In life, sometimes we need to step back, breathe deeply, and truly appreciate the beauty of our surroundings, taking a moment to be truly present in the moment. Even though many of us have visited Jerusalem on numerous occasions, looking at the city thru the eyes of a child can bring a fresh perspective in how we experience the Holy City.
Like other ancient cities such as Rome that have a rich tradition stretching back millennia, Jerusalem has taken its place among kings and saints, and it is impossible to deny the impact it has on those fortunate enough to have visited. The elements of the city that have led to so much conflict over the course of millennia has also shaped its very character.
Jerusalem is a city we admire greatly, and a place we hope you’ll want to make your second home. Here at David Stone we’d like to share with you a very brief history of the city and enumerate some of the reasons we find it to be such a magical place.
It is a place where one breathes the air, feels invigorated, and is a part of something holy, something greater than oneself. There are few places in the world where one can feel as if they live among history. There has not been a city in history that has weathered so many storms such as that of Jerusalem, where the three Abrahamic faiths have waged battled for thousands of years to claim a hold on this divine place.
Historically, the city has its foundations stretching back over 4,000 years, a city that was built on the site where Abraham offered to sacrifice his son to G-d that later became the capital of ancient Judah. Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people from when King David established it as the holy capital, and later when Solomon, David’s son built the First Temple on Mount Moriah, at the very spot on which it was believed Abraham arrived here with Isaac centuries prior. Political instability was as common in that period as it is today, leading tragically to the destruction of the First Temple, and then later, the Second Temple and the end of Jewish sovereignty for centuries until the advent of the modern State of Israel.
Over the course of millennia, the city and land has come under the jurisdiction of various powers, all who have left their own indelible mark on it: Canaanites, Egyptians, Israelites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, Mamelukes, and Ottomans, finally falling under control of the British Empire during WWI, leading to the promise of the establishment of a homeland for the Jewish people and eventually the creation of the State of Israel.
The city remained divided between East and West during the interim period of 1948-1967, after which complete control fell under the sole jurisdiction of Israel following the Six Day War. In addition to its being home to the tradition of three Abrahamic religions, Jerusalem’s many rulers have left behind a rich architectural and archaeological history, acting as a living museum for its inhabitants and visitors alike. From the village-like artists’ colony of Nachlaot, to stately Rehavia, and the cobblestone paths of Yemin Moshe overlooking the Old City, Jerusalem offers a wide selection of beautiful neighborhoods to call home.
Today Jerusalem remains one of the most desirable places to live in Israel for those who want to have a connection with the land its history, both past and present.