The prophet addresses Yerushalayim, calling upon the city to awaken and shine its light upon the world. Chaim Weizman (1874-1952) was a prominent scientist and Zionist leader who would have the honor of becoming the first President of the State of Israel. In 1948, Weizman eloquently explained the illumination that Jerusalem would provide the world as the new capital of the Jewish State: “Jerusalem holds a unique place in the heart of every Jew. Its restoration symbolizes the redemption of Israel. Rome was to the Italians the emblem of their military conquests and political organization. Athens embodies for the Greeks the noblest their genius had wrought in art and thought. To us Jerusalem has both a spiritual and a temporal significance. It is the City of God…it is also the capital of David and Solomon…. To the followers of the two other great monotheistic religions, Jerusalem is a site of sacred associations and holy memories. To us it is that and more than that. It is the centre of our ancient national glory. It was our lodestar in all our wanderings. It embodies all that is noblest in our hopes for the future. Jerusalem is the eternal mother of the Jewish people, precious and beloved even in its desolation. When David made Jerusalem the capital of Judea, on that day there began the Jewish Commonwealth. When Titus destroyed it on the 9th of Av, on that day there ended the Jewish Commonwealth. Nevertheless, even though our Com­monwealth was destroyed, we never gave up Jeru­salem…. It seems inconceivable that the establishment of a Jewish State should be accompanied by the detachment from it of its spiritual centre and historical capital.”

Source: Israel in the News