Ascending to Jerusalem from Gush Etzion to Jerusalem
Ascending to Jerusalem from Gush Etzion to JerusalemDr. Ze'ev Rothkoff

The action we attribute to travelling to Jerusalem, whose holiday we will celebrate at the end of this week, is "laalot", to go up to Jerusalem. Originally this was because of Jerusalem's elevated geographical location.

The word Jerusalem is a play on the word "shalem", whole, in various conjugations. If we look at our lives, we can see that we have never actually met anything whole. Every thing has an imperfection; every thing can be improved. Even when we encounter an impressive figure or shiny product to whom/which we attribute the term "perfect," we mean perfect relative to something else. Nothing is perfect, but there is an ascent to achieve perfection. "To go up to Jerusalem" means progress and training; which is, in other words: means happiness (this is also what is meant by the words "next year in a rebuilt Jerusalem" – there will always be next year when Jerusalem will be built even more).

Those who just want to live in Jerusalem may be a little frustrated this week: the endless rounds of fighting in the south; a worrying economic horizon; rifts in society; criticism of the elected government; and a host of personal, medical and family problems that everyone faces.

But - whoever is going up to Jerusalem is very happy this week: a successful operation in Gaza in many ways; relative economic stability and a high standard of living; the dissolution of the socially poisoned atmosphere of recent months; recognition that there are nevertheless advantages in a right-wing government; and a bit of progress – each in their own area – on the personal level.

This year, the world has had a slightly more Jerusalem year compared to last year, and next year we will go up even higher to Jerusalem.

Next year in a rebuilt Jerusalem.