Dancing at the  Hurva
Dancing at the HurvaTPS Dalia Hechel

The Hebrew word ‘Netzach” is often associated with victory. The word Netzach also has the meaning of eternity, as in the verse “The Eternal One of Israel will not lie, nor change His mind…” (Shmuel I 15:29). Our Sages tell us: “Netzach – that is Yerushalayim" (Brachot 58a). Yerushalayim connects us to the level of the eternal, enabling us to rise to the perspective of Netzach, beyond all the day-to-day problems and deficiencies.

The Divine Name and Ideal, the full realization of the absolute good that Hashem wants for mankind, for which the world was created and which all of history leads to, is embodied in Yerushalayim, “the place where Hashem shall be seen.” This process of Divine Revelation unfolds in stages, with ups and downs, making Hashem’s involvement and directing hand difficult to see. Despair and pessimism can enter our lives without the greater view of what is truly taking place.

There is an eternal nation, Israel, and there is a city of eternity, Yerushalayim. "Yerushalayim, the city where I have chosen to put My name" (Melachim I 11:36). "Yerushalayim which I chose… I will put My Name there forever" (Melachim II 21:7). The Jewish People were exiled and the Beit HaMikdash was destroyed, but those are only transient phenomena. Even 2000 years are transient in the perspective of Netzach.

Am Yisrael's existence is beyond the laws of nature. Despite all the attempts to destroy us - persecutions, pogroms, and exiles - we are still here and we have miraculously returned to our Land. Non-Jewish thinkers have been amazed by this marvel, among them Tolstoy who wrote: "The Jew is the emblem of eternity… such a nation cannot be destroyed. The Jew is everlasting as is eternity itself."

So too the eternal city of Yerushalayim, whose "holiness remains even in its destruction," was taken from us and destroyed. The Romans plowed over the city of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount as a sign that Zion was forever buried. Emperor Hadrian changed the name of Judea - the home of the Jewish people - to Palestine, and the name of Yerushalayim to Aelia Capitolina, in an attempt to remove any connection between the Jewish People and its city, yet the Jews have returned, and 55 years ago we merited to witness G-d's eternal dominion over Yerushalayim and the Temple Mount when He returned it via the bravery of our soldiers to the reborn Jewish State.

We have not yet reached the full building of Yerushalayim with the rebuilt Temple and the return of the Shechina in all of its glorious revelation, but the eternal truth of “Netzach Yisrael” will certainly be realized. This Divine Axiom of existence cannot be changed by any forces whatsoever – neither by world superpowers, politicians of the moment, or by any others who may try to prevent it.

Fifty-five years ago the two parts of the divided Yerushalayim were reunited – east and west. Now we must complete the process by reuniting the other two parts – the Yerushalayim above and the Yerushalayim below (Midrash Tanhuma Pekuday 1). This means joining the celestial Yerushalayim with the territorial Yerushalayim, to unify the holy and the mundane, the soul with the body.

"Yerushalayim is the light of the world" (Breishit Raba 59). Just like white light before it goes through a prism and diffracts into different colors, so too the entire good and future perfection of the world is concentrated in Yerushalayim. It is like the cover of a puzzle that shows us the entire picture, and from that we can understand how the pieces must be assembled into place. We must contemplate on the meaning and essence of "Yerushalayim" to align our vision to the level of the eternal and thus be able to properly appreciate the significance of our times and express our gratitude to Hashem on this great day - Yom Yerushalayim.

"Yerushalayim is the heart of the world" (Zohar Breishit 84b). It is the place "from where the blessing emanates to all" (Tehillim 128, Zohar Vayikra 36a). It is the "gateway to Heaven" (Breishit 28:17). "From Zion will go forth Torah and the word of the L-rd from Yerushalayim" (Yishayahu 2:3). What a blessing for all mankind, and what flow of goodness is soon to be manifest following the return of Am Yisrael to its Land and Holy City. May we all work with Hashem to facilitate this amazing process of Redemption of which we have merited to be a part, and may we speedily see the Geula Shleima, the complete Redemption, in our time, soon. Amen.