Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Is there a place in this world that has inspired more spiritual rejuvenation, more miraculous transformation, more G-dly insight than our holy city of Jerusalem? Calling it home is perhaps the greatest gift I ever gave myself (with Hashem’s help, of course), one that I receive anew each day.

Beautiful as she is, Jerusalem is not immune to the problems every metropolis faces: traffic, litter, pollution, overcrowding, and no small measure of ethnic strife. Yet because her beauty comes from within – or, should I say, from Above – it never, ever dissipates.


Her appellation is special, too: A midrash teaches that the city has 70 names. These include Gan Hashem, Yefeh Nof, Kiryat Melech Rav, Rabati Am, Ariel, and (my favorite – can you guess why?) Zion.

As for the one that stuck, other cultures try to claim the origins of its English version, Jerusalem, as their own, much like they do the city itself. But we know better. The explanation I like most is that Yerushalayim means yirah shalem, or “complete awe.” Because that is exactly the state of mind that this city inspires in all who open their soul to her.

Share this article on WhatsApp:

Previous articleWord Prompt – JERUSALEM – Naomi Klass Mauer
Next articleWord Prompt – JERUSALEM – Rabbi Hanoch Teller
Ziona Greenwald, a contributing editor to The Jewish Press, is a freelance writer and editor and the author of two children's books, “Kalman's Big Questions” and “Tzippi Inside/Out.” She lives with her family in Jerusalem.