Jerusalem, in the spiritual sense, is a point of connection between the souls and the upper system. The actual city is completely unique and holds a special status in Israel because it is the location of the Temple Mount, where the Temple once stood—the symbol of connection between this world and the upper world.
Jerusalem is a symbol of unification. It is known that unification is what makes the people of Israel special and chosen. Without it, our nation would not have attained the degree of Bina, bestowal (symbolized by the number 40, forty years of wandering in the desert) and the land of Israel, which means “straight to the Creator” (Israel, Yashar-El).
All of this was possible through the work they performed as they went through ascents and descents, overcoming all kinds of obstacles along the path. When we work on unifying against egoism, we attain a desire aimed at the Creator, which is generally called “the land of Israel.” Then we arrive at a special, “perfect city” (Yira Shlema), called Jerusalem (Yerushalayim).
There is a mountain (Har) inside it, meaning special doubts (Irurim) through which we obtain a vessel to receive for the sake of bestowal. This is the First Temple, followed by the vessel of bestowal for the sake of bestowal, the Second Temple.
All of these states are attained only out of unity. This is not talking about stones or a geographical location but about Jerusalem “in the heart.” That is, it is talking about how to build relationships that are called “perfect trepidation,” “the perfect city” (Yira Shlema), meaning the place of unification between us and the upper force, the Creator.
Everything is expressed through unification. That is, unification is the land of Israel, Jerusalem, the Temple Mount. If there is no unification, then none of these exist either. Thus, are we really in the land of Israel and in Jerusalem today?
Speaking frankly, we are not. For now, these are merely potential notions, intended to direct us toward attaining their essence, meaning the correct unity. Then we will find that we are in the land of Israel, in Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount.
Baal HaSulam explains that we have received the land of Israel for a time, as an opportunity to realize our unity and attain redemption, meaning the revelation of the upper force. Redemption is freedom from our egoism for every person individually and all of us together. Therefore, our primary work is to unite against egoism. Then we will reveal Jerusalem in our heart, along with all the other, more internal qualities that become revealed inside it.
Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi said (Jerusalem Talmud, Tractate Hagiga): “The built Jerusalem is similar to a city that is united into one, a city that makes all of Israel friends.”
This means that when we attain a spiritual state called Jerusalem, we become a united nation of Israel, as one man. This is what Jerusalem symbolizes, its essence. No other place or nation has this approach. This is because everything becomes revealed in the nation of Israel only through unification, and without it, there is no nation of Israel, nor land of Israel, nor Jerusalem.
From the 3d part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/24/17, Selected Excerpts for Jerusalem Day