ירושלים
 
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.
 








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, ኢየሩሳሌም (Jerusalem).




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