Jerusalem is mentioned a whopping 667 times in the TANACH. Most of the time when Jerusalem is mentioned in the Bible she is called: “Yerushalem”. In fact 636 in Hebrew and 26 times in Aramaic.
That leaves us with only 5 times (Jeremiah 26:18, Esther 2:6, 1 Chronicles 3:5, 2 Chronicles 32:9, and 2 Chronicles 25: 1) that she is strangely referred to as “Yerushalayim”. This is also the way she is called today. A small little YUD has been added between the LAMED and the MEM – and that makes all the difference.
If you know a little bit of Hebrew, you will notice that when we speak of our eyes (aynaim), ears (oznaim), hands (yadayim), there is an "a-yim" at the end, caused by the yud just before the final letter mem. This is because all these above mentioned concepts refers to the plural. So you can also hear the plural in the name Yerushalayim. So what is the difference between "Yerushalem" and "Yerushalayim"?
Small Letter, Big Deal
The Jewish sages teach*:
“We find that [the name] Jerusalem refers to the higher [city] just as it does to the terrestrial Jerusalem. Out of God’s great love for Jerusalem on earth, He created another one above, in the heavens…As there is the supernal, heavenly “Jerusalem on High,” there is also the physical, terrestrial “lower Jerusalem”.
The sages base this on the verse:
"The built Jerusalem, is a city knit together. "
We'll get back to this verse a little later. But the Midrash goes further: “Rabbi Yochanan said:
The Holy One blessed-be-He declared: ‘I will not enter the heavenly Jerusalem until I enter the earthly Jerusalem.”
Now that offers us a bit of a challenge, seeing that the “earthly” Jerusalem, is still mostly buried under 10 time periods (or about 30 meters) of debris.
I can already hear you say, “How is that possible? The Modern Day Jerusalem is a massive city “
True – and for that we are immensely grateful, because God promised through the prophet Isaiah (54:2-3) that this would happen:
“Enlarge the place of your tent; Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not; Lengthen your cords And strengthen your pegs. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left.”
And then you would go on and say: And I’ve visited the Old City too. I’ve even been to the Western Wall. Been there, done that, wearing the T-shirt. Great.
What if I told you that you’ve never reached the Ancient Jerusalem.
To understand this we need to do a small recalculation, to truly appreciate how a small little YUD is currently causing a massive cosmic shift.
Let’s understand the principle: If you install a TV satellite dish on your roof, it is very important to make sure this dish is pointing exactly towards the satellite in space. If your dish is a few centimeters out on earth it misses the satellite in space with thousands of kilometers!
Let’s dig into some ancient calculation and calibration:
• The Old City walls are about 480 years old, built by Suleiman the Great during the Ottoman Empire.
• The stories of Jerusalem in the Bible, date back more than 3,000 years ago.
THAT IS A BIG GAP!!! Things happen to get lost over a few millennia. And so too did the ancient city. We have also established through previous blogs and teaching that the real ancient Biblical Jerusalem lies outside the confines of the Old City. About 500 yards. ANOTHER BIG GAP!
What do we mean when we refer to as the Ancient Jerusalem? We are referring to the ancient city of Salem (time of Abraham and Melchizedek), pronounced in Hebrew "Shalem", that was built during the early Canaanite period and controlled by the Jebusites at the time when King David finally conquered and established it as the eternal capital of the tribal confederation of Israel. He called it the City of David (2 Sam 5:7). This is the city on the hill that was waiting for its appointed time as the chosen place where God would ultimately establish His dwelling place on earth. In keeping with this, David’s son, Solomon, built the Temple.
So in short, the location of the ancient city as it was established during the early Canaanite period and later conquered by King David lies 500 yards south of the Old City. This is the origin, the heart.
Only in the time of Hezekiah the city was enlarged and stretched beyond its original age-old borders. During the time of the Second Temple period it was greatly enlarged stretching well over the confines of what is today known as the Old City.
The Ancient Jerusalem was only rediscovered 150 years ago by a man called Sir Charles Warren. Sporadic excavations were done since then, but intensive ongoing excavations have only been done in the last 30+ years, with the most significant finds including the Palace of the Davidic Dynasty, the Pilgram’s road (final ascent to Temple Mount) and the Pool of Siloam, only being made in the last 12 years.
Now to our Align With Zion community, I have no doubt that you believe the validity of the Bible. But there are many who don’t. Most people need a bit more proof. Except for the coins of the Great Revolt (66-70 CE), the Israeli Antiquities Authority found a pillar almost a year ago with the description depicting this "plural" spelling.
During the excavations, the foundations of a Roman structure were exposed, which were supported by columns. The most important discovery was a stone column drum, reused in the Roman structure, upon which the Aramaic inscription appears, written in Hebrew letters typical of the Second Temple Period. The inscription reads:
Hananiah son of Dodalos
Firstly this is VERY important to use when people question the validity of the Bible. This is how Jerusalem herself is assisting you in our case against the ignorant masses. Moreover it is a great conversation starter for those who would like to know what the name of Jerusalem means and the multi-dimensional worlds that are embedded in a small little letter like the yud.
G-d promises in Isaiah 49 that in a favorable time He will remember Jerusalem and she will shake off the dust and ashes and rise to take her rightful place (Isaiah 52:2). Remember that we are looking at 2,000 years of destruction, Jerusalem slowly disappearing from site, only to be rediscovered a mere 150 years ago when the time of favor was decreed, with steady but slow, ongoing excavations only the last 30+ years.
EVERY STONE RELEASED THROUGH EXCAVATIONS HASTENS HER TOWARDS HER COMPLETE REALIGNMENT WITH HER HEAVENLY COUNTERPART.
שַׁאֲלוּ, שְׁלוֹם יְרוּשָׁלִָם
Pray for the Shalom of Jerusalem. (Ps 122:6).
In a previous article we have also mentioned that "Shalom" in essence doesn't mean peace. It means wholeness, well-being and harmony. Therefore you have to change your understanding of this verse, especially if you want to use it as a foundation for prayer. When praying you need to keep in mind that the Earthly Jerusalem needs to be healed, restored and redeemed. That she need to be WHOLE. We also mentioned the verse that says the built Jerusalem is a city knit together (Psalm 122:3). The Earthly Jerusalem is only fully aligned with the Heavenly Jerusalem when she is rebuilt - whole.
Only then, according to the Sages will Hashem enter the Heavenly Jerusalem.
Does this recalculation in prayer-application mean we are abandoning our quest for peace? No. On the contrary! Jerusalem is, and ALWAYS have been the Gateway to Heaven. And even though, according to the Ramchal and many other sages, there are currently only small windows open that are releasing Hashem's shefa (heavenly flow of blessing and provision) into the world, the Gateway is being rebuilt. So your prayers are building blocks and entreaties to Hashem for restoring and opening up the Primordial Gateway over Jerusalem. And once this Gate is opened in full capacity, true peace, wholeness, blessing and harmony will spontaneously emanate through a restored world.
And an extra treasure for those who can appreciate it, the main gate and entrance into modern-day Jerusalem, (see article here) has been closed for construction for three years, allowing only minimum traffic, as they are working around the clock to enlarge the main gate/entrance to Jerusalem. :)
Make sure you are constantly ALIGNED with Jerusalem. Read more HERE
*- Midrash Tanchuma, on Parashat Pekudei.
Watch our video on the origins of the Jerusalem's name: