Thousands of generations I dreamt of you, Jerusalem

As Israel prepares for Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, celebrating the victory of the Six Day war that freed East Jerusalem from Jordanian occupation and returned Jewish sovereignty over the Temple Mount I keep hearing in my mind Yehoram Gaon describing the terror of the Yom Kippur war when Israelis did not know if the young country would survive, or if it would be the final genocide of the Jewish people.

He had been called to perform for soldiers stationed in the Sinai desert, almost at the border with Egypt. The soldiers requested he sing “Me’al Pisgat Har Hazofim” (Above the Peak of Mt Scopus), a song about Jerusalem.

Think about that. So far from home, in such danger, they wanted to hear the ode to Jerusalem that declares:

“Thousands of generations I dreamt of you, to be granted to see the light of your face, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Shine your face to your sons! From your ruins, I will build you!”

His description burned in into my mind: “I must tell you, I sang quite nicely. I was a little offended when they all ran away.” He thought that they were being attacked or were about to be hit by a missile but the soldiers were running to a command-car that had suddenly arrived at their desert position. It was Rabbi Goren, the Rabbi who was there when the Temple Mount was freed, the Rabbi who insisted the holy Tomb of the Patriarchs remain under Jewish administration. This man, a walking symbol of holiness and connection to the land of Israel, had two bags in his hands, full of small books of Psalms.

Yehoram Gaon’s face twisted in anguish as he recounted how the soldiers grabbed the tiny books, shoving them into every pocket available, as if wrapping themselves in holiness. As if the Psalms would serve as a barrier, as armor, guarding them from the bullets and the bombs.

Today we still wrap ourselves in the dream of Jerusalem and Psalms to protect our soldiers and ourselves from the bullets and the bombs.

The ayatollahs of Iran are determined to wipe the Jewish people off the face of the earth. Their religion actually dictates that they must wash the world in blood for their messiah to come. For them this is not a matter of politics, this is about bringing the End Times closer.

The danger is very real and yet Iran doesn’t seem to understand the power of dreaming of one thing for thousands of generations, of the promise in this song: “Jerusalem, I will not move from you!”

ABOVE THE PEAK OF MT SCOPUS (Me’al Pisgat Har Hazofim)

Above the peak of Mount Scopus
I will bow down to the ground to you,
Above the peak of Mount Scopus,
Peace [hello] to you, Jerusalem

For thousands of generations I dreamt of you,
to see, to earn the honor of {experiencing] the light of your face.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem
Shine the light of your face [welcome] to your son!
Jerusalem, Jerusalem
From you ruins I will build you!

Above the peak of Mount Scopus
I will bow down to the ground to you,
Above the peak of Mount Scopus,
Peace [hello] to you, Jerusalem
Be blessed with a thousand blessings!
Temple, King, city of royalty [city from which one reigns]

Jerusalem, Jerusalem
I won’t move from here!
Jerusalem, Jerusalem
The Messiah will come, will come.

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