The Jerusalem Covenant
As of this day, Jerusalem Day, the twenty-eight day of the month of Iyar in the year five thousand seven hundred fifty-two; one thousand nine hundred and twenty-two years after the destruction of the Second Temple; forty-four years since the founding of the State of Israel; twenty-five years since the Six Day War during which the Israel Defense Forces, in defense of our very existence, broke through the walls of the city and restored the Temple Mount and the unity of Jerusalem; twelve years since the Knesset of Israel reestablished the ‘Jerusalem, unified and whole, is the Capital of Israel’; the State of Israel is the State of the ‘Jewish People’ and the Capital of Israel is the Capital of the People of Israel. We have gathered together in Zion, national leaders and heads of our communities everywhere, to enter into a covenant with Jersualem, as was done by the leaders of our nation and all the people of Israel upon Israel’s return to its Land from the Babylonian exile; and the people and their leaders will dwell in Jerusalem, the Holy City.
Once again, ‘our feet stand within your gates, O Jerusalem – Jerusalem built as a city joined together’ which ‘unites the people of Israel to one another’, and ‘links heavenly Jerusalem with earthly Jerusalem.’
We have returned to the place that the Lord vowed to bestow upon the descendants of Abraham, Father of our Nation; to the City of David, King of Israel; where Solomon, son of David, built a Holy Temple; a Capital City which became the Mother of all Israel; a metropolis for justice and righteousness and for the wisdom and insights of the ancient world; where a Second Temple was erected in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah. In this city the prophets of the Lord prophesied; in the City the Sages taught Torah; in this City the Sanhedrin convened in session in its stone chamber. ‘For there were the seats of Justice, the Throne of the House of David’, ‘for out of Zion shall go forth Torah, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.’
Today, as of old, we hold fast to the truth of the words of the Prophets of Israel, that all the inhabitants of the world shall enter within the gates of Jerusalem: ‘And it shall come to pass at the end of days, the mountain of the House of the Lord will be well established at the peak of the mountains and will tower above the hills, and all the nation shall stream towards it.’ Each and every nation will live in it by its own faith: ‘For all the nation will go forward, each with its own Divine Name; we shall go in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.’ And in this spirit the Knesset of the State of Israel has enacted a law: The places holy to the peoples of all religions shall be protected from any desecration and from any restriction of free access to them.
Jerusalem – peace and tranquility shall reign in the city: ‘Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; may those who love you be tranquil. May there by peace within your walls, and tranquility within your palaces.’ Out of Jerusalem, a message of peace went forth and shall yet go forth again to all the inhabitants of the earth: ‘And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation will not lift up sword against nation, nor shall they learn war any more,’ our sages, peace be upon them, said. In the future, The Holy One, the Blessed, will comfort Jerusalem only with peace.
From this place, we once again take this vow: ‘If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand lose its strength; may my tongue cleave to my palate if I do not remember you, if I do not raise up Jerusalem at the very height of my rejoicing.’
And with all these understandings, we enter into this Covenant and write: We shall bind you to us forever; we shall bind you to us with faithfulness, with righteousness and justice, with steadfast love and compassion. We love you, O Jerusalem, with eternal love, with unbounded love, under siege and when liberated from the yoke of oppressors. We have been martyred for you; we have yearned for you, we have clung to you. Our faithfulness to you we shall bequeath to our children after us. Forevermore our home shall be within you.