One of our subscribers shared this lovely photo of Jerusalem on her FB page. (I think she did it by mistake).
It is from a Palestinian Arab propaganda site called “Days of Palestine” and the captions says, “Good morning from Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Palestine. (sic)”
It’s ironic that this appears in the week we are reading the Torah portion of “VaYera” which ends with the spellbinding story of the Binding of Isaac (Akeidat Yitzchak).
It’s doubly ironic that the Palestinian Arabs claim direct descent from Ishmael who also features in this week’s portion when Sarah and Avraham both disinherit Yishmael from the covenant over the Land of Israel.
Yishmael (the future Arab Nations) is Disinherited from the Land of Israel
Sarah saw the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham ‘playing.’ (Yishmael was shooting arrows at Yitzchak trying to kill him – see Rashi)
She said to Abraham, “Cast out that slave-woman and her son, for the son of that slave shall not share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”
The matter distressed Abraham greatly, for it concerned a son of his.
But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed over the boy (Yishmael) or your slave (Hagar); whatever Sarah tells you, do as she says, for it is through Isaac that offspring shall be continued for you. (Genesis 21:9-12)
Mount Moriah and the Temple Mount
The photo above is taken from the northern section of the Old City of Jerusalem looking south onto the Temple Mount. The Golden Dome is the Mosque of Omar which was built on the site where the Holy of Holies stood in Solomon’s Temple.
King Solomon built retaining walls and a platform on top of Mount Moriah to be able to construct the first Temple.
When describing the episode of the Binding of Isaac, the Torah relates in Genesis 22:
Some time afterward, God put Abraham to the test, saying to him, “Abraham.” He answered, “Here I am.”
“Take your son, your favored one, Isaac, whom you love, (as opposed to Yishmael) and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I will point out to you.”
(the Mountain in the Land of Moriah which was pointed out is Mount Moriah… the binding of Isaac took place where the Temples would ultimately stand where all the burnt offerings in the future would be offered.)
(the story continues…)
So early next morning, Abraham saddled his ass and took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. He split the wood for the burnt offering, and he set out for the place of which God had told him.
In the end, God tells Avraham not to slaughter Yitzchak but to offer a ram instead. The message of this story teaches us that there is nothing in this world that has intrinsic value independent of God. Not even our relationships with our own children.
The reason why the Almighty gives us children is to help us learn about our relationship with Him and be able to bond with Him more closely.
That is the purpose of existence. That is what Jerusalem is meant to symbolize. And the mission of the Nation of Israel is to teach that lesson to the world, from this place… Jerusalem, the Eternal Capital of Israel.
By the way, did you know that the word Moriah comes from the Hebrew word “to teach?”
Mount Moriah – the Temple Mount is the place from where the teaching of Torah emmanates and lights up the world.
וְהָלְכוּ עַמִּים רַבִּים וְאָמְרוּ לְכוּ וְנַעֲלֶה אֶל־הַר־יְהֹוָה אֶל־בֵּית אֱלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב וְיֹרֵנוּ מִדְּרָכָיו וְנֵלְכָה בְּאֹרְחֹתָיו כִּי מִצִּיּוֹן תֵּצֵא תוֹרָה וּדְבַר־יְהֹוָה מִירוּשָׁלָ͏ִם׃
And many nations shall go and say: “Come, Let us go up to the Mount of the LORD, To the House of the God of Jacob; That He may instruct us in His ways, And that we may walk in His paths.”
For Torah shall go forth from Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3)
P.S. Did you know that many Moslem Arabs believe according to the Quran that it was Ishmael, not Isaac that Abraham offered as a sacrifice? And that it took place in Mecca and not Jerusalem?