What is Jerusalem 365?
From the time the patriarch Abraham met a mysterious monarch known as “King of Shalem” until the moment when three awestruck soldiers stood before the Western Wall in 1967, the relationship of the Jewish people with Jerusalem has embodied the totality of Jewish history itself. Now, in Jerusalem 365, the entirety of this fascinating and dramatic story will be told.
The daily Jerusalem 365 podcast—the sequel to Rabbi Soloveichik’s popular Bible 365 series—will relate the entire 4,000-year history of Jerusalem in a single year, viewed through the lens of the eternal Jewish love for this sacred city. Each episode will be accompanied by supplemental readings, all available online, drawn from the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud, the Book of Maccabees and Josephus, the letters and memoirs of generations of Jews. Episodes will also offer imagery and art from throughout history, as well as descriptions of extraordinary archeological discoveries that bridge the generations.
What are some of the historical periods and events that will be covered in Jerusalem 365?
Jerusalem 365 will cover the entire breadth of Jewish history, all through the lens of the Jewish people’s eternal capital.
We will dream David’s dreams as he first conquered Jerusalem and made it his capital, and we will see what Solomon saw as the Temple came into being. We will feel the fear of Hezekiah in the face of the Assyrian army and admire the determination of Jeremiah during the Babylonian siege. We will stand with the Maccabees atop the purified temple mount, and flee with Yohanan ben Zakkai as the Temple burned. We will witness Bar Kochba’s assault on Hadrian’s forces, and attempt to imagine how our ancestors might have felt when the Emperor Julian tried to build the Temple again. We will read the correspondence of exiled rabbis, experiencing what Maimonides felt as he visited Jerusalem, pondering the hopes of Nahmanides as he restarted the first synagogue in the city in centuries, and immersing ourselves in the struggles of Judah Halevi to finally stand at the gates of the Holy City.
We will describe the valiant efforts of Sephardim and Ashkenazim to create houses of worship of their own in the Jewish quarter—buildings of grandeur that rose, were destroyed, and rose again. We will stand with the young boys sounding smuggled shofars to the Western Wall during the British Mandate and the men and women making their last stand in the Old City in 1948. We will sit in on the 1967 war cabinet as its members debated whether to reconquer ancient Jerusalem and walk amongst the weeping soldiers who ultimately achieved this goal.
Why does the world need to hear the message of Jerusalem today?
The story of Jerusalem is a microcosm of the chosen people as a whole. Yet, the city’s message also bears a profound universal meaning, for the miracle that is Jewish history has the potential to inspire all of humanity.
Like their eternal capital, Jews are forever rising from the ruins. This nation—this chosen people—refuses to perish, standing today as the ultimate embodiment of eternity in our world. In times that often seem chaotic and dark, Jerusalem thus stands as the City on a Hill, a City of Hope, that provides a beacon of light to the nations of the world.
When will Jerusalem 365 begin and how can I listen to it?
Jerusalem 365 will launch in the fall of 2022. Everyone who subscribes to MeirSoloveichik.com will automatically be subscribed to Jerusalem 365 as well.
We will also make available an option to subscribe separately to the podcast.