Sunday, November 19, 2006

Jerusalem: Mother Of All

Jerusalem Mother  Of  All triangleThe following paragraph is from Dr. Asher Eder’s book The Star of David, which was published in 1987 in English in Jerusalem by Rubin Mass Ltd. The publication here is courtesy of Oren Mass
This version includes corrections and new materials that do not appear on the printed version
However distant we may seem to be from unity and peace, we should not think that Yerushalayim, in the deep meaning of the word, is merely a future dream. Yerushalayim is actual and present, and everyone is confronted by it, or at least by the headlines it makes in the world press. By its very existence in both the material and heavenly planes, Yerushalayim is a cornerstone and a touchstone for the thoughts and deeds of all of us, as individuals and as nations. Moreover, it serves as the monument to a new generation characterized by understanding, harmony and peace. It is for this reason that "Zion" is not only an ethical/spiritual teaching, but also an expression of the unity of people, land and God, as revealed in the Torah.
What has been said so far with respect to the "daughter of Zion" (the people of Israel), is ultimately valid for all nations, for all are descendants of Adam.
Besides this common ancestor, men share much more in the teaching which comes forth from Yerushalayim than is usually visualized. While Christianity and Islam, whose adherents form more than half the numbers of Mankind, are generally seen as "daughter religions" of Judaism, very few people are aware of the Divine teaching's other influences on the world.
We read, for instance, that Abraham gave gifts to the seven sons he had from his second wife, and sent them to the East. Even if these gifts were only material gifts, as some scholars maintain, we can be certain that these sons carried with them the education they received in their father's house, and brought it to the countries of their destiny.
Then, King Solomon's wisdom became known so much so that "there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth...". We may safely assume that those who came to hear Solomon's wisdom conveyed to their peoples what they had picked up.
King Hiram of Tyre deserves to be mentioned specially in this context. While he was already "a lover of David all his days, he sent his servants unto Solomon" (1.Kings 5:1). They helped with their technical skills in the construction of the Temple, and on the other hand certainly learned from Solomon. One of the results was the development of what became known as the Phoenician writing. The latter had, then, its decisive impact on the Greek alphabet, as we saw already.
Another related event recorded in detail is the meeting of the Queen of Sheba with King Solomon. From the meeting, the Queen brought home not only what she'd learned from Solomon's wisdom, but, according to Ethiopian tradition, a child conceived by him. This child was to become Menelek I, founder of the Ethiopian dynasty which lasted until Hailie Selassi, the 257th descendant from Solomon.
We do not know whether Greeks, too, were among those who came to hear Solomon's wisdom but it is rather evident that some when during the period of the First Temple they got either directly acquainted with the Hebrew stile of writing, the Aleph-Beth which they transformed into their Alphabet (as hinted above in chapter 12), or whether they got this knowledge via the Phoenicians mentioned before.
Many centuries later, the dispersed tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel must have acted like another wave, spreading part of the teachings which came forth from Jerusalem. Prophet Hosea brings out this point when he compares Israel to Jezreel, God's seed, to be sown in the earth (2:24,25). It is remarkable that in the centuries following this dispersion, outstanding teachers appeared in different parts of the world. We may assume that they molded the Israelites' message into their respective national cultures, which had originated with Noah's three sons.
The famous maxim "Righteousness is the Foundation of the Throne", is not a Roman invention, as is often believed, but derives from the much earlier teachings of Kings David and Solomon.
After all these sparks, and many others, went out from Jerusalem and were scattered about the world, there ensued a turning towards Jerusalem which began with Israel's return to the Land of the Fathers in our days. This increasingly worldwide focus on Jerusalem, though often antagonistic, is part of the process of tikkun ha'olam, the restoration of the world to its Divine order.
Having once realized God's Kingdom on Earth, Jerusalem may well come to be regarded as the Temple, the Land of Israel as Jerusalem, and the rest of the Earth as Israel. Israel's role among the nations will then be similar to that of the Cohanim (priests) and the Levites among the people of Israel in the time of the Temple. That is, the nations will acknowledge and accept Israel's role as a "Kingdom of Priests" (Exodus 19:6; Is. 61:6).. While Israel is God's first born son, it will form with the other nations to be born afterwards the brotherhood of mankind under the fatherhood of the One Creator.
Modern Zionism has the same objective, for the regaining of the land is not its only goal; it has to be combined with the development of morality based upon the ethics and faith taught by the Torah. This building up of society, which Dr. Theodore Herzl set before us as a goal, is a perpetual process, the principle challenge for every generation. The idea of the early pioneers, expressed in the slogan "by building the country we build our true Selves", will be matched with the idea that "by building our Selves we build the country".
It is not that all the inhabitants of the Earth, or even of Israel, will become pure beings. Zionism is not a Utopian dream. Its thrust, expressed as faith and hope, is that the spirit of God's truth and righteousness will eventually replace the spirit of confusion, evil and destruction. Iniquity might still be apparent, but "it shall stop her mouth", and shall no longer be able to deceive.

Jerusalem at the Center of the World

Jerusalem at the Center of the World Magen DavidClover Map, drawn by Heinrich Bunting, 1585. Photo is courtesy of "pianoforte" From Flickr who shot it at Boston, Massachusetts, public library.

The following paragraph is from Dr. Asher Eder’s book The Star of David, which was published in 1987 in English in Jerusalem byRubin Mass Ltd. The publication here is courtesy of Oren Mass
This version includes corrections and new materials that do not appear on the printed version
Although the geographic connection between the "upper" and "lower" city is obvious, King David gave the link its spiritual dimension. In the time of the First and Second Temple, the Jewish people would literally ascend from the (lower) City of David to the (upper) Temple Mount, which could represent "Heavenly Jerusalem". Everything hinges on it, “earthly Jerusalem” as well as farmers and shepherds, East and West, North and South. A medieval map which shows Jerusalem at the center of the world, has much truth in it
We can well argue that Jerusalem has no other significance than the one given to it by King David.
This double nature of Jerusalem is also reflected in its Hebrew name, Yerushalayim. The ending -ayim usually indicates a dual form. However it is not really a grammatical ending; rather, it belongs to the root of the word שלם, shalem. Nevertheless, the pronunciation supports the duality. And indeed, has any other city proven capable, by its very existence, of uniting the different aspects mentioned above, foremost the earthly with heavenly?
Yet, the first part of the word Yerushalayim, yeru-, is the future plural of the verb yoreh, which can mean to shoot (an arrow), to teach, to point to, or to lay a foundation. Judging from these meanings, as well as from its turbulent history, we can hardly say that Jerusalem i s the city of peace, although its name is often so interpreted. Yerushalayim rather alludes to God's foundation, started ("shot off") to teach us peace, and pointing towards peace, the word peace being understood as not merely an absence of war, but a state of harmony between the earthly and the heavenly within and around us. Thus, the future term yeru expresses rather the hope for that peace.
The same idea is expressed by the word Zion. Its root gives origin to such words as to command, to distinguish, to erect. This means that Zion, by the command of the Most High, is a monument to His Name and Sovereignty. It also marks the spiritual focus within Man, and is an expression of his innermost spiritual longing. Thus, it is a token of the harmony and peace which result from the spiritual rebirth of which the Psalmist sings (in Ps.87):
The Lord loves the gates of Zion more
than all the dwelling places of Jacob...
But of Zion it shall be said:
'This one and that one were born in her';
for the Most High Himself will establish her.
The Lord records as He registers the peoples:
'This one was born there (Selah).

When we thus conceive Zion as the unification of the temporal with the Divine, and eventually of the nations with Israel, we may understand that no other symbol expresses this idea as accurately or as beautifully as our six-pointed star with its interwoven triangles. This symbol is justly named after King David, the founder of Zion, Messiah of the Lord).
All this may teach us that dividing Jerusalem, or dividing the country, cannot achieve peace. On the contrary.

The Bride Side of Life

The Bride Side of Life Jewish StarToday I stumbled upon an article Apostle Paul McAroy wrote on his website in 1998 about the [Christian] Meaning of the Star of David where he says that the 2 triangles represent the Bride of Christ and the 144,000 Jewish saints that have been saved. This Christian interpretation of the meaning of the Star of David goes along with Asher Eder's theory about Israel and the nations. Eder is mentioned as one of Paul McAroy's article sources.