Monday, January 20, 2014

Numbers 2: Jerusalem Means Seeing Peace

Naso/Lift up (Numbers 4:21-7:89) Jerusalem Day/Yom Yerushalayim

Guest blogger for Naso/Yom Yerushalayim is our creative granddaughter Shirel Alexenberg who was born on Jerusalem Day.  She celebrated the liberation of Jerusalem by photographing the Old City in Jerusalem.  Her name Shirel is written with the same Hebrew letters as Israel.     

May God bless you and safeguard you.  May God make His countenance enlighten you and grant you grace.  May God lift His countenance to you and grant you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)
An imperviousness to God’s intervention in history plagues our generation.  A series of wondrous events is taking place before us. Yet blind eyes fail to see the hand of God and deaf ears fail to hear the Divine call guiding history. (Rabbi A. I. Kook, Chief Rabbi of Israel in the first half of the 20th century)

Liberate people who are blind though they have eyes and deaf thought they have ears.  (Isaiah 43:8)   

Shirel photographed the 17th century Raban Yohanan Ben Zakai Synagogue rebuilt after having been demolished by the Arabs in 1948.

It stands on the site of the Beit Midrash of Yohanan ben Zakai who established the Sanhedrin after the destruction of the Second Temple.
On the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount are huge stones from a massive arch wrecked by the Roman legions 2 millenia ago.

Today, Israeli flags adorn walls of the rebuilt Jewish Quarter of the Old City to celebrate the anniversary of restored Jewish sovereignty.
Only the Jews have made Jerusalem its sovereign capital since King David moved it from Hebron three millennia ago.

In 1967, Israel restored its sovereignty over all of Jerusalem after liberating it in a war waged by the Arabs to annihilate Israel.   
Meir Yehuda Getz, late Rabbi of the Western Wall, restored the Yohanan Ben Zakai Synagogue and Beit El Kabbalists’ Yeshiva in Jerusalem that he headed.

Shirel's father Rabbi Ron Alexenberg studied at this yeshiva with its current head Rabbi Yisrael Avihai from Yeroham where Shirel grew up.