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    The holy places – T’rumah

    There is a common opinion that Jerusalem is the Holy City by reason of the holy places that are there.

    From the point of view of Christianity this might be true, since many sites in Jerusalem figure in the New Testament. It can hardly apply to Islam, since Jerusalem does not appear in the Koran.

    What about Judaism?

    Naturally a great deal of Jewish history happened in and about Jerusalem, but apart from the Western Wall, Jerusalem does not really have “holy places”.

    Why do we call it the Holy City? Not because of specific sites but because the city as a whole is holy.

    The reason is not so much geography but history or really anthropology. It is because of the human associations of the city that the name has such an aura.

    Jerusalem always evoked for Jews the task of being a spiritual, ethical, moral people.

    How one conducted him- or her-self in Jerusalem was the mark of who they were. That’s why the Torah doesn’t claim that God would dwell in a location, the sanctuary, but in the humans who built the sanctuary:

    “They shall make Me a sanctuary and I shall dwell in the midst of them” (Ex. 25:8) – not “in the midst of it” but “in the midst of them”.

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