Why is Jerusalem important to Arabs and Jews?
While the Jews are one united religion, Arabs are not. The vast majority are Muslim, but there are a minority of Christian Arabs who also revere Jerusalem. Jerusalem's importance to each group is primarily religious. See the link below to find out more about these religious claims.
There is also the political dimension to control of Jerusalem in that this city symbolizes the longevity of both Jewish and Arab historical occupancy of the land.
The holy land for Judaism is Israel (see Deuteronomy 11:11-12), and the holy city is Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is called the holy city by the prophets (Isaiah 52:1). It was where Jews would go three times a year to celebrate the holiest festivals (Deuteronomy ch.16). Even after the destruction of the Temple, the Temple Mount and adjacent Western ("Wailing") Wall, which still stands, is the holiest site in Judaism. It is hoped and prophesied (Ezekiel ch.40-44) that one day a third temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem and that the Messiah will come to it.
Jerusalem is also representative of the Redemption of the Jewish people from their physical and spiritual exile, because this exile causes the melancholy that the Jewish people experience by being apart from God's presence. The Redemption, which Jews believe will be brought by the Messiah, will result in the Jewish people returning to Jerusalem.
According to ancient Hebrew tradition, Jerusalem is the site where God took the very earth from which Adam, the first man, was formed (midrash Rabbah 14:8). Read Genesis carefully; Adam was not created in the garden of Eden; he was taken there. Jerusalem, because it is the first place on Earth where the spirit of God dwelt, is considered a direct link to God.
Judaism is the oldest monotheistic religion and Jerusalem has been its only holy site for over 3000 years. King Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by invading Babylonians, and rebuilt at the same site (known as the Temple Mount) about 2500 years ago. It was then destroyed again when the Romans conquered Judea about 2000 years ago, killing a million Jews. All Jews who value their heritage feel ties to Jerusalem and the holy land, where so many of their people struggled for the freedom to practice Judaism. At the same time, Jews believe that all people should be welcome there, regardless of faith.
Jerusalem is the eternal Jewish city, and a symbol of a future time of peace. Jerusalem is also the focal point of prayer of the Jews. When they pray, wherever they are, they face towards Jerusalem (Talmud, Berakhot 30a), with love and longing. The sentiment is aptly expressed in Psalm 137: "By the waters of Babylon, there we sat and wept as we remembered Zion....If I forget you, Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its wisdom."
For thousands of years we remembered our exile and prayed for its end. Now at least we can do so from "up close."
See also the other Related Links.
Jerusalem is the first, & the holy House of Almighty GOD.
It's the first place built to worship Almighty GOD on this Earth
and it's the only door to the heaven. It is the real door. That is
why; the Muslims and the Jews know this.
While the Jews are one united religion, Arabs are not. The vast
majority are Muslim, but there are a minority of Christian Arabs
who also revere Jerusalem. Jerusalem's importance to each group is
primarily religious. See the links below to find out more about
these religious claims.
There is also the political dimension to control of Jerusalem in
that this city symbolizes the longevity of both Jewish and Arab
historical occupancy of the land.