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If I Forget You, O Jerusalem…

March 20, 2017
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The Soul of the Jewish People

“Without Jerusalem, the land of Israel is as a body without a soul.”—Elhanan Leib  Lewinsky Hebrew writer and Zionist from Ukraine (1857–1910)

“You are shaking… so am I. It is because of Jerusalem, isn’t it? One does not go to Jerusalem, one returns to it. That’s one of its mysteries.”—Elie Wiesel
Jewish writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor

“In the Jewish tradition, there is at the same time Jerusalem in the heavens and Jerusalem on the ground. Jerusalem is a living city, but also the heart, the soul of the Jewish people and the state of Israel.”—Yitzhak Rabin
Israeli politician, statesman, general and 5th prime minister

“Jerusalem is the holiest place for the Jewish people.”—Ariel Sharon
Israeli general, politician and 11th prime minister

“As a result of the historic catastrophe in which Titus of Rome destroyed Jerusalem and Israel was exiled from its land, I was born in one of the cities of the Exile. But always I regarded myself as one who was born in Jerusalem.”—Shmuel Yosef Agnon
Nobel Prize laureate and modern Hebrew fiction writer

“I come to Jerusalem. There, the sky is blue and memory becomes clear.”—Menachem Begin
Israeli politician, underground commander and 6th prime minister

“Of the 10 measures of beauty that God hath bestowed upon the world, nine of these fall to the lot of Jerusalem.”The Talmud
Rabbinic commentary on Jewish tradition and Hebrew Scriptures

Jerusalem—Historically Linked to the Jewish People

“In my office in Jerusalem, there’s an ancient seal. It’s a signet ring of a Jewish official from the time of the Bible. The seal was found right next to the Western Wall, and it dates back 2,700 years, to the time of King Hezekiah. Now, there’s a name of the Jewish official inscribed on the ring in Hebrew. His name was Netanyahu.”—Benjamin Netanyahu
Current prime minister of Israel

“Jews have been living in Jerusalem way before British people were living in London.”—Naftali Bennett
Israeli politician and leader of The Jewish Home party

“For three thousand years, Jerusalem has been the center of Jewish hope and longing. No other city has played such a dominant role in the history, culture, religion and consciousness of a people as has Jerusalem in the life of Jewry and Judaism. Throughout centuries of exile, Jerusalem remained alive in the hearts of Jews everywhere as the focal point of Jewish history, the symbol of ancient glory, spiritual fulfillment and modern renewal. This heart and soul of the Jewish people engenders the thought that if you want one simple word to symbolize all of Jewish history, that word would be ‘Jerusalem.’”—Teddy Kollek
Israeli politician and mayor of Jerusalem from 1965–1993

“No city in the world, not even Athens or Rome, ever played as great a role in the life of a nation for so long a time, as Jerusalem has done in the life of the Jewish people.”—David Ben-Gurion
Primary founder of Israel and its first prime minister

“The Hebrew language…is the only glue which holds together our scattered bones. It also holds together the rings in the chain of time…It binds us to those who built pyramids, to those who shed their blood on the ramparts of Jerusalem, and to those who, at the burning stakes, cried Shema Yisrael!”—Isaac Leib Peretz
Yiddish language author and playwright from Poland

Jerusalem—Israel’s Undivided Capital

“We regard it as our duty to declare that Jewish Jerusalem is an organic and inseparable part of the State of Israel, as it is an inseparable part of the history of Israel, of the faith of Israel.”—David Ben-Gurion
Primary founder of Israel and its first prime minister

“The State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines…first and foremost, united Jerusalem.”—Yitzhak Rabin
Israeli politician, statesman, general and 5th prime minister

“We plan to eliminate the state of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian state. We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion. We Palestinians will take over everything, including all of Jerusalem.”—Yasser Arafat
Founder of the Palestine Liberation Organization

“First of all, Arafat is wrong. Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, will never be divided, and will remain the capital of the State of Israel, the capital of the Jewish people, for ever and ever.”—Benjamin Netanyahu
Current prime minister of Israel

“Every Israeli government since 1967, of left or right, has asserted that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and has allowed Israeli Jews to build there.”—Elliot Abrams
American diplomat who served under Reagan and George W. Bush.

“Put an end to talk on dividing Jerusalem. There can be no negotiations about Jerusalem.”—Eli Yishai
Israeli politician and former Interior Minister

“The Palestinians must be brought to an understanding that Jerusalem will always remain under Israeli sovereignty and that there is no point for them in opening negotiations about Jerusalem.”—Yair Lapid
Israeli politician and chairman of Yesh Atid (“There is a Future”) party

Photo Credit: Bomshtein/shutterstock.com

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