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                  Rabbanit Sharon Rimon

       Shir HaMaalot: Marveling at Yerushalayim

                pon  the 15  steps  leading  up   the people. Peace with external enemies   the inspiration of the Divine within the
                to the  beit HaMikdash  was   depends on inner peace. The foundation   Jewish people. The spiritual dimension of
                were they Leviim stood and   of unity is within Yerushalayim. Indeed,   the city of Yerushalayim gives it a unique
                sang the15  Shir  HaMaalot   David HaMelech succeeded in conquering   facet, which does not exist in other capital
     Uin  Tehillim. Chapter  122            Yerushalayim only after uniting all the   cities: the deep connection between
       of Tehillim,  ד ִ ו ָ ד ְ ל  תֹול ֲ ע ַּ מ ַ ה  רי ִ ׁש, which we   people under his kingdom, and as in the   Yerushalayim shel mata, “Yerushalayim
       customarily read on Yom Yerushalayim,   days of David so too today; the conquest   of below” and Yerushalayim shel maalah,
       speaks of the Holy City, expressing the   of Yerushalayim and the unification of   “Yerushalayim of above.” The fact that
       joy, wonder, and excitement of those   the two halves of the city was successful   Yerushalayim is the sanctified city is the
       going up to Yerushalayim: י ִ ל םי ִ ר ְ מֹא ְּ ב י ִּ ת ְ ח ַ מ ָ ׂש   only in the Six Day War, when there was a   deep reason why the Jewish people unite
       ך ֵ לֵנ ’ה תי ֵּ ב                   special unity among the nation.       around it: from the belief in one G-d, who
        The chapter is written from the point                                     unites all forces, comes the foundation of
       of view of a Jew going up to Yerushalayim                                  the unity of all reality, and the unity of the
       who is filled with wonder at the sight                                     tribes of Israel.
       of the city before him:  ּוני ֵ ל ְ ג ַ ר  ּוי ָ ה  תֹוד ְ מֹע   Yerushalayim   After the Jew admired the unity and
       הָיּונ ְּ ב ַ ה  ם ִַ ל ָ ׁשּורְי  …ךִי ַ ר ָ ע ְ ׁש ִּ ב. He marvels at   holiness expressed in Yerushalayim, he
       the beautiful buildings which glorify       is the city the                continues to observe and admire another
       Yerushalayim and the vastly different         represents                   element expressed in this special city: י ִּ כ
       neighborhoods within one great city.                                       ט ָּ פ ְ ׁש ִ מ ְ ל תֹוא ְ ס ִ כ ּוב ְ ׁשָי ה ָּ מ ָ ׁש. David HaMelech
        He  does  not  only  admire  the  physical   connection to G-d,           made Yerushalayim  the eternal city,
       aspect of the city, but marvels at the                                     within which his holy kingdom is
       building of the Jewish people and their   justice and unity                united.  One of the important roles of
       unity around Yerushalayim:  ה ָ ר ְּ ב ֻ ח ֶ ׁש  רי ִ ע ְּ כ               the  king is  to  do  justice,  and  therefore,
       םי ִ ט ָ ב ְ ׁש ּול ָ ע ם ָ ׁ ּ ש ֶ ׁש ;ו ָ ּ ד ְ חַי   ּ ה ָּ ל.  Although  the   Yerushalayim, as the city of the kingdom,
       people of Israel are made up of different                                  is supposed to be the city of justice.
       tribes and ethnic groups, all have a part   The  Jew  blesses  Yerushalayim that   G-d’s expectation from the people of
       in Yerushalayim. Yerushalayim is on the   its inner essence will be expressed, that   Israel is not only expressed on the ritual
       border  between  the  tribe  of Yehudah   the city will indeed be  ו ָ ּ ד ְ חַי   ּ ה ָּ ל  ה ָ ר ְּ ב ֻ ח ֶ ׁש,   and spiritual level. G-d also expects and
       and the tribe of Binyamin, thus uniting   “connected together,” uniting all of Israel.  demands a high level of moral norms.
       all the parts of the nation. A Jew sees all   The Jew continues to look at his   Yerushalayim is the city that represents
       parts of the nation gathering together   brethren coming to Yerushalayim, which   all of these values: the connection to G-d,
       in Yerushalayim, is overcome with    deepens  his  view  of  the  purpose  of  the   justice and unity.
       wonder, and blesses Yerushalayim:  ּול ֲ א ַ ׁש   gathering  in Yerushalayim: Yerushalayim   Standing at the gates of Yerushalayim
       ה ָ ר ְּ ב ַ ד ֲ א  …ה ָ ו ְ ל ַ ׁש  ך ֵ לי ֵ ח ְּ ב  םֹול ָ ׁש  י ִ הְי  …ם ָ ל ָ ׁשּורְי  םֹול ְ ׁש   is the spiritual center for all Jews, (and   and seeing at the glory and greatness
       ך ָּ ב  םֹול ָ ׁש אָּנ.  Shalom  and  shalva repeat   in the future will be a spiritual center   of all its aspects – physical, intellectual,
       themselves numerous times in these   for all nations). David’s choice of   social and national – the Jew would sing
       verses, and their sound is similar to the   Yerushalayim was not accidental, but   and bless  the  city that its  inner  essence
       word “Yerushalayim,” so much so it is   because  Yerushalayim has an intrinsic   will grow and be a blessing for the people
       understood that Yerushalayim is thus   Divine foundation: the  even hashetiya   of Israel and the world:
       named because it is the city of peace and   from which the whole world was founded      !ך ָ ל בֹוט ה ָ ׁש ְ ק ַ ב ֲ א  …ך ָּ ב םֹול ָ ׁש אָּנ ה ָ ר ְּ ב ַ ד ֲ א
       wholeness. The Jew wishes Yerushalayim   is in Yerushalayim and the binding of
       peace with its external enemies, and inner   Yitzchak took place here. That is why   Rabbanit Sharon Rimon teaches Tanach and
       peace, between the different parts of   Yerushalayim is the most suitable city for   is Content Editor for the HaTanakh website.

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