Jerusalem: A light Unto The Nations
By David Wiseman, a member of Israel Forever's International Leadership Council
As a pre-father's day outing, my family and I attended the 4th Jerusalem Festival of Light which took place earlier in the week in the Old City.
Each year, the festival has become significantly bigger than its predecessor. 250,000 people saw it last year and that number is expected to be exceeded in 2013.
The juxtaposition of the old and the new created an incredible vibe over the Old City. Is it even possible to come up with a more perfect backdrop for these artistic displays?
The relationship between the Jewish People and light is a very strong one. The emblem of the State of Israel is the Menorah, while the very first thing created in Creation was light. 'Let There Be Light' was the first thing uttered in the bible and light followed. The light was good.
And of course every Shabbat and Yom Tov is brought in by the lighting of two candles.
Even without the light festival, there is something special about walking around the Old City and soaking in the atmosphere; imagining what it was like thousands of years ago. If only the stones could talk...oh the stories they would tell!
Most days, people come from all four corners of the globe to visit the holy sites within the Old City, but often people are defined by their religion. At the Light Festival, everyone is the same and all share in this unique love of light!
Being a light unto the nations is a big responsibility. Whether it is a new start-up or medical researchers breaking through with the latest advances, Israelis are doing their best to bring light to other nations.