|Amidah: Yom Yerushalayim: To Whom Does it Belong|
The First Tanna is of opinion that Jerusalem was not apportioned to any of the tribes, while Rabbi Judah was of opinion that it was apportioned to certain of the tribes; and their difference is the same as that of the following Tannaim, as it has been taught:
What [part of Jerusalem] was in the portion of Judah? The Temple Mount, the priestly chambers, and the courts.
And what was in the portion of Benjamin? The hall, and the sanctuary, and the holy of holies. A strip projected from the portion of Judah into the portion of Benjamin, and in it the altar of sacrifice was built, and every day the righteous Benjamin fretted over it, desiring to swallow it up, as it says, “Crouching over it all the day.” Therefore Benjamin was privileged to become the host of the Shechinah.
The following Tanna, however, held that Jerusalem was not apportioned to any of the tribes, as it has been taught: ‘People cannot let out houses in Jerusalem as they do not belong to them.
Rabbi Eleazar bar Zadok says: They may not hire out beds either. Therefore householders who took in guests would seize the skins of visitors’ sacrifices forcibly.’
Abaye remarked: We may see from this that it is good manners for a man to leave his empty wine-flask and his skin-rug at his guest-house. (Megillah 26a)
Imagine hundreds of thousands of people arriving in Jerusalem for Pesach, and having the right to stay in any home because the city belongs to no one and all. How did the “homeowners” in Jerusalem feel? This repeatedly happened all year, each one of the Festivals and people coming to bring their Bikkurim and offerings. The hosts were not permitted to charge. The guests were urged to bring or leave gifts in lieu of payment.
We entered Jerusalem as owners of the city! We must view Jerusalem as we do our homes in the way we protect and care for her. We pray for our city, our home, our place.