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 religions — Judaism, 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.
- Pay attention, all Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Je·hosh′a·phat! Here is what Jehovah says to you, ‘Do not be afraid or be terrified because of this large crowd, for the battle is not yours but God’s. 16 Tomorrow go down against them. They will be coming up by the pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley before the wilderness of Je·ru′el. 17 You will not need to fight this battle. Take your position, stand still, and see the salvation of Jehovah in your behalf. O Judah and Jerusalem, do not be afraid or be terrified. Tomorrow go out against them, and Jehovah will be with you.’
- 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.
- Isaiah 2:3
- 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.
- Talmud, Kiddushin 49b
- 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
- But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written: “Be glad, you barren woman who does not give birth; break into joyful shouting, you woman who does not have birth pains; for the children of the desolate woman are more numerous than those of her who has the husband.”
- 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.
- Here in this Babylon, that’s festering
- 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
- Jerusalem, which was first conquered by Omar and then liberated by Saladin, was lost by the Muslims, who strayed from the path of Allah....Jerusalem will be restored only through Jihad.
- If Jerusalem falls into the hands of the Muslims, Athens and Rome will be next. Thus, Jerusalem is the main front protecting the West. It is not a conflict over territory but rather an ideological battle, between the mentality of the liberated West and the ideology of Islamic barbarism. There has been an independent Palestinian state since 1946, and it is the kingdom of Jordan.
- Geert Wilders, quoted in "Geert Wilders: Change Jordan's name to Palestine". ynetnews.com. 20 June 2010.
- Let us never forget that Islam threatens not just Israel; Islam threatens the entire world. Without Judea and Samaria, Israel cannot protect Jerusalem. The future of the world depends on Jerusalem. If Jerusalem falls, Athens and Rome – and Paris, London and Washington – will be next.