Rabbanit Chana Henkin received the prestigious Yakir Yerushalayim Award this week from Mayor Nir Barkat on Yom Yerushalayim, marking 50 years since the reunification of Jerusalem. She was one of 14 Jerusalem citizens whose outstanding contributions to the fabric of the city were recognized in a moving ceremony at the Tower of David Museum in the Old City of Jerusalem. Awardees included medical professionals, volunteers, educators and noted scholar, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. Rabbanit Henkin is the first woman ever selected to speak as a representative of the awardees since the founding of the Yakir Yerushayalaim award in 1967. Below is an excerpt from her moving remarks:
"We are the generation who has merited to live and see the prophecies come true. We must grasp, with mind, heart and soul, the meaning of this unfathomable wonder – of living in Jerusalem, of praying at the Western Wall,
of shopping in Machane Yehuda market, and of taking our grandchildren to the Biblical Zoo.
WE ARE ALL YAKIREI YERUSHALAYIM. And this title is binding.
It requires us to learn from the terrible experience of Jerusalem. We must increase ahavat chinam,the love of others. We must break down barriers, to act in a way that will make Jerusalem like the words of our sages, "עיר שחברה לה יחדיו", "a city that has joined together." A city that connects all of Israel as friends. A city of brotherhood, of justice, of kind heartedness.
…And you, beloved families, dear friends, wonderful audience,
יברֶככם ה' מציון, וראו בטוב ירושלים כל ימי חייכם
May the Lord bless you from Zion, and may you see the goodness of Jerusalem all the days of your life."
Photo credit: Yagil Henkin
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