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Amidah: Yom Yerushalayim: Eternal Experiences



“And Malkitzedek, King of Shalem (Genesis 14:18),” Malkitzedek, who was Shem the son of Noach, named the place Shalem. Avraham, however, called the place, “Hashem yireh (See Genesis 22:14). Therefore, God said, “If I call the place Shalem as Shem called it, I shall be annulling the words of My beloved Avraham, who called it Yireh. If I name the place Yireh, I shall be annulling the words of the righteous Shem who called it Shalem.” What did the Holy One, Blessed is He, do? He combined what the two of them called it. Avraham called it Yireh, Shem called it Shalem, and the Holy One, Blessed is He, called it Yerushalayim. (Midrash Tehillim 76:3)

 

We ask God to build Jerusalem, Binyan Olam, as an Eternal Structure, meaning more than buildings that will last; we ask that just as Shem’s experience of the place as “Shalem,” the place of wholeness and perfection, and Avraham’s experience of the place as “Yireh,” the place on which God focuses His attention on the individual, live eternally in the Holy City’s name; so, too, God should “build” Jerusalem as a city in which all of our experiences of the place shall be eternal.

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