City of the Great King: Jerusalem from David to the Present by Nitza Rosovsky

By Nitza Rosovsky

In 1996 Jerusalem celebrated 3000 years because the biblical conquest by way of King David. That very occasion serves as a political assertion, marking town as traditionally Jewish. town can't get away fiercely argued claims to primacy argued in spiritual, political or historic phrases, not just among Israeli-Jew and Palestinian-Arab, yet among Islamic, Christian and Jewish traditions, and among secular and orthodox Jews. This scholarly quantity includes 18 stories, edited through Nitza Rosovsky, which technique town from many various angles: via spiritual spirituality, folks songs, literature, artwork, structure and politics. Rosovsky contributes an outstanding creation and of the stories, together with a desirable account of the perceptions of nineteenth century tourists together with Mark Twain, Benjamin Disraeli and Herman Melville.

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Jerusalem, municipal area. i Sha'ul Sheikh Mea J « * She arim cm OLD Beit Hakcrem ζ Rehavia \ Mt. Scopus Mt. of Olives Γ > Siloam German Colony Ein Kcrem Gonen Ramat Rachel 32 CITY OF THE GREAT KING inhabitants in 1991—a growth of 105 percent, 90 percent for the Jewish population and 106 percent for the Arab. The share of Arab population increased there because of high fertility rates and the settlement of a great number of "internal" immigrants from rural areas. The municipal area grew from 44 square kilometers—38 in West Jerusalem, 6 in East Jerusalem—to 123 square kilometers.

At an unknown date, the central Jewish academy (the Palestine Yeshiva) moved from Tiberias to Jerusalem. The head of the academy and its principal scholars divided their time between Jerusalem and Ramla, the capital. The Jewish quarter was situated in the City of David, close to the Temple Mount, but after the earthquake of 1033 when that part of the city remained outside the new city wall, a Jewish quarter was founded in the northwestern part of the city. The Karaites, the Jewish sect which came into being in the eighth century, made Jerusalem their spiritual center in the last two centuries of the Early Arab period.

We can read it out of the prophets: it was Jerusalem that was the symbol and center of their concerns for Israel; Yahweh would again choose Jerusalem (Zechariah 2:12), it is to Jerusalem and its Temple that "the glory of the Lord" will return at its restoration (Ezekiel 43:4-6). The rise of the Pharisaic party and its program of ritual purity,6 and above all the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, finally shifted the emphasis away from the sanctifying presence of God to the holiness of ritual purity, even with respect to places.

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