Section:  Avodah   Category: Innocent Observations
An Am HaAretz's Appreciation Of Yerushalayim
In the time of the Second Bais HaMikdash the wall of Yerushalayim was extended to encompass Har HaZeisim.  However due to technical reasons discussed in Gemara Shavuos (16a), only the lower half of Har HaZeisim had Kedushas Yerushalayim, while the upper half did not, despite that they were both inside the wall.  

The gemara says that the Talmidei Chachomim would eat Maaser Sheini, which needs to be eaten in Yerushalayim, on the bottom half of Har HaZeisim, while the Amei HaAretz would not eat there but rather only in Yerushalayim proper.  When it came to eating from Korbanos that can be eaten anywhere in Yerushalayim, the Amei HaAretz would eat even on the top half of Har HaZeisim even though it was not Halachicly part of Yerushalayim, while the Talmidei Chachomim would eat only on the lower half.

Rashi explains this phenomenon as follows.  Since the Amei HaAretz believed that eating Maaser in Yerushalayim would bring them riches, they were not willing to eat it on a mountain outside the city, regardless of its halachic status.  They wanted to eat it right in the middle of the city to make sure the bracha is fulfilled.  When it came to Kodshim whose segulos they were unaware of or didn't care for, they were content to eat it within the wall even if they were told that this location was not technically Yerushalayim.  

Today's Yerushalayim is the epicenter of Judaism.  Every Jew loves to have a part of it whether to live, for a visit, or for Yom Tov.  We all look for every excuse to get ourselves here.  However that is where the similarities end.  Coming to Yerushalayim means different things to different people.  For some it is a great vacation spot with nice hotels and delicious dining.  Of course that only depends on the time of year and where the crowd is, as winter or summer vacations may be more suited to Miami or Colorado.  Others love it at as an exotic travel destination with all its attractions and tourist sites.  The only holy part of the city that they enter is a Gadol's home for a bracha for parnassa and shidduchim, coupled with a photo op.

There is a whole other side of Yerushalayim that many of us have not noticed and hat is where Yerushalayim's true beauty lies.  These attractions that are not listed on the top ten list of any travel guide.  Its Yeshivos where Torah emanates from to the entire world.  Its pious people who live in poverty, clinging to Hashem B'Mesiras Nefesh.  Its shuls where people poor their heart out, face to face with Hashem, crying over real tzaros.  Its many tzadikim who are not well known, who you can sit and talk to and be inspired.