US Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the Western Wall on Tuesday afternoon signified the Jewish people’s eternal connection with Jerusalem. While Pence used Biblical references in his address to the Knesset on Monday to attest to Jerusalem’s Jewish past, his visit to the Western Wall in the context of US President Donald Trump’s official recognition of the city as the Israeli capital affirms its future as a central location for the Jewish people.
More specifically, Pence’s visit can also be seen as a fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy that Jerusalem will become a meeting place for the nations and an eretz chemda, which means ‘a desirable land.’
According to Jeremiah the Prophet, nations will assemble in Jerusalem and the land will be an eretz hemda.
Rabbi Tuly Weisz, publisher of Breaking Israel News, quoted the commentator Radak who held that Jeremiah uses this description of Jerusalem because it is in fact “desired by all the nations.”
“Hashem‘s holy presence is so palpable there, that everyone senses its holiness and wants it,” said Rabbi Weisz. “One needs to look no further than the morning newspapers or the nightly news to appreciate the accuracy of the Radak’s words. Despite its small size, Israel is a ‘desired land’ sought after by “all the nations.””
“I had resolved to adopt you as My child, and I gave you a desirable land—the fairest heritage of all the nations; and I thought you would surely call Me “Father,” and never cease to be loyal to Me.” (Jeremiah 3:19)
Thus, even the attempt to un-brand Jerusalem as a Jewish city by Arab Members of Knesset as a manifestation of Muslim yearning for Jerusalem can be seen as a fulfillment of Jewish prophecy. Nevertheless, Pence turned to the Bible to refute any claim denying the Jewish people’s connection to Jerusalem and referred to the Jewish exile, describing modern Israel as the reaffirmation of God’s eternal covenant.
“The Jewish people’s unbreakable bond to this sacred city reaches back more than 3,000 years,” Pence had said in his Knesset address. “It was here, in Jerusalem, on Mount Moriah, that Abraham offered his son, Isaac, and was credited with righteousness for his faith in God.”
Paraphrasing a section of Psalms, Pence added that “the USA is proud to stand with Israel and her people, as allies and cherished friends, and so we will pray for the peace of Jerusalem, that those who love you be secure, that there be peace within your walls and security in your citadels.”
“Pray for the well-being of Yerushalayim; “May those who love you be at peace. May there be well-being within your ramparts, peace in your citadels.” (Psalms 122:6-7)
In that spirit did Pence enter into the walls and citadels, visiting the last revealed remnant of the Western Wall of the Second Jewish Temple, on his final day in Israel.
Upon Pence’s arrival at the site, Chief Rabbi of the Western Wall Shmuel Rabinowitz conveyed to the Vice President another piece of ancient prophecy that is currently being fulfilled.
“For two thousand years, Jerusalem has swung from hand to hand, and only now, once it has returned to its sons, can all the nations and all faiths come to the Western Wall and pray there again, and re-establish the ancient prophecy that ‘my house shall be called a house of prayer.’”