It is common in Judaism to clarify the significance of a subject matter by searching for mention of it in the Bible. The nearer the subject appears to the beginning of the Bible, the more significance is attached to it.
In the second chapter of the book of Genesis it is written, “These are the generations of the heaven and of the earth…” In the Tractate Yoma 54, it is relayed that the heavens and earth were created in Zion. Rashi comments that Zion was created first of all. The rest of the earth clung around it. Zion is an alternative name for Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is the capital of the land of Israel. Jewish people view Jerusalem as the holiest city in the world. Within Jerusalem the holiest building in the world, the Temple, once stood and will, one day, stand. Within the Temple site was the Holy of Holies, the holiest spot in the world, from where the world began.
Jewish people pray three times a day for a speedy redemption to the land of Israel, and specifically to Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the Holy Temple. Jewish visitors to the land of Israel would not imagine of visiting without going to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, which is the remnant of the wall that surrounded the Temple courtyard.
Jerusalem is the holiest city in the world for all three Abrahamic religions; Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Jewish sources relate that in the future, the festival of Tabernacles will become an international experience with people from all over the world travelling to Jerusalem in order to bring offerings in the Temple. This vision foresees a time in which people of different religions will live in peace, side-by-side.
The official symbol of Jerusalem, designed by Koren and chosen and registered in 1950 portrays a lion against a background of the city walls, with olive branches surrounding the lion. The symbols speak volumes about the Jewish peoples’ special connection to the city. The lion guards the wall and symbolizes the connection between the tribe of Judah (whose emblem was a lion) and Jerusalem which was part of their inheritance. The lion is commonly used to decorate holy instruments and doors and curtains in the synagogue. The contrasting stone wall and olive branches represent the hope for peace and stability in the capital of a relatively new country.
Perhaps these sparse facts have shed some light for you on the Jewish peoples’ unique connection to their capital city. There are countless beautiful pieces of Jewish Jewelry available on the market nowadays that are connected to Jerusalem, from those with the timeless verse, “If I forget thee o Jerusalem” from Psalms, those with pendants portraying Jerusalem and the Western Wall. These items are a very special way of keeping Jerusalem in one’s thoughts and heart every single day.