Photo Credit: Courtesy MFA

For 2,000 years, the Jewish people longed for Jerusalem, notes Israel’s Foreign Ministry in a Tuesday release, adding that “from the moment that David established it as the capital of his kingdom, and his son Solomon built there the House of God, Jerusalem has captured the Jewish imagination.”

As Jewish people all around the world prepare for the High Holidays at this meaningful time in the Jewish calendar, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs invites online users on a journey of reflection, to explore some of the diverse meanings of Jerusalem through a new reader titled, “In the Gates of Jerusalem.”

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The reader, produced by the Israeli MFA in partnership with the Shalom Hartman Institute, is a collection of writings and poems on the diverse meanings of a united Jerusalem and their implications for contemporary Jewish life and modern Israel.

It also offers remarks by PM Netanyahu and President Rivlin on their “personal Jerusalem.”

The collection includes this entry by poet and anti-Nazi partisan Abba Kovner, a secular Jew who came to Israel shortly before the founding of the state:

“During my first week in Israel, I stood at the Western Wall. My late mother of blessed memory had given me no instruction, as we had no opportunity for farewell. I stood one pace from the Kotel, from its stones, and felt that I did not belong. I felt rooted in a different reality. I had not moved away even one step, but someone pulled at my sleeve and asked me to join the minyan. I put on a hat and joined them for the Mincha prayer. I had arrived.”

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