The second video (more of an audio piece) plays Idan Raichel’s arrangement of “Blessings for a New Year,” capturing the excitement of the Beta Israel’s (Ethiopian Jewry) arrival in Israel.
Why do I post this second video today? Because יום ירושלים (yohm) – Jerusalem Day – is also designated as the memorial day for those Beta Israel who perished on the weeks’ long trek-by-foot through the forests, plains and deserts of Ethiopia and the Sudan… on their way to the land that they dreamed about for millenia,
The letter J makes the j sound in English. But in most other languages using the Latin alphabet, J makes the y sound.
That’s how יְרוּשָׁלַיִם (ye-roo-shah-LAH-yeem) became Jerusalem.
So what does ירושלים actually mean? Well, the most likely explanation (according to Wikipedia) is that the name combines two Semitic roots: י.ר.ה (y.r.h.), meaning instruction and ש.ל.מ (sh.l.m.), meaning completeness. The ש.ל.מ root also carries the connotation of peace.
Therefore, ירושלים is the place of instruction (as in “From Zion comes forth Torah/ instruction”) as well as peace, or completeness. To my mind and heart this description couldn’t be more accurate: Jerusalem, in its potential (not in actuality… yet), is the world capital of morality, goodness… and peace of mind. Also, Ulpan La-Inyan is headquartered in ירושלים – what could be better?
I’ve posted two videos (can’t see them?). The first I found when searching for Naomi Shemer’s ירושלים שֶׁל זָהָב (ye-roo-shah-LAH-yeem shel zah-HAHV) – Jerusalem of Gold. It touched me deeply – somehow the Holocaust led to the present day, where Jerusalem is finally in the hands of the one and only people in the world that has yearned for her alone.