Why is Jerusalem...?

Why is Jerusalem is still so germane to the Arab-Israeli conflict? If its symbolic depth is so profound to both Moslems and Jews, how might it offer common ground for both to build upon? How do we resolve the grievances of both Palestinians and Israelis and bring lasting peace to this troubled area?

2 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    Jerusalem has been the holiest city in Judaism and the spiritual homeland of the Jewish people since the 10th century BCE.

    The city of Jerusalem is given special status in Jewish religious law. In particular, Jews outside Jerusalem pray facing its direction, and the maaser sheni, revai and First Fruits must be eaten in Jerusalem. Any expansion of the city for these purposes must be approved by the Sanhedrin.[citation needed] Also, when the Temple in Jerusalem was standing, Jerusalem observed special laws regarding the Four Species on Sukkot, and the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah.

    Jerusalem has long been embedded into Jewish religious consciousness. Jews have studied and personalized the struggle by King David to capture Jerusalem and his desire to build the Jewish temple there, as described in the Book of Samuel and the Book of Psalms. Many of King David's yearnings about Jerusalem have been adapted into popular prayers and songs.

    Jerusalem appears in the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) 669 times and Zion (which usually means Jerusalem, sometimes the Land of Israel) appears 154 times. The first section, the Torah, only mentions Moriah, the mountain range believed to be the location of the binding of Isaac and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and in later parts of the Tanakh the city is written explicitly. The Tanakh (or Old Testament), is a text sacred to both Judaism and Christianity. In Judaism it is considered the Written Law, the basis for the Oral Law (Mishnah, Talmud and Shulkhan Arukh) studied, practiced and treasured by Jews and Judaism for three millennia. The Talmud elaborates in great depth the Jewish connection with the city.

    In Christianity

    For Christians, Jerusalem's place in the life of Jesus gives it great importance, in addition to its place in the Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible, as described above.

    Main entrance to the Church of the Holy SepulchreJerusalem is the place where Jesus was brought as a child, to be 'presented' at the Temple (Luke 2:22) and to attend festivals (Luke 2:41). According to the Gospels, Jesus preached and healed in Jerusalem, especially in the Temple courts. There is also an account of Jesus' 'cleansing' of the Temple, chasing various traders out of the sacred precincts (Mark 11:15). At the end of each of the Gospels, there are accounts of Jesus' Last Supper in an 'upper room' in Jerusalem, his arrest in Gethsemane, his trial, his crucifixion at Golgotha, his burial nearby and his resurrection and ascension.

    In Christianity, the Jewish connection with the city is considered as the account of God's relationship with His chosen people - the original covenant - and the essential prelude to the events narrated in the New Testament, including both universal commandments (e.g. the Ten Commandments) and obsolete or Judaism-specific ones.

    In medieval Christian thought, Jerusalem was considered to be the center of the world (Latin: umbilicus mundi, Greek: Omphalos), and was so represented in the so-called T and O maps. Byzantine hymns speak of the Cross being "planted in the center of the earth," and the imagery is tied to the concept of the Death and resurrection of Jesus being for the benefit of all mankind. Medieval maps of Europe usually placed the east ("orient")—Jerusalem—at the top, and this arrangement led to the use of the term "to orient" to mean to align a map with actual compass directions.

    In Islam

    Jerusalem has played role in Islam. It is the location of the Al-Aqsa Mosque (built on the ruins of the Temple), considered by many Muslims to be the third holiest site. Also in particular:

    It is strongly associated with people regarded as Prophets of Islam - in particular, David, Solomon, and Jesus;

    They have a legend telling that Muhammad hase been taken by the flying steed Buraq to visit Jerusalem, where he prayed, and then to visit heaven, in a single night in the year 620. The Qur'anic verse (17:1) is interpreted by all widely used tafsirs (commentaries) as referring to this journey, with the term "the farthest Mosque" (al-masjid al-Aqsa) which lies in the Noble Sanctuary in Jerusalem today.

  • 1 decade ago

    1) it is very hard to make common ground with someone who wants to kill you. 2) Until very recently, Jerusalem was not so important to the Arabs, the importance has only come as another means to drive out the Israelis. 3) The way to bring peace is to drill for oil in America so that he Arabs lose their importance in the world and they will not be able to equate killing 3 year old children with murdering terrorists, because no one will listen anymore. Although the LA times put the words hate into the Western wall, it is actually the Arabs that preach hate. Arabs learn to subtract : If you have 5 jews and ill 2 how many are left. I know you do not believe it , but do some research.

    4) After the 1948 war the Israelis told the arabs to stay. The Arabs in other countries told them to leave because they were going to destroy Israel. Since then their wonderful Arab brother have left them in squalor in refugee camps rather than taking them in. Look at any poll of Israeli Arabs and most of them would rather be under Israeli rule than under arab.

    How are you going to make peace from this mess.

    The only answer as I said is drill for oil here. They will lose their influence and people will start to see the truth.

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