Jerusalem is and has always been sacred to the Jewish people in so many ways, it’s hard to even decide where to begin. A good place to start, however, would be at the very beginning- when Jewish Jerusalem first emerged, back in the day.
The Legendary Rock of Foundation
Well, at the very beginning, according to Jewish tradition, as described in the TALMUD, G-d has created a single rock, known as the Rock of Foundation. The name in Hebrew is: EVEN Ha’SHETTIYA, which has a double meaning – the rock of foundation, and the rock of drinking.
This rock was the very first matter that existed, and from this rock the rest of the universe was expanded. This rock, therefor, is also the very center of the universe. The rock of foundation is also the source of all water, and all the springs, which become streams and then float into the sea – the waters for all of them originate from the bottom of that single rock.
When G-d has created Adam, the first man, he grabbed a bit of the rock and molded the shape of Adam from it. Later he took a limb from Adam to create eve, and later, when Adam died, his body was placed back into this rock: “For you were made from dust, and unto dust you shall return”.
Abraham- The Father of Monotheistic Religions
Abraham is known as the first Monotheist and the first to have a word with G-d. G-d gave him a son at old age, and then asked him to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience. He showed him a rock at the top of Mount Moriah – according to Jewish tradition: the rock of foundation – where he bound Isaac and almost killed him, and so, The Rock of Foundation is also known as The Rock of the Binding of Isaac. After G-d spared the child, he promised Isaac would start a huge nation, which will be G-d’s favorite and will inherit that land. This event, therefor, is crucial in Jewish faith, as the birthplace of the beliefs in a “Chosen People” and a “Promised Land”.
The Lost Temple of Jewish Jerusalem
According to folk stories (aka the bible), after the People of Israel left Egypt, G-d told them time after time that he should show them his chosen place when they will arrive in the Land of Israel. King David was the one who conquered Jerusalem, turned it into his capital city, and built his palace in it, but his son – King Solomon, was the one who built the Temple at the top of Mount Moriah.
The bible quotes Solomon’s speech at the grand opening, saying G-d’s attention will never leave this mountain. When Jews will say their prayers, anywhere in the world, they shall be drifted throughout space into this mountain and here they will reach G-d’s attention. According to Jewish faith, the SEKHINA – the presence of divinity, has never left the rock since, and will never leave. The place is so sacred, it is forbidden for any person to step on it or near it.
Destruction And Salvation
The Temple was destroyed and rebuilt several times. 4 of 6 mourning and fasting days in the Jewish Year Calendar are dedicated to the reebuilt several times. 4 of 6 mourning and fasting days in the Jewish Year Calendar are dedicated to the remembering of the destruction of the Temple. In every prayer, 3 times a day, Jewish believers pray with anticipation for the establishment of the Third Temple. In every Jewish wedding, just after become a married couple, the fresh husband has to say that his happiness is not complete, as the temple is still unbuilt.
It is believed that at the end of days the Messiah will arrive at the Rock of Shekinah –
The Rock of Foundation, at the top of Mount Moriah, a new Temple will be built there, and all nations will admire it. The dead of all eras
will be resurrected and brought to trial on the mountain, and lambs and lions will cuddle together and pet each other’s bellis.
Being the center of the world, the origin of all matter, the source of all water, the birthplace and tomb of the first man, the location of the first contract between G-d and his chosen people, the place of divine presence, the place of the temple and the anticipated location of Judgment Day at the End of times – Jerusalem really is a big thing in Judaism.