Israel Celebrates Jerusalem Day (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Maayana Miskin 05/19/12)
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On Saturday night and Sunday Israelis will celebrate Jerusalem Day,
which marks the reunification of Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War
after 19 years of Jordanian occupation of the eastern part of the
The outnumbered Jewish defenders of the Old City and its Jewish
residents, who had lived there continuously for hundreds of years,
were forced to evacuate during Israel´s War of Independence. The
Jordanians destroyed 48 of the 49 synagogues they overran, used
gravestones from the ancient Mount of Olives Cemetery for latrines
and closed the Old City to Jews.
Synagogues were full Saturday night as many Israelis held special,
festive prayer sessions in honor of the 45th anniversary of the
capitalís reunification, declared a minor Jewish holiday by Israel´s
Chief Rabbinate. Some synagogues recite the Hallel prayer in the
morning and recite some of the holiday prayers. Memorial services are
also held for IDF soldiers who fell freeing the city.
The government will hold a special session Sunday at Ammunition Hill
in Jerusalem, which was the site of some of the Six Day Warís
fiercest battles and where 36 paratroopers died. During the session
the government will vote on a series of motions aimed to develop
Jerusalem in terms of tourism, economy and more.
One of the motions is the development of Ammunition Hill at a cost of
20 million shekels.
At 3 p.m. the annual Jerusalem Day Rikudglaim (march and dancing with
Israeli flags), led by religious Zionist high school students and
youth organizations will take place in and around the Old City.
Later in the evening, the flagship religious Zionist yeshiva, Merkaz
Harav Kook in Jerusalem will host the main Jerusalem Day
celebrations. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, rabbis from all over
the country, ministers, and members of Knesset are expected to be in
In the early hours of the morning, continuing a 45 year old
tradition, Merkaz HaRav students will dance their way from the
yeshiva, located near the entrance to the city, to the Western Wall.
The Merkaz Harav event will be broadcast live on Arutz Sheva.
It was at Merkaz Harav yeshiva at the Independence Day celebration of
1967, that the venerable Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook zts"l,
son of Chief Rabbi HaRav Avraham Yitzchak Hacohen Kook who had also
been head of the yeshiva, rose to speak and broke into the anguished
"Where is our Hevron? Where is our Jericho? Where is our Shechem?
Where is every bit of Eretz Yisrael? How can we accept that the verse
that says ´and they divided my land´ has come to pass?"
He told the awestruck students "I could not be truly happy [seeing
the lack of these holy sites in the partition borders] on the first
Independence Day [in 1948]".
The very next day, Nasser closed the Straits of Tiran and threated
the Jewish state with extinction. The Six Day War began three weeks
later, with the whole world expecting Israel´s annihilation. Graves
were dug in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv by high schoolers in preparation
However, the students had reason to recall his prophetic words with
awe, when his prayers were answered and Jerusalem, Hevron, Shechem
and Jericho returned to Jewish hands in a miraculous victory.
Mota Gur, the legendary commander of the forces that entered the Old
City announced on Israel radio: "The Temple Mount is in our hands,"
IDF Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren blew the shofar at the Western Wall, and
thousands of Israelis rushed to Jerusalem and made their way on foot
to the Wall after 19 years in which Jordan had denied them access to
Judaism´s holiest site. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 05/19/12)
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