Theodor Herzl, the visionary who envisioned the modern State of Israel, penned two famous works in German in which he described components of his Zionist dream. The first was his 1896 pamphlet, "Der Judenstaat" ("The Jewish State", appeared in Hebrew as "Medinat Ha'Yehudim"), a brief political manifesto of clear ideas on how a process leading to establishment of a viable State for the Jewish People could be achieved. The second, in 1902: "Altneuland" (literally "Old-New Land", appeared in Hebrew as "Tel Aviv"), written as a utopian novel with a descriptive blueprint of his imagined future Jewish State in the Land of Israel.
In Altneuland, Herzl allowed himself to dream of all the good things that could be generated in the future Jewish State. Book 5 of the novel opens with his main characters entering modern Jerusalem. Theodor Herzl, Spiritual Father of Zionism, seen by many as the last Prophet of Israel, gave his vision of how today's Jerusalem would look:
"…from Jericho up to the top of The Mount of Olives with its wide views… Jerusalem and her hills were still sacred to all mankind, still bore the tokens of reverence bestowed upon her through the ages. But something had been added; new, vigorous, joyous life. The Old City within the walls, as far as they could see from the mountain top, had altered least. The Holy Sepulcher, the Mosque of Omar, and other domes and towers had remained the same; but many splendid new structures had been added. That magnificent new edifice was the Peace Palace. A vast calm brooded over the Old City.
Outside the walls the picture was altogether different. Modem sections intersected by electric street railways; wide, tree-bordered streets; homes, gardens, boulevards, parks; schools, hospitals, government buildings, pleasure resorts. David pointed out and named the important buildings. Jerusalem was now a 20th century metropolis. Fascinating indeed....but the Old City drew their eyes back ever and again. There she lay in the afternoon sunlight, on the farther side of the Kidron Valley..."
Those of us lucky enough to live in Jerusalem each day see before our eyes Herzl's amazing dream – made real! We marvel at the historic splendor & charm of our eternal capital – tokens of reverence bestowed upon her through the ages – and her amazing growth & development fills us with joy.
What accuracy, how wonderfully precise! How very near to what the City of David & Solomon has become in our time!
We are not quite where Herzl thought we might be… not yet. We still need to achieve the Peace of which he dreamt and thought possible. When we do get there, we can raise up that gleaming Palace of Peace Herzl imagined. After all, so much of his vision, his prophetic dream is indeed the Jerusalem of today: the dynamism, energy, creativity, the endless search for a better future.
May we all celebrate our freedom to walk Jerusalem’s streets, enjoy her sights, sounds and aromas, bask in the extraordinary colors as the changing light of the day plays upon her stones, and may we all add yet more to her eternal majesty.
May we feel and carry with us the yearning emotion of hundreds of our generations who longed and prayed for her, but could only imagine and praise her in poems and songs. Today, let us carry their memory as we enter her gates and ascend to her glories…
Yom Yerushalayim Sameach!
RABBI CARLOS A. TAPIERO
Deputy Director-General & Director of Education
Maccabi World Union
 Altneuland, Book V, Chapter 1.