The esoteric doctrine of the unification of opposites is not limited to the Kabbalah. It is, for example, the core of Taoism, whose symbol of the union of Yin and Yang decorates the Korean Flag. It can be shown that also the Israeli flag, carrying the symbol of “the Star of David” is just such a visual expression of the union of opposites, and the most ready illustration of this would be the union of the “earthly Jerusalem” (which is constructed from the ground up) and the “Heavenly City” (constructed, or which flows, from heaven to earth).

I would go further in this Midrash: if the union of the heavenly and of the earthly is to be seen on the flag, then the call for the union of opposites must be found even closer – in our sacred names. It is known that Israel-Jacob represents, in the Kabbalah, just that balance of Hesed and Din, called Tiferet or Rahamim (compassion). Now our insistence to call Jerusalem by the name of “Yerushalayim” with its strange twainess will show – yar’eh – the workings of the concept of “Shalayim” – of that whole (shalem) which is made of the union of two equal and opposite parts joined together. By our daily mention of Jerusalem we constantly evoke, even if unaware, the expectation that she will demonstrate to us this unification, the making of peace and of wholeness out of full conflict.

The reader is likely to comment now that there is no need to go to such an involved Midrash to say that Jerusalem should be “the City of Peace”. It is quite commonplace to say that the “Shalem” of Jerusalem (and forget that confusion “Shalayim”) really means “shalom”, that is, Peace. I would agree, but my point is that this message is coded in the name of Jerusalem, both in that more esoteric way and in another, more blatant way; so much so that we usually refuse to hear the words that come to our ear. These two modes, together, give a prescription for a peace-making process based on Jerusalem. “

MEDITATIONS ON THE NAME OF JERUSALEM

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