web analytics
November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

The Future of Jerusalem Day

We have sovereignty over the external side of the mountain, but at the very same time, we have abandoned its inner essence. We own the outside, but we've disowned the inside.

The Kotel in Jerusalem, Israel on Dec. 14, 2013.

The Kotel in Jerusalem, Israel on Dec. 14, 2013.
Photo Credit: Hadas Parush/Flash 90.

Many Israelis recently celebrated Yom Yerushalayim, (“Jerusalem Day”), singing and dancing as they commemorated the recapture of Eastern Jerusalem, forty-seven years ago.

We all know what happened during those fateful moments towards the end of the Six Day War. Before the tears of joy had even dried on our cheeks, before the cries of “The Temple Mount is in our hands” abated, and before the soldiers and their officers had their photographs taken at the Wailing Wall, behind the scenes ready hands were stirring up an agreement that would transfer sovereignty over the Temple Mount to the Islamic Waqf.

The state officials could cope with the Wailing Wall―in fact it seemed that they wanted it very much―but the Temple site felt to them like a hot potato, to be tossed as quickly as possible into someone else’s hands. We have lived with the results for forty-seven years: we have a mountain, but no Temple. We have an external wall, but we do not have the power to pass through it―at least, not as Jews, with tefillin on our heads and a siddur in our hands.

Let’s meditate on this picture for a moment: we have sovereignty over the external side of the mountain, but at the very same time, we have abandoned its inner essence. We own the outside, but we’ve disowned the inside. This picture can serve as a parable for Zionism in general, and provide us with a hint how to progress forward.

The Secret of Kingdom

The goal of Zionism was to put Judaism back on the railroad track of political history. Jews had fostered individual lives, family, and congregation in an exemplary fashion, but we have forgotten how to function as a nation with a sovereign state. Zionism wanted a kingdom so to speak, and was determined to mobilize all the nation’s material and spiritual resources in order to acquire it. Yet, whether because they were distant from the path of Jewish tradition, or because they wished to rebel against it, the Zionist pioneers did not use tools that had been cast in a Jewish mold, but from the spirit of the non-Jewish model of a “nation state.”

According to the Torah’s inner dimension, the idea of the Jewish sovereignty is portrayed by one of the Kabbalistic sefirot – specifically, the final sefirah, referred to as malchut or “kingdom.”

Kabbalah describes the rectified sefirah of kingdom—which manifests in the figure of a monarch or more generally speaking a rectified leader—as being “proud on the outside and lowly on the inside.” In Hebrew, the psychological terms “pride” (גֵאוּת) and “lowliness” (שֶׁפֶל) are identical to the terms for “high tide” and “low tide”, suggesting that pride and lowliness are finely balanced; one is not possible without the other.

Similarly, the rectified leader must combine an external appearance of pride and self-importance, while balancing it with an inner lowliness of spirit. He should know how to demonstrate majesty and authority, but these attributes must be like external clothing (as the verse states, “God has reigned; He has dressed Himself with majesty”). On the inside, he must be infused with precisely the opposite experience, sensing profound lowliness, as if he were God’s slave, not a king. This is the combination that secures his success.

Filling the Empty Space

When we look at the birth of Zionism, we can describe it as a rebellion against a Judaism that rectified only the inner dimension of ‘kingdom’, in favor of the opposite extreme—an “Israelism” that only works on the exterior dimension of kingdom. Judaism in the Diaspora was infused with a great deal of lowliness and humility, bowing its head to God and patiently awaited the arrival of Mashiach. Zionism rejected that, shaking off the attribute of lowliness and exchanging it for a vision of national pride, taking our fate into our own hands and founding a strong, stable, but secular state.

About the Author: Nir Menussi is an independent writer and teacher on various topics concerning Jewish and secular cultures.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Future of Jerusalem Day”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
IDF Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz delivers lecture.
IDF Chief Rabbi: Nothing is Holy to Muslims on Temple Mount except Al Aqsa
Latest Indepth Stories
Kessim (religious leaders) mark the opening of a synagogue in the village of Gomenge, Ethopia, one of five built in Gondar with JDC aid, 1988
Courtesy of American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, New York.

In a world where people question whether they should be engaged, we are a reminder that all Jews are responsible for one another.

Greiff-112814-Levaya

My son is seventeen; he didn’t want to talk about what happened, or give any details of the Rosh Yeshiva’s words of chizuk.

Protesters in Ferguson, Missouri

All involved in the Ferguson debate should learn the laws pertinent to non-Jews: the Noahide Laws.

Charley Levine

Prominent Jewish leaders acknowledged that their predecessors had mistreated the Bergson Group.

Abbas has been adding new layers of rhetoric to his tactical campaign to de-Judaize Jerusalem

The Jew’s crime is his presence.

Hamas’s love for death tried to have as many Palestinian civilians killed as possible

Israel recognizes the fabrication called a Palestinian nation; So what do we want from the Swedes?

Arab attacking Jews in the land date back a century, long before Israel was created or in control.

Creativity without clarity is not sufficient for writing. I am eternally thankful to Hashem for his gift to me.

Golden presents a compelling saga of poor but determined immigrants who fled pogroms and harsh conditions in their homelands for a better life in a land of opportunity.

It seems to us that while the Jewish entitlement to the land of Israel transcends the Holocaust, the Jewish experience during that tragic time is the most solid of foundations for these “national rights.”

Too many self-styled civil rights activists seemed determined to force, by their relentless pressure, an indictment regardless of what an investigation might turn up.

Unfortunately, at present, the rabbinate does not play a positive role in preventing abuse.

More Articles from Nir Menussi
The Kotel in Jerusalem, Israel on Dec. 14, 2013.

We have an external wall, but we cannot enter it―at least, not as Jews, with tefillin on our heads and a siddur in our hands.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-future-of-jerusalem-day/2014/06/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: