For the last two months we have been following the Book of Nehemiah in our weekly Shabbat celebrations. The parallels between those days nearly 2,500 years ago and our times are striking and helpful to us all. Nehemiah was a Jew who rose to a responsible position in the government of King Artaxerxes of Persia. The Jews were captives in Persia but the period of seventy years prophesied by Daniel had been fulfilled. When Nehemiah heard that the walls and gates of Jerusalem were broken and destroyed he was distressed and prayed earnestly to God.
There is no doubt that Jerusalem has become a focal point of attention in the world since the proclamation by the American government that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.