Tuesday, September 14, 2010

If I forget you, O Jerusalem . . .

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If I have to choose I-words for ABC Wednesday, they can only be these:
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"If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her skill . . .
אִם-אֶשְׁכָּחֵךְ יְרוּשָׁלִָם-- תִּשְׁכַּח יְמִינִי.
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Even today, after the ingathering of the exiles, after our immigration to Israel, after the rebuilding of Jerusalem, after partial redemption, we still remind ourselves of this verse and the next verse of the Psalm:
"Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I remember thee not; if I set not Jerusalem above my chiefest joy."
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You find Psalm 137:5 quoted everywhere, even on T shirts!
See the one on the left, next to the red Coca Cola shirt? (Give a click to the photo.)
These are gifts for Christian tourists at Yardenit Baptism Site gift shop.
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When you take an intercity bus and arrive at Jerusalem's Central Bus Station, this is the first thing you see when you get off the bus:
"IF I FORGET YOU, O JERUSALEM, LET MY RIGHT HAND FORGET HER CUNNING . . . "
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That is a door on the right of the photo, so you can understand how big the words are.
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One family has the reminder to remember hanging on their door, next to the garlic, in the old Jerusalem neighborhood of Mishkenot Shaananim.

In an earlier post we talked about this tile reminder of the destruction of the Temple and of the necessity to remember Jerusalem even, or especially, by the rivers of Babylon.
It's in the stairwell of an old house in Romema ( remember?).
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For centuries the longing for Jerusalem was in the forefront of the Jewish consciousness.
Let's hope that Jerusalem will always be thought of with love by people everywhere for countless generations to come.
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25 comments:

richies said...

The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the LORD Almighty is their God. Zechariah 12:5

An Arkies Musings

RuneE said...

As a non-religious person I must admit that I look upon Jerusalem as a city that (at least) three religions has fought over for years beyond count. With disastrous consequences for everyone concerned. Let us just hope that they will not forget that the only way forward for a permanent solution is mutual respect and peaceful negotiations among all the parties concerned.

Reader Wil said...

Jerusalem was also mentioned in Anatevka, when people greeted each other at Easter with "Next year in Jerusalem.."
It has a very long history. Could that be longer than Rome?

Anna said...

Good choice of I-word. Even just the word 'if' would have been a good I-word, but, as always, you keep to your main theme, and show us one more angle or aspect of Jerusalem's rich history, culture and religious meaning.
Best wishes,
Anna

Anna's abcWed rnd 7 post-'I'

Turquoise Diaries said...

Hope there will always be peace..

Dina said...

Uh oh, am I in trouble? I meant this post as a simple and naive showing of how Jerusalem is loved by her inhabitants, all of them. But apparently it is sounding political. Oi.

Richie, thanks, but today that verse sounds like just wishful thinking.

Rune, for that to happen, for justice and change to happen, that I pray for every day.

Dina said...

Wil, ah yes, Fiddler on the Roof.
"Next year in Jerusalem" is the blessing which is said very emphatically at the end of the Passover seder.
I think Rome is 2,500 years old and Jerusalem is 3,000.

Anna, you're right, just "if" alone would have many possibilities in a post.
I wonder if anybody thought of the famous I Corinthians 13 chapter, "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal . . ."

Turquoise Diaries in Turkey, shalom. Yes yes! May there somehow be peace and not war!

Jingle said...

that's fun one!

VP said...

A beautiful and poetic post full of love for Jerusalem, which I obviously share.

ρομπερτ said...

A wonderful entry of yours, may it be read across the whole world. Please have a good Wednesday.


daily athens

Louis la Vache said...

Wonderful post, Dina.

Linda said...

Thanks for these photos and the words. It's hard to think of Jerusalem without being aware of its long and complicated history. I've not been to Israel, but hope someday to see Jerusalem.

Linda
ABC Wednesday Team

Dimple said...

Thoughtful post as usual, Dina.
"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they will prosper who love thee."
May you prosper.

Kay L. Davies said...

A beautiful and, as it turned out, thought-provoking use of the letter "i" and the poignant word "if"...
Christians pray for peace in Jerusalem as well.

Kay
Alberta, Canada

Roger Owen Green said...

ps 137 in its totality is a tough scripture, esp the last verse; but the first 4 verses are the popular reggae song Rivers of Babylon.


ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Leslie: said...

I have always wanted to visit Jerusalem and tour around all of Israel and hopefully someday I will. :D

Francisca said...

A beautiful (and apolitical) post, Dina. May peace and love for all its inhabitants reign over the city.

Pietro said...

Dina, it's nice that garlic on the door. Good post about Jerusalem.
***
About your comment, "Art Nouveau" is most popular abroad than "Liberty".

Sara said...

Here is one person who will always love Jerusalem and will never forget it...and pray that any resounding gongs and clanging cymbals will one day, and may it be soon, learn to speak with the voice of love and a wise heart, and bring shalom!

spacedlaw said...

Any reason why the garlic is hanging at the door? I suppose there isn't a plague of vampires?

Kay said...

Beautiful thoughts from RuneE. I agree. I wish you peace and love, Dina, and for your sacred city.

magiceye said...

beautiful take on the theme

Spiderdama said...

I never forget Jerusalem!:-)
It`s always possible to fint peace in middle of the storm (I think).
Wish you happy day Dina!

Suzanne said...

Thank you Dina, O Jerusalem I will not forget thee, ever.

Cassie said...

I love Jerusalem, though I've never touched foot on her soil. Shalom and love to you and your family!