Israel’s 75th birthday is almost here and we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate our state’s birth with you! Join Israel365 on a journey as we count down the days to Yom Ha’atzmaut! From stunning landscapes to cultural experiences, get ready to explore the beauty of Israel, and it’s people.
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The holiest city in the world, Jerusalem holds immense religious and historical importance to Israel and the Jewish people. For thousands of years, Jews have prayed to return to Jerusalem, which serves as a source of inspiration and hope to millions of Jews worldwide.
The significance of Jerusalem to Judaism dates back to ancient times. It is where Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac, and where King David established his capital. It was the site of the Temple of Solomon, the center of Jewish worship and pilgrimage until its destruction by the Babylonians in 586 BCE, and the site of the Second Temple, later destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.
The Temple Mount, where Muslims later built the al-Aqsa Mosque, is Judaism’s holiest site. Sadly, both Jews and Christians are granted only limited access to the site and are often subjected to humiliating restrictions on prayer by the Jordan-based Jerusalem Islamic Waqf which currently controls the site.
One of the most revered sites in Jerusalem is the Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall. It is the only remaining part of the Second Temple and is believed to be the closest point to the Holy of Holies, the innermost sanctuary of the Temple. Jews from around the world visit the Western Wall to pray and offer their prayers, and it has become a symbol of Jewish faith and resilience.
Jerusalem is also home to some of the most important festivals and observances in Judaism. When the Temple was still standing, it was the site at which the nation would bring their sacrifices, where the High Priest would minister, and where the whole nation would gather three times a year: by Passover, Shavuot, and for the holidays of Rosh Hashana (the new year), Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), and Sukkot. Even today, many Jews come to Jerusalem and especially the Western Wall to celebrate these festivals.
Other significant sites in Jerusalem include the Mount of Olives, where it is believed that the resurrection of the dead will occur; the City of David, where King David established his capital; and the Tomb of King David, which is believed to be his final resting place.
Jerusalem’s history is marked by numerous conflicts and conquests, with it being destroyed and rebuilt multiple times. Despite this, Jerusalem remains a vital symbol for Jewish identity and faith. Today, it is the capital of Israel, and the Western Wall, in particular, continues to be a place of pilgrimage for Jews from around the world. Jerusalem remains a powerful representation of Jewish history, culture, and spiritual aspirations, and it will undoubtedly continue to play a central role in the story of Israel and its people for many years to come!