Rabbi Sacks visits Ir David

During a special visit in June 2014, Rabbi Sacks shared this short thought on how it feels to visit the City of David in Jerusalem.

To see these extraordinary discoveries is to see history come to life. And this is history which is not just the story of our people but somehow it's become the human story.

Jerusalem became the image for the world, through Christianity, through Islam... it became the image of the place where humans are closest to God.

Everyone else had the idea of Jerusalem. We have the real Jerusalem.

This is where our people was born as a nation.

This is where David made a city that would unify the entire nation.

This is where Shlomo HaMelech built the Temple.

Jerusalem was destroyed twice, conquered twenty-three times, besieged so many times...

And yet we never gave up hope that one day we would return.

And this return, standing here just under where the alei regel, where the pilgrims came from all over Israel to celebrate and to thank Hashem and to sing King David's songs, Hallel, which we still say.

These represent something extraordinary about the Jewish People.

The world has lived by the rule of the will to power. That created great empires, great wars, and great massacres.

Jews lived by the will to life. The will to life because we worship the God of life, and life itself is holy.

And here is where they came to worship the God of life, and to celebrate life, and to sing in Hallel. "Lo amut ki echye va'asaper ma'asei kah."

I will not die but I will live and give testimony to the God of life

We always believed in techiat hameitim, the dead can come back to life, but we never saw it. In Israel we see it and this is what you feel here.

I feel this most ancient people has become young again in this, one of the world's youngest states and most successful.

This is the heartbeat of the Jewish People.

And I say "samachti b'omrim li", "I rejoice that our feet too stand within your gates, O Jerusalem."