On the Arch of Titus in Rome, there is a relief of Roman Soldiers carrying implements they looted from the Second Temple in Jerusalem. In this picture you can clearly see the seven branched menorah which was in the Temple 2,000 years ago and is today the symbol of the modern state of Israel. How then can UNESCO resolve that the State of Israel and the Jewish People have no connection or claim to the Western Wall or the Temple Mount?
Dr. Yuval Baruch of Hebrew University has said that he feels embarrassed as a scholar to even have to offer comment on the recent resolution. According to Baruch, an archeologist who has spent his entire career studying Jerusalem and its history, having to justify theJewish link to the Temple Mount is “like demanding the ancient stone walls surroundingJerusalem standing to this day, are the ancient stone walls surrounding Jerusalem.”
Our tradition champions truth as a worthy pursuit. When the Torah was given to our
people the Torah records that the people responded ‘naaseh v’nishmah’ ....we will do and then we will understand. When the Torah was given it was new and the people had to accept it on faith, but through discernment and experience, they committed themselves to digging for the true meaning of the covenant. We are the people of the book and we dig still. We value science, and history, and of course archeology. Today, the truth seems to be a relativist pursuit. Because of social media and the 24hour news cycle, people twist and mold the truth in their own image. But to our people, people committed to discerning the truth, this is abhorrent.
We must stand up and condemn the recent resolution by UNESCO that Israel and the Jewish People have no historical connection to the Temple Mount. The connections to Jerusalem are complicated. It is a historic and spiritual center for the three major faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This political theater seeks to simplify this thorny problem in favor of Palestinian claims. This is unjust.
You cannot rewrite history. The future of Jerusalem cannot be negotiated on a falsehoods because political forces what to champion their own version of the truth. We are fortunate our government opposes this vote. We cannot stand for it.
Please join us the weekend of December 2-4 as we welcome RabbiNeal Gold for a scholar in residence weekend. Rabbi Gold is a fantastic speaker and is the Program Director for ARZA(Association of Reform Zionists of America). Rabbi Gold will address this very issue, current events in Israel and will also speak about the importance of Zionism today. The weekend will kickoff with an important program following our 7:30 pm Friday evening service on the 2nd. Please mark your calendar for this very enlightening Shabbat.