by alley until the city was secured once again for all.
The Liberation following this battle was indeed the freeing of a city under chains.
Today, Jerusalem is free. Christians, Moslems and Jews can visit their holy places without fear. Many, especially those who are unfamiliar with the situation in the Middle East and the delicate fabric of Jerusalem will argue with this. Visiting Jerusalem will show the doubtful that it’s this fabric that the State of Israel strives to protect.
Jerusalem’s immortality, for the Jewish people, a nation of thousands of years, and for Christianity which rose from its walls will always prevail. The unity of the entire city of Jerusalem under modern Israeli rule ensures this.
The Middle East turmoil can only point to the plight of Jerusalem if it falls into radical Islamic control. The holy places of the Church and the Temple will disintegrate into rubble. The fundamental Islamic extremists preach murder of all “infidels” and destruction of Israel. This does not include only ISIS but other groups such as the Hamas, Hizbollah, and others. Iran, the root of countless evil in the Middle East and worldwide, call for this destruction. The Hamas for example fired missiles at Jerusalem in the last Gaza conflict.
A strong united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the Holy Bible Capital of the Jews, is a beacon of sanity in this troubled part of the world. It is only under Israeli rule, since the 1967 Six Day War, that Jerusalem is a place for all regardless of faith.
You do not have to be religious to understand and feel this immortality and holiness and the beauty of it, is that it's for everyone.
The State of Israel is Jerusalem's protector as Jerusalem is Israel's guardian.