Thousands of years ago, a nation of tribes lived in a land of fields and hills. Their lives revolved around their harvest seasons, their families, and the city of gold that they made pilgrimages to every year. In the center of the city of gold was the house of G-d, where tribe members would gather for holy days and bring sacrifices for priests to give in honor of their G-d. This was the space where heaven met earth, where thousands of tribe members gathered to celebrate life and celebrate existence. This house of Holiness, a sign of peace for all peoples, had once been destroyed but had eventually been built again.
One day, tragedy struck. The nation of tribes was dispersed from their land by foreign occupiers. Their Holy House was destroyed yet again. The nation had fought so hard to keep the only home they had, but to no avail. However, they did not forget their homeland. For thousands of years they prayed to return. They preserved their culture so they could return and live as they once did. In exile, they experienced more than 80 expulsions from strange lands-an average of 1 every 21 years. Finally, after the worst treatment yet-an attempt at systematic annihilation of this nation, they were able to finally return home. When they arrived, they nurtured the fields they had been forced to abandon. They spoke in their ancient tongue. And they practiced their ancient culture. In the place where their holy house had been, occupiers had control. Not only did the occupiers not let the returned nation enter the land of their holy house, they wouldn’t let them pray there. The ancient nation cried out to the world that had abandoned them for 2,000 years but their words fell on deaf ears. They had finally returned, but there was still much work to do.