Jerusalem: Far More Than the Sum of Its Parts Essay

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“None have claim... All have claim!” (Scott). So proclaims Balian of Ibelin in the 2005 movie, Kingdom of Heaven, when an argument breaks out over who deserves the city of Jerusalem. His point is that, viewed without any spiritual connotations, the city itself is in a rather unremarkable location nor is it particularly large or prosperous, but more blood has been spilled over this ancient place, by people whose beliefs are so intricately intertwined, than anywhere on earth. Men do not throw their lives away for nothing, yet this city that has such little wealth has the ability to spur conflicts that dwarf any resource driven war. It, to this day, fuels conflicts that are millenia old, and perhaps the best explanation for this is itself a …show more content…
The Temple Mount is also, of course, where Solomon built his temple to God, and where Herod rebuilt the 2nd temple. This location is the holiest in all of Judaism, and the foundation stone of the Temple Mount is the holiest place on earth to Jews. This rock is believed to be the Holy of Holies, and thus was God's dwelling place on Earth (Hoppe, p.6). What this means is that Jerusalem, a relative backwater prior to the Jews arrival, became the ultimate religious symbol. The monuments that arose over these locations and their spirituality infused themselves deeply into the entire city. This became so deeply ingrained, for such a myriad of reasons, that the city both was and is utterly inseparable from the Jewish cultural and national consciousness. To this day, Jews pray facing Jerusalem, and because Jerusalem was important to the Jews, it became important to the world. It is interesting to ponder the idea that, were God to have promised the Jews a different land, they would have constructed a city there, and they would have no connection to the city of the Jebusites. The earth itself is only meaningful because of the value that humans ascribe to it. Because Jerusalem became central to the Jews ideology, it became important, strategically, to all who came after. As the Roman empire expanded, they

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