Discover Jerusalem City Facts
“One doesn’t go to Jerusalem, one returns to it. That’s one of its mysteries.”– Elie Wiesel
Jerusalem City – the name evokes emotions like no other. One of the world’s oldest cities, Jerusalem is the seat of Judaic history. Because was the site of the First and Second Holy Temples, Jerusalem is revered as G-d’s given capital.
Here are some popular and some lesser-known facts about this ancient city:
The meaning of the word ‘Jerusalem‘
‘Yerushalayim’, or Jerusalem, is a combination of 2 words, yireh (will see) and shalem (peace, wholeness), and means simply ‘a city of peace’. The Hebrew word ‘Yerushalayim’ also has another meaning – ‘complete awe’. This alludes to the complete awe of the presence of G-d you feel in Jerusalem.
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The Western Wall of Jerusalem
The Kotel/Kosel is a sacred place of prayer for the Jewish people and is a remnant of the Temple Mount built by King Herod in the times of the Second Holy Temple. Therefore, the custom is to write prayers on slips of paper and push them into the cracks of the wall in the belief that “the Divine Presence never departs from the Western Wall.”
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All buildings are made with Jerusalem Stone
Often referred to as a ‘City of Gold’, Jerusalem’s municipal laws mandate that ALL buildings have the facade of the local golden-honey toned richly textured stone, called Jerusalem stone. Because of this, the whole city has a consistently uniform warm beige look, with an easily distinguished skyline.
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The Old lies within the New
Jerusalem comprises two main parts – the Old walled city at the core around which the new city has grown. The Old City is fully bordered by ancient limestone walls and is home to many religious sites like the Temple Mount, the Kotel, The Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre among others.
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An Iconic Skyline
The Jerusalem skyline is easily distinguished by its unique elements: The golden Dome of the Rock, the Tower of David, the Old City walls, the Montefiore Windmill. Each has deep roots in Jewish sentiment and the legacy of the Holy Land echoing the Judaic heartbeat.
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Monument dedicated to Love
The Ahava Sculpture, housed at Jerusalem’s Israel Museum (Sculpture garden), is a relatively new landmark, installed in 1977. ‘Ahava’ means ‘love’ in Hebrew. The sculpture is a remarkable architectural and artistic ode to the foundation of all emotions – love.
Highly photographed against a very Instagrammable background of rolling hills and bright blue skies, the Ahava sculpture is now a Jerusalem favorite!
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