Reviving the Jerusalem Cornerstone Tradition

Tags: Jerusalem, History, Jewish Identity, Dr. Elana Yael Heideman

By Dr. Elana Yael Heideman

Who, today, can envision the Beit HaMikdash on the Temple Mount? Understandably, it isn’t easy for most…

After that fateful day, our Sages understood that the memory of a Jewish Holy Temple in the heart of our sacred city would not necessarily remain in the hearts of our people living in exile from the Land of Israel. Therefore, they took care to introduce a number of practices whose purpose is to remind us of Yerushalayim and the Beit Hamikdash.

Among the first was a practice familiar to Jews and even most non-Jews everywhere, albeit most not always knowing why it happens - the breaking of the glass under the Chuppah at a Jewish wedding.

However, this wasn’t the only reminder that was instituted and, even integrated into Jewish law. The additional remembrance customs include

  • Leaving a commemorative space in one’s home (an unfinished square on the wall)
  • Never setting an elaborate table (except for Shabbat and yom tov)
  • Reciting Psalm 137 (Al Naharot Bavel) before bentching on weekdays
  • Breaking a plate at a tenayim
  • Placing ashes on a groom’s forehead during the wedding ceremony

For generation after generation, these customs have remained with us. Whenever a Jewish home was being built, a square cubit of the easternmost wall of the home must be left unfinished - no plaster, no paint, no wallpaper, nothing but the bare essence of its unfinished truth.

In this ordinance, the sages teach us that as long as the Holy Temple is not built, the private home of an individual also cannot be complete. However the practice has, shall we say, fallen out of practive for most who are wary of leaving a half meter’s space on their wall exposed in their beautiful home.

For this reason, we are proud to honor the 50th anniversary, and every anniversary onward, of the reunification of the Jewish people with the heart of our faith, history and pride - Jerusalem, Yerushalayim, Ir HaKodesh, Ir Tzion - by inviting YOU to take part in the Jerusalem Cornerstone Project.

This beautiful selection of photography, quotes, arts and crafts are sure to provide you with inspiration and a continuous reminder of your connection to our holy city.

FIND YOUR JERUSALEM CORNERSTONE TODAY and be a part of reviving this incredible tradition that has kept Jerusalem at the center of our hearts and our connection for generations before us and generations to come.

Dr. Elana Yael Heideman, Executive Director of The Israel Forever Foundation, is a dynamic and passionate educator who works creatively and collaboratively to create a stronger voice for future Jewish leadership. An independent lecturer and educational consultant, Elana’s range of activities demonstrate the intensity of her commitment to incorporating understanding of and respect for the history of the Jewish People. Through her involvement with numerous programs, projects and lectures, Elana continually seeks to facilitate dialogue and build bridges between the past, present and future.

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Celebrate your connection to our eternal holy city by bringing a piece of Jerusalem into your home and hearts today!

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Tags: Jerusalem, History, Jewish Identity, Dr. Elana Yael Heideman

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