Hundreds of Jewish students in Jerusalem sang praises to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his trip to the at the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva on Jerusalem Day.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke during Tuesday’s Jerusalem Day celebration at the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva in Jerusalem. As he entered the Beit Medrash, over a thousand students sang the words with which Moses blessed the tribe of Binyamin: “And to Binyamin he said: Beloved by God, he will dwell in security.”
The head of the yeshiva, Rav Yaakov Shapira, welcomed the Prime Minister with warm words for his forthright speech in the US Congress, adding that our “road map” is the Bible and that all of the land of Israel stems from Jerusalem and has the same indivisible status as the holy city.
Netanyahu started by recalling how the government ministers sit during their meetings and browse through letters and other reports. He noted, however, that one minister browses through the Tanach and sometimes the Talmud. That minister, said Netanyahu, is Justice Minister Ya’akov Ne’eman.
“For Ne’eman, public service is holy work,” said Netanyahu, “and as such, from time to time he shares with me something new that he’s found. So I’m happy to be here with him and many other great people such as the Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yona Metzger, the former Chief Rabbi of Israel and current Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, Rabbi Lau, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, and Rabbi Ya’akov Shapira who heads the Mercaz Harav yeshiva.”
Addressing Rabbi Shapira directly, Netanyahu said: “I just heard the song ‘Od Avinu Chai’ (our father still lives). Your father still lives, too. I remember the great Rabbi Shapira, and he still lives in you, in your spirit, in the spirit of all the great rabbis, but above all, he lives in the spirit of all of you students of Mercaz Harav.”
Netanyahu thanked those present for their support during his visit to the United States last week.
“When I was overseas, I received all your blessings and support,” he said. “You wanted to strengthen me and you did it, because during that entire week I kept remembering one verse: ‘Chazak Chazak v’Nitchazek.’ (Be strong, be strong, and may we be strengthened). May we strengthen one another. We need that strength every day of the year. We’re undergoing a great struggle but we also have some great achievements. 44 years ago, Israel’s soldiers fulfilled the vision of the prophets and brought back Jerusalem to its proper place.
“My friends, almost 2,000 years have passed since the destruction,” continued Netanyahu. “And today Jerusalem is beautiful and is a pride to the entire country. We came back to Jerusalem as builders, and today Jerusalem is growing and flourishing. We need to continue and build and develop the city. We see how the citizens of Jerusalem walk in it proudly. Jerusalem has once again become the capital of the Jewish people.”
Despite Obama’s best efforts, Netanyahu’s trip to the US was obviously a great success.
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