ba-RUKH a-do-NAI mi-tzi-YON sho-KHAYN y’-ru-sha-LA-im ha-l’-lu-YAH
כא בָּרוּךְ יְהֹוָה מִצִּיּוֹן שֹׁכֵן יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם הַלְלוּ־יָהּ׃
135:21 He who dwells in Yerushalayim
Why did Hashem choose Yerushalayim as His resting place? The Sages find two revealing biblical passages that, when synthesized, teach us the value and message of Yerushalayim. In Genesis, Avraham was asked by God to sacrifice his son, in order to prove his allegiance to the Lord. This profound, inexplicable test took place on a mountain which Avraham called “Adonai yir’eh,” meaning ‘on the mount of Hashem there is vision,’ or ‘the mount where Hashem is seen’ (Genesis 22:14). A few years earlier, Avraham showed the world his allegiance to his family, to justice and to righteousness when he fought against the four kings and retrieved his nephew Lot. After that battle, Melchizedek, the King of Shalem (another name for Jerusalem), went out to greet Avraham and bless Hashem (Genesis14:18-20). When these two names, Yir’eh and Shalem are combined, the result is Yerushalayim. The name of the holy city thus expresses the harmonization of man’s selfless actions towards Hashem and towards other people, both of which were manifest in Yerushalayim. It was thus chosen as Hashem’s resting place.