As the US Embassy moves to Jerusalem, shifting the political focus away from Tel Aviv, one man, the head of an organization serving young immigrants to Israel, believes this may bring about an era in which Israel’s high-tech capital by-the-sea will take on its prophetic role in bringing the Third Temple.
“Tel Aviv really is Ir HaKodesh (the holy city),” Jay Shultz, President of the Am Yisrael Foundation, told Breaking Israel News, using a spiritual moniker usually reserved exclusively for Jerusalem. “Tel Aviv has an incredibly holy role to play as a center of power in the modern State of Israel.”
Shultz’s remarkable claim is not based on a misunderstanding of Israeli geography. His claim is entirely based on a close reading of the Bible. It is this understanding of the Bible that led Shultz to establish his nonprofit organization ten years ago with the goal of attracting young olim (immigrants; literally ‘ascenders’) to Israel while helping to develop a vibrant community around them. His motives are based on a belief that Tel Aviv is the key to bringing about the ingathering of the exiles and the Third Temple.
“It’s time that the entire Jewish world got excited about the Torah of Tel Aviv, and I have taken it on my shoulders to ensure that every young Jew around the globe comes home, gets plugged in and is given the tools to build Am Yisrael (the nation of Israel) in Eretz Yisrael (the land of Israel).”
Shultz noted that the ingathering of the exiles is an imperative for the Messianic era as well as a practical issue Israel must focus on today.
“The biggest problem facing the Jewish People is that so many young Jews are not living in Israel,” Shultz noted. “This affects the future of the Jewish People as a whole. Their grandchildren will most probably not be Jewish.”
Shultz perceives Tel Aviv as the best practical response to this dilemma with its ability to attract young olim.
“Tel Aviv represents the most desirable place for most young Jews to live,” Shultz said. “This is where the jobs are. So this is where we need to invest our spiritual energy in order to ensure that young Jews have the Torah they need to stay connected and grow a part of the Jewish People.”
Most people think of Tel Aviv as the modern center of technology and Jerusalem as the religious center of Israel, but Shultz believes the two cities have always been partners towards a common goal: the Jewish Temple.
“Tel Aviv was where the Beit HaMikdash (Temple) began,” Shultz explained. “When King Shlomo (Solomon) began building the first Beit HaMikdash (Temple), he first had to bring cedar trees from Lebanon. These essential elements for the construction of the Holy Temple first entered the Land of Israel through the port of Yafo (Jaffa), the Biblical city that is now part of the modern city of Tel Aviv. Most of the material for the Second Temple also entered Israel through the port of Yafo.”
Shultz noted that Jerusalem and the Temple Mount are almost entirely within the domain of the Tribe of Yehuda (Judah). Betsalel, the artisan that created the Tabernacle in the desert, was from the tribe of Yehuda, but his helpmate, Oholiav, was from the tribe of Dan. Similarly, King Solomon, from the tribe of Yehuda ordered the construction of the Temple. His architect, Huram had a non-Jewish father from Tyre, but his mother was from the Tribe of Dan.
Now I am sending you a skillful and intelligent man, my master Huram,he son of a Danite woman, his father a Tyrian. II Chronicles 2:11
“If the Tabernacle and the first two Temples came about through a connection between Dan and Yehuda, then it is clear that this will be true in the future Temple,” Shultz said. “When the Third Temple is built, all the people who come from outside of Israel will arrive via the airport in Tel Aviv; the gateway to Jerusalem. The Third Temple will come through the merit of Tel Aviv-Yafo, both physically and spiritually.”
Shultz emphasized that this two-stage twin-city, Yehuda-Dan connection has its basis in the Bible, and an end-of-days partnership between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv was hinted at in the Bible. Tel Aviv is in the region assigned to the Tribe of Dan. Shultz noted that in his deathbed vision of the future hinted at in his blessings to his son, Yaakov (Jacob) referred to Yehuda as a “lion.”
Yehuda is a lion’s whelp; On prey, my son, have you grown. He crouches, lies down like a lion, Like the king of beasts—who dare rouse him? Genesis 49:9
Dan, on the other hand, was characterized as a “serpent.”
Dan’s characterization as a serpent was changed in Deuteronomy where Moses predicted the tribe would be lion-like.
“In a distinctly un-lion-like manner, the tribe of Dan didn’t succeed in conquering all of its territory during the time of Joshua when they ended up settling in the north,” Shultz said. “I believe that Dan’s full lion-strength needed to be reserved for our times, our geula (redemption) when Dan’s ancestral region is the most capable of filling the needs of Yisrael.”
Shultz suggested that Dan’s full lion-strength could only come into play when paired with the Lion of Yehuda as seen with Samson whose father was from the Tribe of Dan and whose mother was from Yehuda. It is important to note that according to midrash (homiletic teachings) Samson was believed to be an aspect of the Messiah.
“When the Nation of Yisrael (Israel) is connected to holiness, we have the power of these two lions and no nation will be able to uproot us from this land,” Shultz concluded.