Israel, Read the Sign

The name Zion holds the secret.

Rabbi Aron Moss,

Judaism Rabbi Aron Moss
Rabbi Aron Moss
Arutz 7

What does the word Zion mean and what are its origins? (I was asked this by my Rastafarian friend.)

The name Zion holds the secret to the power of Israel. If you understand this name, you understand the magic of the Holy Land.

The word Zion appears 154 times in the Hebrew Bible and has several connotations. Zion can refer to the Land of Israel, the city of Jerusalem or the Temple. But the actual meaning of the word is puzzling. Translated literally, tzion means a "sign" or an "icon".

A sign is always indication of something else. When you see a sign that says "dentist", you know that the sign
It is the icon that you click on to be directed to G-d.
itself is not the dentist, it merely points out that a dentist is here; same with an icon. When you see an icon on a website, it is not the icon itself that has any use. It is there to click on and it directs you to another page. A sign is never there for itself. It is there to alert our attention, to make us aware of, or to lead us to, some other reality.

So too with the Land of Israel. It is a sign pointing upwards. It is the icon that you click on to be directed to G-d. The very existence of the Land of Israel points to a Higher Force. The beauty of the land, the magic of Jerusalem, the holiness of the Temple Mount are all indicators of a Higher Presence.

The awe felt when entering the Old City of Jerusalem is not due to its impressive buildings, for it has none. It is not due to its sense of history, though that too is fascinating. It is due to the sense of something bigger than life itself that fills the air. You walk the land and you sense G-d's presence. The Holy Land is a sign pointing upwards to G-d.

You can't avoid G-d in Israel. You can seek Him out or run away from Him, but you can't stay neutral. G-d is too real to ignore in Israel. Whether one is a believer or not, whether one admits it or not, the magic of Israel is divine. That's why it's called Zion, a "sign" of the One Above.

Israel without G-d is like a dentist sign without a dentist or an icon with a broken link. It stands for nothing and it goes nowhere. But when Israel is true to its G-d and true to its mission, it is invincible. Israel's power does not come from its military might, nor from its allies and friends. It comes from G-d. Just read the sign.