Evil spirits surround Jerusalem.

Small-minded people are trying to undermine the foundations of the eternal castle; denying its past, erasing its identity. They are trying to take possession of King David’s holy city.

No, I will not testify about the Jewishness of Jerusalem. Testimony will be given by the ancient coins found among the remains, etched with names of Kings of Judea. Testimony will be given by the burned stamps carrying biblical names. Testimony will be given by the walls of hope, built by Nehemiah, the rebuilder of Jewish settlement in Jerusalem over 2,300 years ago. Testimony will be given by the tremendous stone walls which surround Temple Mount, the site of the Second Temple, about which the Romans said nothing so magnificent had been seen anywhere in the world. Testimony will be given by the ritual baths carved in Jerusalem stone on the pilgrims’ route.

No, I will not testify about the Jewish nation’s devotion to Jerusalem.

Testimony will be given by the desperate etchings left by pilgrims on the stone walls of Jerusalem. Testimony will be given by the Holy Ark curtains, the wine goblets and other ritual objects which carry the image of the Western Wall stones in every place which Jews reached around the world. Testimony will be given by the prayers, the hymns and the liturgy recited in Morocco and Spain, in the mountains of Ethiopia and in the steppes of the Ukraine, etching the memory of Jerusalem in every heart.

No, I will not testify about the freedom of Jerusalem. Testimony will be given by the millions of pilgrims; Jews, Christians and Muslims who – for the first time in 2,000 years – have complete freedom of religion and worship in Jerusalem, who enjoy the status quo of mutual respect and of the safeguarding of the sacred places to the three religions, protected by the government of the sovereign State of Israel. Testimony will be given by the state archeological sites and museums in Jerusalem which preserve and tell the story of Jerusalem throughout the generations.

For 2,000 years, since my forefathers were expelled from it under the Roman sword, Jerusalem was destroyed and rebuilt time and after time. And when we merited to return to Jerusalem, we chose to stop the cycle of destruction, to return our beloved city to its eternal mission: “...that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it”; A city in which all believers can raise their eyes upward.

We must condemn those who wish to return Jerusalem to the cycle of denial and bloodshed, and who wish to erase its Jewish past in the name of political struggle.

One of Jerusalem’s greatest rabbis once said, “If we were destroyed, and the world with us, due to baseless hatred, then we shall rebuild ourselves, and the world with us, with baseless love.” Jerusalem will no longer be built on hate. Jerusalem’s future will not be written on its destroyed past. Shame on those who wish to erase Jerusalem’s eternal story.

The writer is the rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites.

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