I write to you from Israel, as I am here with a group of people from the Temple. Wherever we go, we experience the incredible blend of the ancient with the modern. To know that our religious heritage began in this place some 4,000 years ago, and now to experience the vibrancy, vitality and promise that is modern-day Israel is to truly behold one of the great wonders, if not “miracles,” of history.
After spending days in Tel Aviv and Haifa, two modern and very progressive cities of Israel, today we are in Jerusalem where we will spend Shabbat. Imagine, we are in the place to which our ancestors turned daily in their prayers; the place where King David ruled, and the place for which we prayed at the end of every Passover Seder.
Later today, we will go to the Western Wall of the ancient Temple to greet the Sabbath. We will no doubt be joined by thousands of people who will have come to that spot from all over the world.
And back home, at Shaaray Tefila tonight, you will read and sing prayers that express our yearning, not only for peace for Jerusalem, but that the humane values and ideals that are our Jewish heritage “will go forth” from this city to bring goodness and fulfillment to all humanity.
I wish you Shabbat Shalom from the place that so many consider the “spiritual center of our world.” Please think about joining me on our next Israel trip, planned for next December.
Rabbi David Greenberg