Ode to Jerusalem, City of Peace

Jerusalem, city wall (west)

Jerusalem, city wall (west) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Dug up this old piece just in time for Jerusalem Day.)

As our Creator decides upon a name for a man, for a woman or for a city, he imparts, with the breath of his mouth, a spark of his own essence, a piece of eternity. He spoke the name “Jerusalem,” unto his chosen city, and exhaled his divinely crafted destiny upon her. The lips of heaven touched earth; and this place on earth would bear their imprint eternally.

Jerusalem, city of peace; is this some sort of divine joke? Our forefather, Avraham, (his name means “the father of many,”) was an elderly, impotent man with no progeny to honor his name, inherit his wealth, or carry on the story of his faith. Just imagine the gossip around the local water hole. “There goes old Avi.” They shake their heads.

Another comments, shielding his eyes from the searing summer wind, “Sure, with his body as good as dead, his seed dry, you think he’ll be a daddy anytime soon?”

“No, he’ll be a father of many; many tribes, many nations even.” The men explode into such laughter they spill their water and one laughs so hard he falls off his donkey onto the scorching desert sand below.

Within the supernaturally gifted name of Jerusalem, lies buried the hidden key to her destiny, and perhaps, also the destiny of those who love her. Ancient Hebrew letters were pictographs, much like Egyptian hieroglyphs. Each letter tells a story, and together the word pictures are like frames of a documentary film.

“Yerushalyim,” is the Hebrew word for Jerusalem. Its Hebrew letters are, “yod,” “resh,” “vav,” “shin,” “lamed,” “yod,” and “mem sofit.” The first letter, “yod” is a divine hand, reaching from the heavens above to the earth below. “Resh,” represents the head of a man, or the leader of a kingdom, raised above others. The “resh” can also represent a wicked man, a “rasha,” that strays from his spiritual home and divine destiny. “Vav,” is a nail or a tent peg that had to be strong enough to secure a tent dwelling against the harsh desert winds and sandstorms. The “shin” portrays tongues of fire of supernatural origin. A “lamed” is a teacher, or a shepherd’s rod or staff. We see another “yod,” the presence of the divine hand reaching down yet again. A “mem” is a picture of flowing water, and a mem sofit, a final mem, expands the image to one of eternally flowing water.

These disparate images can be fitted together like a puzzle, and a clearer picture emerges. The divine hand reaches down from heaven to the earth below, and opens up a channel of interaction between eternity and mortality. Then, we see a kingdom leader. Will the divine hand lead the kingdom? Will a man who submits to heaven rule it? Or, will a wicked man or a tyrant lead? A ruler may shepherd his people to the bush that burned, yet was not consumed, or will he draw his people into evil and the resulting destructive flames of judgment?

The raging fires have burned themselves out, and the city appears a barren, wasteland. There is no life, no place for life to take hold, and no sustenance to nurture life. There is only death, to the East, to the North, to the South and to the West. But wait, all is not lost! At the end of days, the divine hand reaches down again, and causes water to flow upon the dry, burnt land. Flowing water floods the land and it is washed, cleansed by a pure stream. Springs burst forth from the depths. The earth yields choicest fruit and the mountains drip with sweet wine. The peoples hear and come from afar, to drink of the springs, to be fed by the fruit, and their hearts will rejoice in the wine. And all the peoples of the earth will come up to the City, to be touched by the divine hand. They will no longer hunger, nor thirst, for food and drink shall be plenty. And they will wander no more, for their shepherd shall guide them.

Another interesting fact about the word, “Yerushalayim,” in Hebrew, is that the name uses an irregular plural that is only used for certain plurals, most of which are dual pairs, such as eyes, hands, feet, ears.  Inner body parts that are dual, such as lungs, kidneys, do not use this irregular plural, while words that are not body parts such as heavens, waters, do employ it.  For example, to say, “hand,” in Hebrew, you would say, “yad;” but to say hands, you do not say, “yadim,” but, “yadayim.”

My theory is that the irregular plurals hint at non-physical, beyond this world counterparts.  Yerushalayim is a city at a specific geographical location, longitude and latitude upon this earth, but the city also exists in a place outside this world, and perhaps that city is the real, eternal city, while this one is only a temporal reflection.  In the same way, there are metaphysical waters and heavens, spiritual eyes, ears, hands and feet, that are intangible, yet real.  May those things that are temporal conform, and solidify from the reflections that they are now into the fullness they were designed to proclaim from the beginning.

With thanks to Bill Bullock of TheRabbi’s Son for his insights, and research from: http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/.

Israel’s Friends, Lovers, Enemies and Family

I’ve come to the conclusion that attempts to present factual, logical evidence in support of Israel to counter the current regurgitation of hateful propaganda is largely a waste of time and energy.  Those who have made up their minds in either direction are not going to change, and those with a propensity to walk the path of least resistance are going to continue in that way.

Israel doesn’t need either the financial, military or political support of the US or any other nation, nor does it require the assistance of any religious or political group.  Reversing the narrative of most advocates, nations and peoples of this earth have only been tolerated by heaven as they play their bit parts in a drama where the Jewish people are the main characters.

Almond is a species of Prunus belonging to the...

Almond is a species of Prunus belonging to the subfamily Prunoideae of the family Rosaceae עברית: פריחת שקד מצוי בשלג ירושלמי. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Isaiah 60:14
The children of your oppressors will come bowing (doing homage) before you (having been humbled); all who despise (treated with contempt/rejection) you will bow down at your feet and will call you the City of the LORD, Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

Zephaniah 3:19
At that time I will deal with (do to those) all who oppressed (afflicted/defiled) you. I will rescue the lame; I will gather the exiles. I will give them praise and honor in every land where they have suffered shame.

One Jewish pundit proclaimed that to a Jew, a friend is someone who doesn’t want to kill you and an enemy is one who does, cutting through a lot of confusion. Sorry, I couldn’t find the author.  Those who say, “come, let us tear at them with our tongues,” also want to kill us, and would if they could attack us with artillery rather than rhetoric.  Bystanders to wickedness are equally guilty.  There are only two kinds of people in this world:  Those who bless Israel and those who curse.  The Hebrew meaning of the second word translated curse includes the connotation of treating as insignificant or unworthy of consideration, as well as those filled with hatred and plans of destruction.

Israel is family.  Family members may dispute vigorously among themselves and even have times of estrangement as well as harsh words.   But when a family member is under siege, he/she is enfolded in the protective embrace of loyalty.  To offer succor to enemies when family is attacked by outside forces is despicable, no matter what internecine issues continue.  Let’s dispense with deceitful talk that criticizing Israel to those bearing or hiding their teeth towards her is acceptable behavior for family. Those who choose money, position, social acceptance or safety above family are not worthy of the family and release the family from its obligation of rescue, redemption and protection.  There is still mercy and compassion to those who have gone astray and return, but those who harden their hearts and minds may find themselves deaf and blind in the coming days.

The Holy One of Israel sees those family members of divided heart and loyalties who recently engaged in Operation Protect My Tuches as Israel sent its sons to fight in Operation Protective Edge.  You know who you are.  Any empathy you might hold toward those who would rescue and avenge your life is quashed by worry that an action of your brethren in the land of promise might negatively impact your Court Jew status, block your career advancement and make you a pariah in social circles.  I am aware that in some academic and perhaps other environments, the price of social acceptance for Jews is bashing, trashing and disavowal of Israel.  As the world turns darker, and the, “winds shift in an evil direction,” do you really think your high places friends will protect you, rescue you or put in a good word with the next demagogue to arrive on the scene?  Dust off your history books and put away your delusions.

If someone hated my children, no matter their faults that I am well cognizant of, or the conflicts that occur frequently, then we have no basis for relationship. Family stuff will be handled within the family.  This is not a political, academic or theological issue; it is personal.  For those who are true friends of my family, nothing else, no disagreement or misunderstanding in any other area matters.  No other link or commonality counts for squat if there is a disconnection regarding this primal bond.

Israel may not today have taken hold of her destiny and calling – yet, but she is moving in that direction, toward the Kingdom of God.  That is why many will hear and walk with us.   It is the same reason many others will run away.  Jerusalem will become a cup of trembling, but we are safe inside, in the eye of the storm.  Nothing can harm us; at least not for long.  Take heart, you will decide the fate of our enemies; you will stand in judgment upon them.  We who have been trodden down shall be lifted up, in due time, at the appointed time.