Yom Yerushalayim/Jerusalem Day
Next week on Friday May 19, 2023 we will celebrate Yom Yerushalayim or Jerusalem Day, the anniversary of the reunification of the city of Jerusalem in June 1967.
Jerusalem is one of the most significant cities in Jewish history and religion, and it has been the center of Jewish life and worship for over three thousand years. According to Jewish tradition, it is the location of the Holy Temple, which was destroyed twice by invading armies. The Western Wall, or Kotel, is the only remaining part of the temple complex and is considered the holiest site in Judaism.
Throughout history, Jerusalem has been conquered and controlled by many different groups, including the Babylonians, Romans, Ottomans, and British. However, it was during the 1948 War of Independence that the city was divided, with the western part controlled by Israel and the eastern part controlled by Jordan.
For almost two decades, we were denied access to our holy sites in the Old City, including the Western Wall. It wasn't until the 1967 Six-Day War that Israeli forces reunited Jerusalem and regained control over the city.
On Yom Yerushalayim, we celebrate this historic moment and reflect on the significance of Jerusalem in Jewish history and tradition. It is a time to remember the sacrifices made by those who fought to reunite Jerusalem and to reaffirm our commitment to the city and its people. Jerusalem is and forever will be the capital city of the Jewish people.
As we mark Yom Yerushalayim, let us also remember the ongoing challenges facing Jerusalem and its inhabitants. Let us pray for peace and unity in the city and for a future where all people can live together in harmony and respect.
May Jerusalem continue to be a beacon of hope and inspiration for the Jewish people and all those who cherish its unique history and cultural significance.
Rabbi Bradley Tecktiel