Love of the Land - The Other Jerusalem
Selections from classical Torah sources
which express the special relationship between
the People of Israel and Eretz Yisrael
THE OTHER JERUSALEM
“A built up Jerusalem, like a city joined together” (Tehillim 122:3).
This description of Jerusalem led Rabbi Yochanan to conclude that there is a Jerusalem above just as there is a Jerusalem below. “Joined together,” explains Rashi, implies that the devastated Jerusalem visible to us will eventually be built up like another city which is its twin. This suggests that there is another Jerusalem — and where can it be located, if not in Heaven!
Rashba (Rabbi Shlomo Ben Aderes, 13th century Spanish commentator) adds that not only Jerusalem and the Beis Hamikdash are physical representations of lofty spiritual concepts, but all of Eretz Yisrael as well. This is why it is called “The Land of life” and why there are mitzvos which can be fulfilled only in this land where one has a full sense of having a G-d.
• Mesechta Ta’anis 5a
Written by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach, Dean, Ohr Somayach Institutions