by Rabbi Moshe Kempinski, May 29, 2003
I first met him several months ago.  As I was working in my shop in the old city of Jerusalem, I heard singing.  I recognized the tune and words as one of the popular Jewish songs set to the Psalms of King David.  I walked out of the shop and saw a young soldier with an M-16 slung across his shoulder.  He was holding and strumming an accoustic guitar and he was walking quickly across the square.

Almost like in the fable of the Pied Piper, I felt myself drawn to the music of this young man.  I began to follow him as he continued to walk through the alleys and squares of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. 

He moved like a sailboat through still waters.  As he walked by he left a wake and all those those that stood on either side
seemed awash with waves of warmth and joy.  Everyone he passed looked at him, a little perplexed but they were all smiling.

He did not stop, but kept walking and singing.

I remember feeling regret when I finally left him to continue on his way.

Recently, I saw him again.  I approached him and called Shalom Aleichem to him.  He smiled and responded with Aleichem Shalom.

I explained to him why I wanted to speak to him.  I told him that I was very moved the last time I saw him walking through the Jewish Quarter.  He told me where he was from and that his name was Uriel.  I asked him if there was a reason for his musical walk.
He shrugged and said, "I love Yerushalayim and I love to sing and this is what I feel I need to to in this special place." I asked him about the uniform.  He explained that he was still in active duty and that whenever he had the opportunity he made
his way to Yerushalayim.

I told him that he is making many people happy.  He smiled bashfully and said, "all I know is that it makes me happy".  He went off singing again.

Uriel may not be a resident of Jerusalem but he is one of its sons.  King David writes in Psalm 122,
"I rejoiced when they said to me, let us go up into the House of Hashem, when our feet stood within your gates, O' Yerushalayim".

Uriel was one of the sons, rejoicing and giving joy.

Today we are celebrating the reunification of Jerusalem.  The third verse in Psalm 122 has been translated in many ways but the literal translation is very revealing (Psalms 122:3-4)

"O' Yerushalayim, a city that is built as a city that is reunited together.  There the tribes would go up,  the tribes of Hashem as a testimony for Israel to give praise to the Name of Hashem."

This verse prophetically declared that a city that was torn assunder would be reunited again.  It is on this day that tens of thousands of people will be streaming in from all corners of this land and will be entering through all the gates of the city.  They will be doing it with flags flying and voices raised in praise of Hashem.

Regardless of those that may have lost a little of their faith in our political arena, there are many that have not.

There are tens of thousands of Uriels in this land and they are the true soldiers of Jerusalem.

moshe kempinski
(http://www.shorashim.net http://www.shorashim2u.net)
JERUSALEM INSIGHTS is a journal of insights, stories and Torah thoughts from Jerusalem's Old City - A project of Shorashim of the Old City
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