Tehillim One Hundred and Thirty-Seven: Jerusalem

This psalm contains some of the verses that I know very well. “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget [its skill]. May my tongue cling to my palate, if I do not remember you, if I do not bring up Jerusalem at the beginning of my joy (Psalms 137:5-6).” Jews have recited this verse for years, and when I was fifteen and spending the summer in Israel, I had it engraved on a ring. It’s the Jewish teenage girl equivalent of one of the most basic things you can do – go on a teen tour, stop by Hadaya in the Old City of Jerusalem, and get an overly dramatic verse put into a silver ring. But as cliche as the experience was, it resonated for me, and I wore the ring for years, reminding myself of Jerusalem, Israel, and my unshakable Zionism. I actually took it off only when I made aliyah, and switched it out for a statement that seemed more fitting of being in Israel as opposed to the diaspora. But when I moved back to the States, I switched back, and so every day, this verse is literally on my body.


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