Section: Galus & Geula   Category: Eretz Yisroel
MiTzion Michlal Yofi
“MiTzion, Michlal Yofi, Elokim Hofia – From Tzion, which encompasses all beauty, Hashem shines forth.”  (Tehillim 50:2)  What is so splendid about the beauty of Tzion - is the Torah referring to physical beauty?  Interestingly enough, Chazal did institute a number of rules pertaining to maintaining the physical beauty of Yerushalayim, such as not establishing garbage dumps or furnaces which would emit large amounts of smoke. (Bava Kamma 82b)  
The physical beauty of Yerushalayim actually encompasses the beauty of the entire physical world: “The wise Shlomo planted different types of trees, as it says, ‘I made for myself gardens and orchards, and I planted in them every kind of fruit tree’ (Kohelet 2:5).  R’ Yannai said, ‘Shlomo even planted peppers in the Land.  How did he do this?  Shlomo was wise, and he knew where the main central foundations of the world were located.  How?  ‘Out of Tzion, which encompassed all beauty, Hashem appeared’ (Tehillim 50:2).  The entire world was perfected from Tzion, as Chazal learn, ‘Why is the point of Har Moriah called Even Shesiya?  Because the whole world was founded upon it’.  Shlomo knew which vein led from Tzion to Africa and he planted peppers there; and they sprouted fruit immediately (Midrash Tanchuma, Kedoshim 10).
Of course, Tzion is the spiritual center of the world in addition to the physical center.  The Beis Hamikdash is the site of the union of all physical and spiritual entities. Physical beauty is only “skin deep” and has no intrinsic meaning, but when imbued with spiritual meaning, takes on true significance.  The physical beauty of Yerushalayim which encompassed the entire world was simply a veil for its spiritual beauty – the Yerushalayim of above and the beauty of the Torah.  Rav Shamshon Refoel Hirsch writes on this possuk, that Hashem appeared out of Tzion, which encompassed beauty, the perfect embodiment of physical beauty appropriate to moral perfection because it is the dwelling place of the Word of His Law.  “Ki MiTzion Teiztei Torah” – the Torah which imbues the physical world with beauty emanates from Tzion.