Thursday, June 17, 2010
Let There Be Light
Last night, I joined tens of thousands of people to walk through the Old City to view a marvelous exhibit. For the past two weeks, there has been a public "Light and Sound" show happening in the Old City. It literally drew thousands of people to see various displays and movies. In addition to the lights that were displayed all over the area in a wide range of colors (colours for my Canadian friends!), you were greeted at Sha'ar Yaffo (Jaffa Gate) by a robot about 3 meters tall made of foam and light. Inside, and projected on the outer wall of the Hurva (newly rebuilt) synagogue, a movie was played showing the history of the building, its destruction, rebuilding, destruction and yet again its rebuilding. (Sad that for the most part the visiting to the Hurva has been hijacked by a small group of individuals. Yet another example of taking something beautiful and making it into a symbol of the fiefdom of a few). One of the most impressive things though had to be the lights that were set up on Har HaZeitim (Mt of Olives) facing inwards towards the Old City as you look towards the Kotel. Massive lights alternating in various patterns shone brightly in the nighttime sky. Why do I say that this was the most impressive? Because as I looked at those lights on the right side of my field of vision and then looked at Har haBayit on the left side of my field of vision, I could only imagine in my mind's eye the light that emanated from the Temple Mount in the times that the Bet HaMikdash stood and the light of the Menorah shone into the houses of Jerusalem. I was comforted by the feeling that this light--the OR CHADASH--will once again shine on Jerusalem in the near future B'ezrat Hashem. However, it is necessary for us to realize that this won't happen ONLY B'ezrat (with the help of) Hashem. It requires our input and action as well. But, looking around lately at how Jews have been acting towards each other (no, not a new story!) here in this country lately and the crazy, out of control actions of one sect trying to hijack normative Judaism and claim it as its own...these actions delay the Or Chadash...the New Light that we all pray for. I can only pray that these people will "see the light" sooner rather than later and help to replace the "artificial" lights on Har HaZetim with the light of the Menorah on Har HaBayit, bimhera b'yamenu!