15

Judaism doesn't have a current pilgrimage obligation the way I understand that Islam does (I believe every Muslim is required to go to Mecca once). However, Israel and, more specifically, Jerusalem is very important to Jews; Israel is our homeland, and Jerusalem is the site of the temples (past and future). Further, Jerusalem used to be a pilgrimage ...


12

As you said, Ralbag (and most of the commentaries) understand this to be talking about statues of some kind. (Metzudas David to 5:8 also cites this as a second explanation.) So according to that view of things, David had nothing against the blind and lame people any more than against any of the other Jebusites. Metzudas David's first explanation (to 5:6), ...


11

The Rambam (Moreh Nevukhim Part III, 45) writes, concerning Mount Moriah: "The fact that the Torah does not make specific mention of it [Jerusalem], but rather hints at it and says, "…[the place] which God will choose" etc., appears to me to have three explanations. The first: so that the nations would not seize the place and wage power struggles over it, ...


10

The Rabbis at the time ruled that since the dead could not be moved from the Old City they should be moved into a temporary grave until an opportunity would allow them to be re-interned on the Mount of Olives. Unfortunately that took another 19 years to happen. .. in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem some 40 fighters and others who were ...


10

The reason why we light candles a few minutes early (18 minutes) is in order to avoid any possibility of starting Shabbat late. Think of it as a train leaving the station. If you're one minute late, you missed it. By the way, though most communities light Shabbat candles 18 minutes before sunset, local custom may vary. For instance in Jerusalem, the custom ...


10

Halachic Yerushalyim is indeed still the same size (eg. for Maaser Sheni purposes). Shushan Purim is celebrated both in an ancient walled city and "adjacent" to it (Megilla 2b).


10

See the Mishna in Chagigah (Perek 1 - Chapter 1) : פרק א - משנה א הַכֹּל חַיָּבִין בָּרְאִיָּה, חוּץ מֵחֵרֵשׁ, שׁוֹטֶה וְקָטָן, וְטֻמְטוּם, וְאַנְדְּרוֹגִינוֹס, וְנָשִׁים, וַעֲבָדִים שֶׁאֵינָם מְשֻׁחְרָרִים, הַחִגֵּר, וְהַסּוּמָא, וְהַחוֹלֶה, וְהַזָּקֵן, וּמִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לַעֲלוֹת בְּרַגְלָיו. אֵיזֶהוּ קָטָן, כֹּל שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִרְכּוֹב ...


9

I think that the inner colonnaded wall in the Garrard model is actually meant to demarcate the original area of the Temple Mount, which per the Mishnah, Middos 2:1 (English translation here) was a square, 500 cubits (about 800-1000 feet) to a side. [The outer wall, with its colonnade, would be the enlarged area after Herod's renovation of the Temple, ...


8

According to the Ra'avad, Har Habayis (Temple Mount) does not have Kedusha nowadays, so there would be no halachik issue with visiting any part of it. However, most poskim assume like the Rambam that Har Habayis retains its kedusha even though the Beis haMikdash has been destroyed. This means people can only visit areas that are allowed based on their ...


7

The Rambam rules in Chagigah 2:1 that someone who is tamei is exempt from ri'iyah. A metzora' would seem to be included in this category.


7

There are numerous Talmudic sources which refer to a "Golden Jerusalem", these sources, however, are not referring to the actual city of Jerusalem but to a piece of jewelry which was colloquially referred to as "Golden Jerusalem" or "Golden City". It was probably a tiara which was engraved to resemble a city skyline. That being said, the song Yerushalyim ...


7

There is no specific Mitzva to visit Eretz Yisroel, however (Kesubos 111a) walking 4 (Amos) cubits in Eretz Yisroel is a Mitzva. In addition there are many Mitzvos that can be done exclusively in eretz Yisroel.


7

Two thousand years beforehand, they may not have said this text. Rambam's text, for example, does not have it, nor do Seder Rav Amram Gaon (ed. Harpenes: Seder Tisha B'av), or Seder Rav Sa'adya Gaon, which just has השוממה. Nevertheless, it is present in the Siddur of R. Eleazar Rokeah (ch. 123 p. 637). His Siddur makes clear that the references to being ...


6

There is no stone on the exposed kotel which is opposite the kodesh hakadoshim. However if you go to the tunnel tours there is a spot marked which is. See this page for maps and pictures: http://www.generationword.com/jerusalem101/38-western-wall-tunnels.html


5

There are those that hold you may, however the majority of contemporary Poskim hold you may not. http://www.templeinstitute.org/archive/25-01-05.htm This link goes to a website that supports going to the Temple Mount. http://www.templeinstitute.org/main.htm


5

According to ד"ר יוסף נדבה there was a Mechitza up until 5689 (1928) when it was removed by the British authorities.


5

(The Talmud is aware of the Hasmonean civil war, by the way; it's mentioned in passing in Bava Kama 82b: כשצרו בית חשמונאי זה על זה היה הורקנוס מבפנים ואריסטובלוס מבחוץ) As for Pompey, it's in Sforno's commentary to Deuteronomy 28:14: Deuteronomy Chapter 28 contains a very lengthy, depressing list of horrible things that will happen to the Jewish people ...


5

Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro says based on what he heard in the name of Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, based on the Gemara in Megila, that the Vav here shows us that it is in the honor of the righteous people that Jerusalem gets elevated. The Aderes in Tehila l'David 10 explains that therefore there is a Vav in V'Lyerushalayim. ולא בכדי התפילה של 'ולירושלים עירך' היא ...


5

In Parashat va-Yishlach (Bereshit 35:1) it says: ויאמר אלהים אל-יעקב, קום עלה בית-אל ושב-שם; ועשה-שם מזבח -- לאל הנראה אליך, בברחך מפני עשו אחיך. And God said unto Jacob: 'Arise, go up to Beth-el, and dwell there; and make there an altar unto God, who appeared unto thee when thou didst flee from the face of Esau thy brother.' Back in Parashat va-...


5

Rambam Mezuza 6,8 אחד שערי חצרות ואחד שערי מבואות ואחד שערי מדינות ועיירות הכל חייבים במזוזה שהרי הבתים החייבין במזוזה פתוחין לתוכן Gates of courtyards, cul de sacs, countries and cities need a Mezuza as the houses which need Mezuzas open up to those gates (i.e the only way out of that enclosed city/courtyard from ones house is through one of those ...


4

The only natural fresh water source around Jerusalem is the Gihon spring located just to the east of the city. Originally, there was an aqueduct that brought water into the city, but it was at ground level and could relatively easily be attacked by opposing armies, as the spring was located outside the city walls due to engineering concerns. King Hezekiah in ...


4

Indeed the custom here in Jerusalem is to light candels 40 minutes before Shekiah. The current Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Rabbi Moishe Shternbuch discusses the source of this custom in his book Moadim U'Zmanim (vol 8, siman 156). I will try to elaborate more on this after Shabbos if I remember!


4

In the Chumash, we find "Malki-tzedek, king of Shalem", as well as Avraham referring to the place of Akeidat Yitzchak as "Hashem Yireh." The midrash says those names were combined, "Yireh+Shalem" -> "Yerushalayim." Note that in Aramaic, it's pronounced "Yerushlame", which fits with how it's written Biblically -- no yud before the final mem. However in ...


4

This could be Malchitzedek, traditionally identified as Shem, son of Noah. He was a priest and the ruler of Yerushalayim* in the time of Avraham Avinu, although it was then known as Shalem (see Parshat Lech-Lecha and commentary ad loc.).


4

See the Malbim on that verse in ישעיה פרק-ב דבר ה' הוא הנבואה, ותורה היא תורת משה Firstly he teaches defines the words: Dvar Hashem refers specifically to prophecy. Torah refers to the Torah, as we know it. Then he explains the verse in detail: תצא תורה, לכל העולם כמ''ש כי יפלא ממך דבר למשפט וכו' וקמת ועלית וכו', וזה היה רק בציון, ודבר ה', הוא דבר ...


4

Pirkei Avot 5:5: עֲשָׂרָה נִסִּים נַעֲשׂו לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ בְּבֵית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ... וְלֹא אָמַר אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ צַר לִי הַמָּקוֹם שֶׁאָלִין בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם: Ten miracles were performed for our forefathers in the Temple: (10) A person never said to his fellow, 'It is too crowded for me to sleep overnight in Jerusalem.' Thus, there was room to house all the ...


4

As DanF already answered, the Torah only commands us to go for the 3 festivals. However, if you look in the Mishna in Yoma, 7:2, and its commentators, you will learn that there were people who attended the Yom Kippur services in the Bet HaMikdash - and that it was a Mitzva to do so. Mishna: הָרוֹאֶה כֹהֵן גָּדוֹל כְּשֶׁהוּא קוֹרֵא, אֵינוֹ רוֹאֶה פַר ...


4

The Peirush Yafeh Toar to Bereishis Rabbah 56:10 says that the reason is because Avraham Avinu was a greater Tzadik, so the name he gave (Yireh), takes precedence: ואף על פי ששם שלם קודם ליראה מכל מקום הקדים בהרכבה יראה דאברהם צדיק תפי משם


4

Perhaps you were listening to the song "*Shomrei hafkid l'ircha kol hayom v'kol halaila" which in turn is inspired by the verse in Isaiah 62:6-7 "Upon your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen, Who shall never be silent By day or by night. O you, the LORD’s remembrancers (sic), Take no rest - And give no rest to Him, Until He establish Jerusalem And make ...


3

Rabbi Eleazar Ben Hanania Ben Hizkiya. The evidence for this one is not 100% proof, but: 1) In Shabbat 13b it says that חנניה בן חזקיה וסעתו compiled Megillat Taanit. He is also identified as one of the leaders of Beit Shammai, and is known for "saving" the book of Ezekiel among other things. 2) We only have an Aramaic version of Megilat Taanit, but ...


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