I recently wrote an article I named, ‘Jerusalem, Israel Is The Violin For All Your Songs. The article’s title is associated with the song, ‘Yerushalayim Shel Zahav’-Jerusalem of Gold, in which the repetitious verse is, “Jerusalem of gold, and of bronze, and of light, behold I am a violin for all your songs.”
Reaction to the article came from Christians. I provided a link to the song, Jerusalem of Gold, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlIJOAZ1pak and readers told me their eyes did not remain dry.
I was on my last leg of the Israeli military service when the Six Day War broke and the song was sang, literally from morning to night over the radio waves of Israel. The melody and words are now embedded with much pride of humongous and miraculous Jewish victory over the ongoing aggression of the Arab nations on the Jewish State.
More so, the song has brought to Jerusalem the attention and eternal national and spiritual fame it needed. Until the day the song became known and Israel regaining the Old Part of City, though the Capital of Israel, Israelis were missing access to all the ancient Jewish spiritual sites. The song introduced Jerusalem to the world in an expression of the feelings the Jewish Nation has for their ancient city of gold and light.
The reason Jerusalem in on my mind is because it has become one of the Arab-“Palestinians’ pawns in their ongoing war on Israel. For now, they have forgone the military attacks and are using political terrorism against the Jewish State. The Arab-“Palestinians'” are now demanding that Jerusalem be divided so they can have part of it to themselves. That part, the one that was in Jordanian’s captivity for nineteen years, is to become their Palestinian state capital.
Jerusalem has never ever been any other nation’s capital, so why now? Because the Arabs want to stab the Jewish nation in its heart, as part of their larger scheme to bring the Jewish state to its final demise.
In his recent visit to the United States, Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Congress and avowed that Jerusalem will not be divided. This is an important declaration to Jews and Christians alike because, if part of the city is to be controlled by Arab-“Palestinian” Moslems, seeking to make it their capital, Jews will no longer have access to it and that is unacceptable. As for Christians, visiting a Moslem controlled city will be at their peril. More so, as history attests, we can then expect that the Jewish and Christians holy sites be desecrated.
When it comes to Jerusalem, deep feelings for the city play part with Israel and the Jewish nation. But not only for Jews. The city is a significant center for the Christian religion. Just as every Muslim is commanded, at least once in his life time, to embark on a pilgrimage to Mecca, Christians will embark on pilgrimage to Jerusalem as often as they can.
Jerusalem is the Jewish nation Identity Card. When the Jews regained their sovereignty in the Land of Israel, many, but not all, have gone through identity enlightenment. Israelis may know the Hebrew, but not necessary identify themselves through religious prayers and their scriptures. In comparison, Diaspora Jews may know religious prayers, but in all likelihood do not fully understand the prayers, which is in Hebrew.
Jews live with both, identity crisis and identity enlightenment. One has to know whom they are, as HaShem says they are, to really understand the identity they are fighting for. Part of this identity, for both Jews and Christians, is indelibly tied with the Land of Israel. Regrettably, members of synagogues’ in the world seem to be more interested in building great social programs but the idea of fighting for the Land of Israel is, in many cases, of no interest to them. That is bit foreign. For many Jews, their identity is there, only it is hidden and needs to brought out through identity enlightenment. This same concept applies to Christians as well.
For 2000 years Jews lived on the fringe and margin of societies, always wondering what the level of their acceptance in the host country was but were also accustomed to be badly treated and made to be scapegoats. Finally, against many odds, miraculously and with Godly intervention, the modern State of Israel was established and now Jews can defend themselves. Sadly, the world has not come to grip with the fact that Jews are no longer an easy target; the world’s forever scapegoating victim has slipped away.
More irking is the fact that Israeli-Jews have not come to full comprehension of their sovereignty.
Jews make a problematic society and so is their land. The Land of Israel was designated and given to the Jewish Nation by their God. Yet, because there is a gap between secular Jews and religious Jews, the facts of the Devine’s gift is not deeply embedded in the belief and sentiments of all Jews.
That is why, one Israeli prime minister after another, to include Benjamin Netanyahu, and many Israelis and Jews are so “ready” to offer up, on every turn, as appeasement tool to the enemy, Jewish territory, even parts of Jerusalem. It is a sign that there is still a lack of total belonging mentality, which goes back to the kind of People Jews were when they lived in the Diaspora.
Note that it was the secular Jews who created Zionism and moved to build the Jewish State. But, ultimately, the State of Israel, as a whole, should trust in G-d, not in chariots and horses! The Jewish People need to follow the promises He made to His People and know they were good. Perhaps Israel is in a greater trouble today because it has not grasped His promises. And one does not need to be religious to believe and know that.
For that reason I hold deep respect for Christians like Pastor John Hagee, media mogul Glenn Beck and millions of Christian parishioners so stanchly support the State of Israel. I admire their clarity about the Land of Israel position: “Israel is defined by His covenant, an unconditional promise,” which way too many Israelis toss aside.
It has been very encouraging to see the growth of the pro-Israel Christian movement. In this movement the support for Israel is reaching beyond political, socioeconomic, and ethnic lines. The pro-Israel Christians are Asians, Blacks, Caucasians, and Hispanics; very young to seniors. They regularly participate in pro-Israel rallies, they advocate and petition for the Jewish state when necessary, they take their place in Holocaust commemorations and Israel’s Independence Day celebrations , they donate to the cause of helping Israel grow and they travel to Jerusalem as often as their pocket book allows. They are cognizant how vital important it is for the world to recognize Israel’s legal right to the Land as well as to have truly defensible borders.
Like Jews, many Christians have identity problems. I sincerely believe that these identity issues are caused because neither Jews or Christians have been taught how to embrace religion without being fanatic or overzealous about it. Many understand that if they cannot practice religion, at their pace, they simply walk away from it. It also has much to do with religious leaders, who, in many cases, do more harm than good to ingather the people around them, to include trust issues they project in negative light.
Israel is young and people there are still ridden with Ghetto and persecution mentality and the ‘Sha, Shtil’, state of mind, which is to stay away and not cause problem, a mentality of people who lived for way too long on the fringe of society and simply knew no other way of life.
A good question to ask is, “who is a Jew?” or, “who is a Christian?” At the end, it is that person who has a real heart for Israel, is cognizant that he or she is not just a fashionable friend of Israel but has deep rooted sentiments for and in Israel as grafted into His roots. These people know all well that their very identity has deep ties with Israel. Their support of Israel is stanch, though may attract increasingly greater opposition. They know and are aware it comes with the, support Israel territory.
Though, the past has been stained with Jewish bloody, when Christians killed millions of Jews, in the evolving world of today, real Jews and real Christians are now very much depending on one another to be and show who they really are, the people He designed them to be; His people!
Whether it is Jews or Christians, praying and advocating for Israel is a vital part of understanding the scriptures and the biblical mandate to pray for the Land and its People.
You think you may have an identity issue, travel to Israel. You wish to have deeper understanding of your identity, going to Israel will help shape your identity. When you come back you will know much more about your identity and how that is so well tied with the Land of Israel.
Israel is the grounds’ keeper, the keeper of the LAND, all the land, simply because it belongs to the Jewish people. And Christians have the same vested interest there. For if there were no Jews, there was no Jesus. We, the Jewish People, gave the Christian world our humble Jewish rabbi, Yehoshua to lead them. Therefore, Judaism and Israel defines Christians too! You may go along by His definition that Jews have defined Christians.
Each time I hear the song Yerushalayim Shel Zahav, the tears flow.
When politicians speak, so haphazardly, about dividing Jerusalem and giving the Arabs part of it, as their capital – or giving them a “generous” part of the Land of Israel – they need to listen to the song, ‘Yerushalayim Shel Zahav’-Jerusalem of Gold and then they will know it is simply mission impossible.
While the lines are blurring on who are Jews and who are Christians, the need to pray for, stand for, and advocate for Israel is important, now more than ever.