The Old City of Jerusalem brings out so many strong emotions in all of it’s inhabitants and tourists.
What is the secret of the magnetism of the Old City of Jerusalem?
It can be argued that the mix of new and old, ancient and modern, is what plays such a powerful role.
But, there are other places in the world that have similar mixes of ancient and modern, albeit, usually not as ancient as Jerusalem.
It would seem that the powerful impact that visitors to Jerusalem feel crosses over the line between Jew and non-Jew. So, it is not merely a Jewish mystical experience.
So what is it?
I think the answer that sums it all up more than any other is – The Bible.
When one walks in the Land of Israel, the Bible comes to life when one hears stories about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Leah, Samson, and King David – all of whom were in the very same locations as we walk today.
But when one walks in or near the Old City of Jerusalem – in the exact locations where the 1st and 2nd Temple stood, and can clearly envision the throngs of pilgrims walking up to the holiest location in the Bible to serve the Lord, an even more powerful emotion is felt.
If the Land of Israel is the Holiest Land in the world and the Holiest city in the world is Jerusalem, and the Holiest location in Jerusalem is the location of the Temple, then it’s reasonable that the Holiness that so many people claim to feel in the Old City is actually a palpable feeling.
Until the last few decades, the Western Wall was the most powerful location wherein one could associate this feeling.
Due to today’s amazing excavations, ancient Jerusalem is now an open book that is even more amazing underground than it is overground.
Understanding the rich past of Jerusalem is not merely important so that we can understand the prophecies unfolding today, but because connecting our past with the present is what enables us to proudly forge ahead into the future in order to fulfill the God-given role of the Chosen People in the Chosen Land.