A Reminder to Rejoice

Israel’s political scene is once again tumultuous following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s failure to form a government, and his rivals are now battling for the premiership. This comes on the heels of the disaster at Mount Meron in Israel that killed at least 45. These factors could easily take over the minds of all Israelis this week, but they have something happier to look forward to this weekend: Jerusalem Day.

Starting Sunday night (9th), the nearly one million residents of Jerusalem will celebrate their city, recognizing the unification of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War 54 years ago. The city boasts the largest (952,000), youngest (median age of 24), and most diverse group of residents in Israel, 62% of which are Jewish or another minority and 38% are Arab, according to the Jerusalem Statistical Abstract prepared by the Jerusalem Institute. Its economy is the second largest in Israel, its hi-tech sector continues to grow, and its focus on education (18% of the city’s employees) far outranks the national average (12%), personified by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the nation’s top-ranked academic program.

Speaking of his city’s success, Mayor Moshe Lion said, “We continue to promote housing, quality employment, education and overall quality of life in the city, moving toward the high levels the city deserves.” 

President Reuven Rivlin added praise of his own: “The future of Jerusalem is the future of the State of Israel. Jerusalem is a microcosm of our existence. Despite all the complexities, the solution lies in Jerusalem, and it is precisely here, in a city composed of all the demographic wealth of the State of Israel, that a way must be found to create a dialogue, to connect, to cooperate.”

Jerusalem Day comes just in time this year to provide a welcome distraction for Israelis suffering through tragedy and tired of hearing about the coronavirus and political squabbles. Though its eternal, biblical fate is much more important, it’s exciting to know God’s Holy City has found its footing in the modern world, too. The Jerusalem Institute’s report is a refreshing reminder that the nation is thriving, which we realize is the result of God’s blessing.