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Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. ~ Psalms 122:6

Jerusalem, located on a plateau in the Judean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religionsJudaism, Christianity and Islam. Israelis and Palestinians both claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine ultimately foresees it as its seat of power; however, neither claim is widely recognized internationally.

According to Biblical tradition, King David established the city as the capital of the united Kingdom of Israel and his son, King Solomon, commissioned the building of the First Temple; there is no archaeological evidence that Solomon's Temple existed or any record of it, other than the Bible. These foundational events, straddling the dawn of the 1st millennium BCE, assumed central symbolic importance for the Jewish people. The sobriquet of holy city (עיר הקודש, transliterated ‘ir haqodesh) was probably attached to Jerusalem in post-exilic times. The holiness of Jerusalem in Christianity, conserved in the Septuagint which Christians adopted as their own authority, was reinforced by the New Testament account of Jesus's crucifixion there. In Islam, Jerusalem is the third-holiest city, after Mecca and Medina. In Islamic tradition in 610 CE it became the first Qibla, the focal point for Muslim prayer (salat), and Muhammad made his Night Journey there ten years later, ascending to heaven where he speaks to God, according to the Quran. As a result, despite having an area of only 0.9 square kilometers (0.35 sq mi), the Old City is home to many sites of seminal religious importance, among them the Temple Mount and its Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque.


  • By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
    when we remembered Zion.
    There on the poplars
    we hung our harps,
    for there our captors asked us for songs,
    our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
    they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
    How can we sing the songs of the LORD
    while in a foreign land?
    If I forget you, Jerusalem,
    may my right hand forget its skill.
    May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
    if I do not remember you,
    if I do not consider Jerusalem
    my highest joy.
  • The builder of Jerusalem is God, the outcast of Israel he will gather in... Praise God O Jerusalem, laud your God O Zion.
    • Psalms 147:2-12
  • For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
  • Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the killer of the prophets and stoner of those sent forth to her,—how often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks together under her wings! But you people did not want it.
  • Ten measures of beauty descended to the world, nine were taken by Jerusalem.
  • Whoever did not see Jerusalem in its days of glory, never saw a beautiful city in their life.
    • Talmud, Succah 51b
  • "Eternity" — this refers to Jerusalem.
    • Talmud, Berachot 58a
  • Even during the time of Jerusalem's stumbling, men of faith did not cease from [living] there.
    • Talmud, Shabbat 119b
  • There are three gates to Gehinam (purgatory) — one of them is in Jerusalem.
    • Talmud, Eruvin 19a
  • Jerusalem does not become impure through touching; Jerusalem will not be split by the tribes.
    • Talmud, Yoma 12a
  • Jerusalem was only destroyed because its inhabitants desecrated the Shabbat, they refrained from reciting the Morning and Evening Shema, the children in the Torah day schools wasted their learning time, because they were not shame faced (to sin), because they made the minors equal to the adults, because one did not rebuke another, because they embarrassed Torah Scholars.
    • Talmud, Shabbat 119b
  • Each and every acacia tree that the non-Jews removed from Jerusalem, will be restored to it by the Holy One, Blessed be He, in the future.
    • Talmud, Rosh Hashana 23a
  • Whoever mourns for Jerusalem will be meritorious and will see its rejoicing and all who do not mourn for Jerusalem will not see it's rejoicing.
    • Talmud, Taanit 30b
  • Cá nesta Babilónia, donde mana
    matéria a quanto mal o mundo cria;
    cá onde o puro Amor não tem valia,
    que a Mãe, que manda mais, tudo profana;
    cá, onde o mal se afina e o bem se dana,
    e pode mais que a honra a tirania;
    cá, onde a errada e cega Monarquia
    cuida que um nome vão a desengana;
    cá, neste labirinto, onde a nobreza
    com esforço e saber pedindo vão
    às portas da cobiça e da vileza;
    cá neste escuro caos de confusão,
    cumprindo o curso estou da natureza.
    Vê se me esquecerei de ti, Sião!
    • Here in this Babylon, that’s festering
      forth as much evil as the rest of the earth;
      Here where true Love deprecates his worth,
      as his powerful mother pollutes everything.
      Here where evil is refined and good is cursed,
      and tyranny, not honor, has its way;
      Here where the Monarchy, in disarray,
      blindly attempts to mislead God, and worse.
      Here in this labyrinth, where Royalty,
      willingly, chooses to succumb
      before the Gates of Greed and Infamy;
      Here in this murky chaos and delirium,
      I carry out my tragic destiny,
      but never will I forget you, Jerusalem!
    • Luís de Camões, Cá nesta Babilónia, donde mana, translated by William Baer.
  • God knows I'm gonna/ Walk in Jerusalem/ Talk in Jerusalem/ Sing in Jerusalem/ Be in Jerusalem/ High above in Jerusalem when I die.
    • Mahalia Jackson, Walk in Jerusalem

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