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Monday, June 06, 2005

Yerushaliam is OURS!! Now and Forever!!

I was wondering what to write for Yom Yerushaliam. What could I possibly write that could capture the feeling of being here, as a citizen, to celebrate to reunification of Jerusalem? Not just that but also the fact that ALL of Jerusalem is OURS and will be forever. Well, luckilly, I don't have to. As a subsciber to Middle East on Target , I continuously get incredible articles. Today, I got something that was beyond words. It is a perfect description of what this day does and should mean to all of us. So, without further a due, The Letter to the World, published two years after the liberation of Jersusalem and signed by Eliezer Ben Yisroel:

A Letter to the World from Jerusalem

I am not a creature from another planet, as you seem to believe. I am a Jerusalemite – like yourselves, a man of flesh and blood. I am a citizen of my city, an integral part of my people.

I have a few things to get off my chest. Because I am not a diplomat, I do not have to mince words. I do not have to please you, or even persuade you. I owe you nothing. You did not build this city; you do not live in it; you did not defend it when they came to destroy it. And we will be damned if we will let you take it away.

There was a Jerusalem before there was a New York. When Berlin, Moscow, and Paris were miasmal forest and swamp, there was a thriving Jewish community here. It gave something to the world which you nations have rejected ever you established yourselves - a humane moral code.

Here the prophets walked, their words flashing like forked lightning. Here a people who wanted nothing more than to be left alone, fought off waves of heathen would-be conquerors, bled and died on the battlements, hurled themselves into the flames of their burning Temple rather than surrender: and when finally overwhelmed by sheer numbers and led away into captivity, swore that before they forget Jerusalem, they would see their tongues cleave to their palates, their right arm wither.

For two pain filled millennia, while we were your unwelcome guests, we prayed daily to return to this city. Three times a day we petitioned the Almighty: “Gather us from the four corners of the world, bring us upright to our land: return in mercy to Jerusalem, Thy city, and dwell in it as Thou promised.”

On every Yom Kippur and Passover we fervently voiced the hope that next year would find us in Jerusalem. Your inquisitions, pogroms, expulsions, the ghettos into which you jammed us, your forced baptisms, your quota systems, your genteel anti-semitism, and the final unspeakable horror, the holocaust (and worse, your terrifying disinterest in it)-all these have not broken us. They may have sapped what little moral strength you still possessed, but they forged us into steel. Do you think that you can break us now, after all we have been through? Do you really believe that after Dachau and Auschwitz we are frightened by your threats of blockades and sanctions? We have been to Hell and back-a Hell of your making. What more could you possibly have in your arsenal that could scare us?

I have watched this city bombarded twice by nations calling themselves civilized. In 1948, while you looked on apathetically, I saw women and children blown to smithereens, this after we had agreed to your request to internationalize the city. It was a deadly combination that did the job: British officers; Arab gunners and American-made cannon.

And then the savage sacking of the Old City: the willful slaughter, the wanton destruction of every synagogue and religious school: the desecration of Jewish cemeteries; the sale by a ghoulish government of tomb stones for building materials, for poultry runs, army camps-even latrines.

And you never said a word.

You never breathed the slightest protest when the Jordanians shut off the holiest of our holy places, the Western Wall in violation of the pledges they had made after the war-a war they waged., incidentally , against a decision of the UN. Not a murmur came from you whenever the legionnaires in their spiked helmets casually opened fire upon our citizens from behind the walls.

Your hearts bled when Berlin came under siege. You rushed your airlift “to save the gallant Berliners.” But you did not send one ounce of food when Jews starved in besieged Jerusalem. You thundered against the wall which the East Germans ran through the middle of the German capital – but not one peep out of you about that other wall, the one that tore through the heart of Jerusalem.

And when the same thing happened 20 years later, and the Arabs unleashed a savage, unprovoked bombardment of the Holy City again, did any of you do anything? The only time you came to life was then the city was at last re-united. Then you wrung your hands and spoke loftily of “justice” and the need for the “Christian” quality if turning the other cheek.

The truth is – and you know it deep inside your gut – you would prefer the city to be destroyed rather than have it governed by Jews. No matter how diplomatically you phrase it, the age old prejudices seep out of every word.

If our return to the city has tied your theology in knots, perhaps you had better re-examine your catechisms. After what we have been through, we are not passively going to accommodate ourselves to the twisted idea that we are to suffer eternal homelessness until we accept your Savior.

For the first time since the year 70 there is now complete religious freedom for all in Jerusalem. For the first time since the Romans put the torch to the Temple everyone has equal rights. (You preferred to have some more equal than others.) We loathe the sword – but it was you who forced us to take it up. We crave peace – but we are not going back to the peace of 1948 as you would like us to.

We are home. It has a lovely sound for a nation you have willed to wander over the face of the globe. We are not leaving. We have redeemed the pledge made to our forefathers: Jerusalem is being rebuilt. “Next year” – and the year after, and after, until the end of time – “in Jerusalem!”


At 8:21 PM, Blogger Chai18 said...

amazing article

At 8:27 PM, Blogger Chai18 said...

the link to middle east on target doesn't work change the shortcut from http://http://me-ontarget.com/ to just http://www.me-ontarget.com/

At 10:03 PM, Blogger Chana said...

I received this in my email, think you will want to hear it:

"In honor of Yom Yerushalayim...you MUST hear this!
Please click on the link below. It is the original audio tapes of the
capture of the Old City of Yerushalayim (which we celebrate today)including the famous statement of, "Har Habayit B'yadenu." The audio is 11
minutes long and has a running (more-or-less) translation in English at the website as well."



My real blog is over at www.curiousjew.modblog.com

At 10:19 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

All fixed, Chai. Enjoy the site. It's really great. I'd love to hear what you think about the articles. These two are really experts in their field. I guarantee you won't be dissatisfied.

At 10:34 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Thanks Chana. Listening to it right now, and I can't help but cry. Amazing!!! That's all I can say. Thank you.

At 10:34 PM, Blogger Chai18 said...

your right OC i was looking around the site, it has some amazing articles, i wonder why i have never heard of it before, thanks for pointing it out.

At 10:40 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

They're a word of mouth crew. They lecture all over Israel and the United States. They're getting more popular by the month. Tell your friends. If they're interested in hearing really intellectual discussions on the Middle East, that is the sight to go to and subscribe to. Enjoy.


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