WILDWOOD ─ "The Heavens are glad because you are here," Rabbi Ron Isaacs said May 11. The Herald attended a Friday evening service, welcoming the Sabbath and celebrating Jerusalem Day, with the congregation and friends of Beth Judah Temple.
As tension still grips the Middle East, the eyes of the world looked on as the U.S. Embassy moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, May 14.
Jerusalem Day (Yom Yerushalayim), one of the newest celebrations on the Jewish calendar, commemorates the reunification of Jerusalem and Israeli control over the Old City after the 1967 Six-Day War.
Isaacs commented on the ongoing division in Jerusalem as three faiths claim the city: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Throughout its history, Jerusalem has witnessed great turning points while bringing joy and pride to those who love her. King David made Jerusalem the capital of Israel and was followed by his son Solomon whose crowning achievement was the building of the Temple.
Israel's oppressors have ranged from the Babylonians to the Romans, who destroyed the Temple in 70 CE (AD).
Notwithstanding its history of conflict, the name Jerusalem is commonly interpreted "city of peace."
Isaacs remarked on seeing the stones of the Western Wall shine like gold beneath the setting sun. According to Isaacs, the city building code requires "Jerusalem Stone" to be used.
As the service unfolded, enthusiastic singing resounded within the sanctuary. Isaacs explained how prayer is praise and how the different psalms and other songs focus on God and his divine attributes, "not asking God for a favor."
After the service concluded, Isaacs and his wife, Leora, led a demonstration of Israeli folk dances and Kugel, a traditional Jewish baked pudding, was served.
Isaacs became rabbi at Beth Judah in September 2016, coming out of retirement after 40 years as rabbi in Bridgewater.
Isaacs told the Herald he vacationed in Cape May for many years without knowing of the synagogue in Wildwood.
Beth Judah welcomes everyone who wishes to come and prays for peace for all people. Two local Methodist pastors and a group of young people also attended the service.
As the words of Psalm 122 say, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls."
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