It must be more than just a “Place” for us, as we know it is an imperative to remember Yerushalayim. We daven for the building of Yerushalayim in our Amidah prayer daily, and therefore something I think essential to gain an understanding of for a meaningful prayer . I think we can therefore use our prayer actually to fulfill the Halacha of remembering Yerushalayim as we are guided to by Dovid Hamelech, Adoneinu, V’rabeinu.
Rashi presents a beautiful explanation of what Yerushalayim signifies . He shares that Yerushalayim is called “Har Hamoria”.
Why is Yerushalayim called Har Hamoria?
He says Yerushalayim is known as Har Hamoria, The Mountain of Instruction according to Chazal, because “ שֶׁמִּשָּׁם הוֹרָאָה יוֹצְאָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל”, because from there, “hora’a , instruction, teaching, reflection ,came forth to Yisroel. This is referring to Torah.
He offers another explanation from Onkelos which he says it indicates that is is a place of avodah, service of Hashem, referring to the spices of the ketores, incense offerings brought in the Temple in this place which included myrrh (מור) nard and other spices.
The name alludes to the Great Sanhedrin that convened there from which hora’a went out
It is the mountain from which awe [mora] went out to the nations of the world.
Interestingly, there is also another verse Rashi references to explain the word hora-ah in Devarim applying the word יוֹר֤וּ, which contains the same root word; based on his commentary on a G’marra.
This verse describes Yerushalayim and interestingly includes the conclusions offered by Rashi based on Chazal and Onkelos when explaining Har Hamoria.
So far, from just these two verses we can begin to get a glimpse of what Yerushalayim is for us.
It is the place from which Torah is shared!
It is where the Kohanim and Leviyim will teach Torah.
It is a place in which the placement of genuine teachers of Torah, who are considered Malachei Hashem Tzivakos are restored according to the Seforno.
It is a place in which we will seek to learn Torah!
It is a place in which we will serve Hashem the Ketores offering. Bringing Ketores signifies when we are able to unify ourselves with Hashem spiritually through our Middos. In other words it is a place in which our Middos are elevated
It is an existence of Justice, a Sanhedrin we can respect and rely on is in place.
It is a place that provides testimony in Hashem’s Choice of Klal Yisroel.
It is a place in which Hashem is revealed so much so that the nations will have awe.
It seems to me, that Yerushalayim is the ideal tov, Hashem saw for us to exist at our highest, when we are attached to Him.
Such an existence I think demands us to cry for, to seek, as it is our “right arm” . We really can’t truly exist without. אִֽם־אֶשְׁכָּחֵ֥ךְ יְֽרוּשָׁלִָ֗ם תִּשְׁכַּ֥ח יְמִינִֽי, If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
let my right hand be forgotten. (Tehillim, 137:6)
May we all be Zoche to build Yerushalayim! B’mhair B’yameinu Amein.