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Beauty for Ashes

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

My husband, Tamir, and I had the opportunity to join the excavations at the City of David a week or so ago. We were working in the area where they reached the First Temple Period layers and we were excavating a house that caved in under the scorching fire of the Babylonian destruction.

Whenever they dig in the City of David they are anticipating already a known pattern - two ash layers, an upper layer connected to the Roman destruction, and a few layers deeper that of the Babylonian destruction. Like clockwork, the black soot emerges. Your soul instantly mourns.

For the archaeologists its routine, for me, it still hits very deep. You are touching history. You are part of this history, a very difficult history. But along with that comes a promise of a restored and vindicated future - for Jerusalem, for Zion - the Jewish people taking their rightful place in the world.

Pottery sherd covered with ashes, at the top a burned piece that was part of wooden beam. Credit: AnaRina Kreisman

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them a garland for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the mantle of praise for the spirit of heaviness; they will be called terebinths of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, wherein He might glory. - Isaiah 61:3

But even through the ashes, Jerusalem communicates HOPE. She refuses to be silenced.

  • Ancient seal impressions that sealed governmental documents, that were made of soft clay which would naturally disintegrate after a few hundred years, survived. How? They hardened (baked) under the intense heat of the destruction. Why? Because they have to bear witness.

[Photo, seal right: Yuchal Ben Shelemiyahu, seal left: Gedalyahu Ben Pashur  - names appear in Jeremiah 39:1].
©Eilat Mazar, Photo Gabi Laron.

You see, these seals have the names of governmental officials as mentioned in the Bible inscribed on them. You can watch the video HERE regarding the seals. [Photo LEFT, seal right: Yuchal Ben Shelemiyahu, seal left: Gedalyahu Ben Pashur - names appear in Jeremiah 39:1]. In a time when the World Heritage Foundation (UNESCO), the body that is supposed to preserve world history, claims that there is only one religion connected to Jerusalem - that of Islam; the Holy City herself cries out with empirical proof that she was, is and will remain the Eternal Capital of the Jewish People, ultimately to take up her position as the Chosen and Eternal Capital of all mankind.

Having enemies mocking her dust is nothing new to the ancient city. In Nehemiah we read that her destruction and those taking pity on her destruction and endeavoring to rebuild her, were greatly mocked.

"...will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, seeing they are burned?"

- Nehemiah 3:34 (Hebrew Bible numbering)

Note carefully, the literal Hebrew says "revive - to bring to life". By rebuilding the ruins of Jerusalem, Nehemiah revived the stones. We know Jerusalem has a soul, she communicates to G-d. You can see it in the dialogue between her and the Almighty in Isaiah 49 where she claims she is forgotten. G-d then answers that it is impossible for Him to forget her, she is imprinted on the palms of His hands. "...even these may forget, but I will never forget you" He promises.

  • Through the destruction and having a very distinct date of destruction, Jerusalem is now also leading world archaeology to chart historic dating through archaeomagnetism. (Read more about it HERE)

Archaeomagnetism Photo: Shai Halevi (IAA)

Even in her destruction the Beloved and Chosen City pleads, advocates, and leads. Can you imagine what will happen when she is completely vindicated?

"...till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth" - Isaiah 62:7

But there is a condition here. You can name, claim, frame and spiritualize any verse you want in the Bible - it will never be yours. Unless you start acknowledging and align yourself with the true context of that verse. Beauty for ashes are promised (ONLY) for those who MOURN her, Zion, Jerusalem. Not their own losses, not their own destructions, but Jerusalem's.

Psalm 137: 5 "If I forget you, Jerusalem...if I do not put you above my highest joy" - and my deepest sorrow...

Restored beauty is given to those who understand and acknowledge that the earthly Jerusalem and her broken state is deeply ingrained in G-d's consciousness. And those who take a serious step towards her restoration, will also experience it in their own lives.

I started the Align With Zion project to raise an acute awareness regarding the significance of Jerusalem, the place of G-d's choice, love and desire. What does it tell you that this very place till today still lies in ruins? The battle continues, and the woke ones are few.

What can you do?

  1. We have more than enough material to get you going (Videos, Podcasts, Blogs). STUDY IT!

  2. THEN SHARE. This material won't share itself, click on the coin below and find out WHY (as the battle for the freedom of Zion still continues today). Then take a conscious step to share what you've learned and to pay it FORWARD>>

3. Give back. If you have learned something that has positively made a difference in your life, then give something in return. You can do it HERE

"For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch"

- Isaiah 62:1

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