When I read the secular press, I notice how reverential (or in fear?) they may be.
You don’t read even left-wing publications without them writing ‘the Prophet’ Mohammed’. Okay, call it a title that Muslims use. They also don’t write Elizabeth. They write Queen Elizabeth, when referring to the Queen of England. One can be a republican (as I am) and still use titles as a matter of courtesy and accepted practice. In Australia you often find the press very loose. They wrote Malcolm Turnbull (not Prime Minister Turnbull). I don’t find this edifying.
Consider Ramadan. A religion considers it holy and has fasts and feasts. Does this mean that the secular press should ALWAYS refer to it as ‘the holy month of Ramadan’ as opposed to Ramadan? I’m not sure.
One thing I am sure is that WE and here I blame Jews of Culture, Religion and History, do not use the eternal words of our own religion when we speak and write, especially in the context of a secular readership.
When was the last time you heard someone say ‘the Holy City of Jerusalem’.
In seeking to secularise, we have out Galut-ed ourselves. One does not need to be religious to state a historical title (which has halachic import today, well before redemption).
I am starting with myself, and would like to see a world-wide campaign of EACH AND EVERY JEW and yes, even halachically Jewish Bernie Sanders (to whom I will write about this), and the local black wiggle, Dr Richard Di Natale of the dangerous anti Zionist and anti Semitic Greens Party, that WE, who the secular press acknowledge recognise Jerusalem as our HOLIEST city, ONLY say and write henceforth
The Holy City of Jerusalem
Yerushalayim Ir HaKodesh (תבנה ותכונן במהרה בימינו)
I intend to write to the Australian Rabbinate, the Rabbinic Council of America and major Rabbinic organisations (even those whose Judaism is foreign to me) to join me in this initiative.
I hope this is at least as important to stress in Sermons as the footy, or a secular poet or … And urge those Rabbis who read my blog to spread the word amongst their colleagues.
This is not a matter we should be divided about.
This message needs to be curricularised indirectly but with unending momentum.
ירושלים עיר הקודש
And everyone should be able to roll it off their lips even if they aren’t too proficient with our holy tongue, לשון קודש.