In almost every picture that you see of the old City of Jerusalem, and anytime one drives into Jerusalem and first sees the Old City from a distance, one's eye is immediately drawn to the gold dome that stands behind the Kotel HaMa'aravi. It is hard to miss it, and over the last few hundred years, that view with that gold dome has become synonymous with Jerusalem. The sad part is, of course, that it is a non-Jewish site located on the holiest Jewish site in the world.
Today, upon entering the city by bus and seeing the beautiful vista of Jerusalem, my eye fell on a different dome for the first time! As many of you know, there is/was a synagogue in the Old City known as the Hurva Synagogue, which was a main Ashkenazi synagogue for centuries. In the 1948 war, it was reduced to rubble by the Arabs. It was noticeable for years, when walking through the Old City, by the arch that stood in the place of the ruins.
However, a few years ago, a project began to re-build the Hurva, which is nearing completion sometime (theoretically) in the not-too-distant future. One of the key features is the beautiful white dome that sits atop the newly constructed edifice. It is THAT dome that is now highly visible from a distance as you look towards the Old City. It is THAT dome that we must replace in our national-mind's-eye when we picture the Old City. Our eye should be drawn to the Kedusha (holiness) of what we have and not the the non-Kedusha (see Breisheet 7:1) buildings atop the place that Hashem has chosen for our Bet HaMikdash.
On your next trip, as you stand on a promenade overlooking the Old City or as you merely enter by car or by bus, allow your eyes to be drawn to the dome of the Hurva synagogue and think about what IT symbolizes! Think about the great House that will be built nearby there speedily in our days, AMEN!
IN THE PICTURES ABOVE: A VIEW OF THE SYNAGOGUE IN THE 1800'S
A VIEW FROM A FEW YEARS AGO
A VIEW FROM TODAY