Rabbi Oury Cherki
Yom Yerushalayim, 5773
Shalom and Blessings,
"Yom Yerushalayim" (Jerusalem Day) is a glorious event. It marks the return of the nation of Israel, after two thousand years of exile, to the rebuilt city of Jerusalem, which is an object of admiration for the entire world. We can see great yearning for Jerusalem from all over the globe.
How did Jerusalem become so central? The answer is that Jerusalem lies at the center.
Jerusalem is at the center of all the continents. It lies exactly at the juncture of the cultures of Africa, Asia, and Europe. Here we encounter the entire world, and from here we project outwards to the world.
Isaiah said, "For from Zion the Torah will emanate." Even though today we do not have the spiritual center, the center of holiness, and the Temple, and there is no more prophecy within the nation of Israel, the echoes of the internal voices of prophecy have not been silenced. And these sounds are heard all over the world, under the influence of Jerusalem.
This effect has been multiplied many times over since Israel returned to Jerusalem during the Six Day War, with G-d's kindness. It is often said that Jerusalem is the center of all religions.
There seems to be a desire within the international community to transform Jerusalem into a cosmopolitan city – a place which belongs to the world. But this is a mistake. If Jerusalem becomes a cosmopolitan center, it will be a museum, without any life. The displays in a museum belong to the past. Our objective is to make Jerusalem into a center which will be a source of great tidings for the entire world.
The events of the Six Day War are much more than a simple military victory. In essence, for the first time in the modern era, this was a phenomenon of biblical proportions, at the very heart of modern events. And it raised a question among the other nations. If after two thousand years the Jews are able to participate in events that are biblical in scope, then perhaps the Bible is the correct way to read history. And we indeed know that this is so.
Ever since the Six Day War, we have begun a new historical process with respect to human knowledge. By this process Israel will finally be able to hand over the Divine message to the world – that all the people of the world should come to hear the Word of G-d from Jerusalem, the great tidings that come to free mankind from the chains of nature, from the chains of the evil inclination.
And this gives us the possibility to further develop our link to the Creator. In the Song of Songs, Jerusalem is called the "neck" of the world. The neck joins the upper (thinking) part of man with his lower (natural) part. Just as the neck links the head to the body, so Jerusalem, serves as a neck or a channel that links our limited world to the infinite worlds above.
It is written in the Talmud, "G-d took an oath that He would not enter Jerusalem in heaven before Israel enters Jerusalem down below." Ever since that time, there is a struggle over Jerusalem, because all of humanity intuitively and instinctively feels that it is the center of life, the force which drives the spiritual energy of the entire world.
We, the people of Israel, are happy to have been privileged to return to this place, from where we can bring abundance and blessings to all of mankind, who will come to Jerusalem in order to cling to the G-d of Israel, the Creator of the world, who loves all of His children.