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Monday, December 16, 2013

Jerusalem Vantage Points

Check Out These Jerusalem Vantage Points©

By Vardah Littmann

We are living in wondrous time. Even before the Holocaust, all the gedolim, including the Chofetz Chaim, proclaimed that the times of Ikveisa deMeshicha - the footsteps of Moshiach - had arrived. The last 160 years give us a clear indication that we are nearing the finish line. Beholding the expanding city of  Yerushalayim, which has sprouted up far beyond the Old City walls and now comprises 200 neighborhoods, we see before our eyes the fulfilment of the words of our ancient prophets.

At the time when Zechariah said, "Jerusalem will be settled beyond its walls ... pruztot teshev Yerushalayim … such a phenomenon seemed not even remotely possible.The living conditions of those times and the way war was conducted made the possibility of an unwalled Yerushalayim a complete improbability.

 There were many stations in the long, dark history of Klal Yisrael where it seemed that the words of the prophets could not and would not happen

A Jew who lived at the time when Tzion was plowed  into a field by Adrianus and renamed Colonia Aelia  Capitolina, could not in his wildest dreams imagine that one day, far away in the twentieth and twenty- first centuries, Yerushalayim would spread farther than the five "ring neighborhoods."

To view this miraculous growth and development of the Holy City, lets take a tour to several different vantage points.

Established in 1971 in the southwest of the city, Gilo is at one of the highest altitudes in Yerushalayim and provides a spectacular panoramic view. Looking out from the specially built-up observation  point in Rechov Tzvia Yitzchak, you can see Malcha Mall, the Katamonin, and Har Hachoma. Gilo has a population of  40,000 residents and is a well-planned suburb.  Not many years ago, it was constantly in the new. Because the Arabs
living on the nearby hilltop of Beit Jalah kept shooting at it, concrete walls were erected (they were taken down this past year).  Baruch Hashem, it is now "quiet" in Gilo.

Highway Four )Kvish  4)
Anyone travelling on Highway 4 can look down into the valley to witness a nes in our time. Before 1967 these hilltops, that were then on the Jordanian side, were  empty. Now there are new housing projects crowning these hills and an extensive latticework of highways. From the highway, we  can see Ramot, Ramat Shlomo, and Har Hachotzvim.  

Kever of Shmuel Hanavi
From here, you have a fine view of Ramot 6 and  Ramot Daled. On a clear day, you can see the Belz beis medrash, the Gesher HaMeitarim (String Bridge), and
Highway 4. With a 360 degree view from this rooftop post, you can also see from Highway 443 to Kiryat Sefer, with Givat Zev in the background.

The Tayelet) Walkway (in Annon Hanatziv

From the Hass Promenade, both the Old and the New City can be viewed from the south. From here,  Avraham Avinu was shown Har HaMoriah as the site of the akeidah. Crossing the road and standing on the lush rolling lawns on the other side of the walkway, facing north, you can make out the Herodion in the far distance to the left and Kibbutz Ramat Rachel to the right with the neighborhoods of Jewish Talpiot Mizrach.

The Yair Observation Point
From here you have a magnificent view of Yerushalayim from the south as far as Beit Lechem, including Kiryat Hayovel, the Holyland buildings, and the Katamonim.
The lookout point was built by Kibbutz Ramat Rachel  in memory of' one of its members Yair Engel. It features an artificial rockery built around an oak tree.

The Israel Museum
The Gemara tells us of someone who returned from Olam Habah and related the upside-down world he had seen. This idea is expressed in the 16-foot hour glass at the Israel Museum entitled “Turning the World Upside Down, the Upper Jerusalem.” It was created in 2010 by Indian born Jewish sculptor Anish Kapoor. The sculpture reverses and reflects the surrounding landscape and sky, making you feel that you’re floating in the Heavenly Yerushalayim.

May Hashem grant that we see very shortly with our own eyes the return of the Shechinah to Tzion when the greatness and kedushah of Yerushalayim will be revealed
to the whole world

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