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Speech in Honor of The Popes Visit to Worship at the Western Wall

26 Iyar, 5774 May 26, 2!4
Distinguished guest, Pope Franciscus
Welcome to the Holy City, Jerusalem, and to the sacred Western Wall, at the
foot of the Temple Mount
!ing Da"id, the pleasing singer of #srael, $rote in the Boo% of Psalms, &When
the 'ord returns the returnees to (ion, $e shall )e li%e dreamers The
Jerusalem to $hich you ha"e arri"ed, *our Holiness, is not +ust the realistic
Jerusalem #t is also the Jerusalem of dreams, the dreams of millions of Je$s
throughout the long t$o-thousand-year e.ile Jerusalem is a dream $hich
$as fulfilled, and $e continue to $al% in it li%e dreamers, loo%ing for$ard to
the reali/ation of the dream in its entirety
0n the "ictory arch that Titus )uilt in 1ome in honor of his "ictory o"er the
Je$ish nation and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, there is a
famous etching $hich depicts Je$ish capti"es carrying the stolen treasures of
the Temple into e.ile The truth is that Titus managed to plunder the Menorah
and the Temple utensils, )ut the light of faith, and the hope to return to the
land of our forefathers 2 he did not succeed to e.tinguish
We tra"eled a long road on our $ay home, $andering the four corners of the
earth For t$o thousand years $e suffered scorn, had our full share of
sorro$, )ut e"ery single day $e prayed and )elie"ed &3e.t year in
Jerusalem We merited a great miracle to return here after a long e.ile and
after a horri)le Holocaust 4nd $ith
5-d6s help, 4m *israel Chai - the nation of #srael li"es and e.ists in the 'and
of #srael and daily meets the goal and the challenge to fulfill the "erse, &And
you shall be to Me a kingdom of princes and a holy nation.
Distinguished guests,
The 3ation of #srael residing in Jerusalem is the highest proof of the po$er of
faith to change reality Faith is $hat )rought 3ahmanides, 1a))i Moses )en
3ahman, from 7pain to Jerusalem in order to re-esta)lish Je$ish settlement
hundreds of years ago Faith is $hat )rought 1a))i *ehuda Hassid and his
students to immigrate to #srael from Poland t$o hundred years ago and ma%e
their home in Jerusalem Faith is $hat empo$ered thousands of Je$s to
immigrate to the 'and of #srael and to Jerusalem
The re)uilt Jerusalem is a miracle that too% place )y the strength of faith
Blessed is He Who did for us a miracle at this place
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We )elie"e the Je$ish nation has a special role in this $orld, so that e"en
during the most difficult years, $hen anti-7emitism persecuted and )eat us
$ithout mercy all o"er the $orld, $e continued to )elie"e in the ancient "erses
&*ou are sons to the 'ord your 5-d 3ot out of pride, hea"en for)id 2 )ut out
of a deep sense of mission and out of a desire to repair the $orld in the
%ingdom of 5-d #ndeed 2 the contri)ution of the Je$ish nation to the history
of the $orld is immeasura)ly greater than its relati"e num)ers in the
The Prophet #saiah says, &4nd it shall )e at the end of the days, that the
mountain of the 'ord8s house shall )e firmly esta)lished9 and all the nations
shall stream to it9 and they shall say, :Come, let us go up to the 'ord8s
mount9 and let Him teach us of His $ays, and $e $ill go in His paths,6 for out
of (ion shall the Torah come forth, and the $ord of the 'ord from Jerusalem
Distinguished guests,
Jerusalem is the place $here $e must rise a)o"e e"ery dispute
Jerusalem is the place $here $e must raise our eyes to the hea"ens and
lo$er our hearts in humility
For too many years, faith $as at the root of disputes, hatred, and pain around
the $orld From here, from this site $hich is sacred to you, to me, and to
millions more around the glo)e, # $ish to turn 2 together $ith you 2 to the
faithful of all religions, to fight the hatred and the anti-7emitism recently
increasing more and more, and to con"ey to them from Jerusalem a )lessing
of 7halom 2 peace
0n )ehalf of us all, # $ill recite from the Boo% of Psalms, chapter ;<;, for
peace and hope in the $orld

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