“Whoever is of G-d’s people, may Hashem be with him, and he may ascend to Jerusalem, which is in Judea, and let him build the House of Hashem, G-d of Israel.”
The Jews have displayed remarkable resilience throughout centuries of dispersion and persecution. But perhaps even more remarkable is our capacity to re-generate and rebirth ourselves, out of the ashes. The miracle of the modern State of Israel, coming just three years after the Holocaust is not our first phoenix moment.
When the first Beit Hamikdash (temple) was destroyed, the Jewish people’s social, spiritual and economic lives went up with the flames of Jerusalem. Nevuchadnezzar exiled the hub and vitality of Jewish life to Babylon; Yirmiyahu’s prophecies had come true, ‘This is your lot, the portion of your measures, from Me, says Hashem, for you have forgotten Me, and you have trusted in falsehood.’
How does an exiled, broken, forgotten people return to their land and rebuild their house of worship? How do they reconstruct their shattered self-image? How do they reach back to become once again the descendants of King David and D’vorah.
The book of Ezra-Nechemiah is our Biblical record of this time period, recording the return of the exiled Judeans to Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the second Temple, society and their relationship with G-d.
In Ezra-Nechemiah we learn about the hopes, struggles, triumphs and disappointments of leaders and their people as they rebuild their home, Temple and their shattered Jewish identity. Their story is a blueprint for our own story as Jews in the modern world. Times change but the story is always the same.
Join Sarah Sassoon and the Academy in exploring the hopes, struggles, triumphs and disappointments of leaders and the Jewish people as they rebuild their home, their Temple and their shattered Jewish identity 2500 years ago. Discover the resonance of the same themes in the 20th century rebuilding of the modern State of Israel.