Fifty years ago today, Jerusalem became a reunified city. On this anniversary, JEWISHcolorado commemorates this important day for Jews and all religions around the world. We commemorate all those who sacrificed their lives over the battle for Jerusalem and all battles for Israel. We rejoice in the spiritual city of Jerusalem for everyone.
Jews in Israel and around the world celebrated an unlikely and seemingly miraculous victory of Israel’s small army over collaborating enemies during the 1967 Six-Day War. In six dramatic days, the young democracy beat back the armies that had gathered at Israel’s border, while masses of people gathered in Arab capitals, calling “death to the Jews.”
On the Hebrew date of 28 of Eyar, June 7, 1967, the Old City of Jerusalem was liberated from Jordanian control that had been in place since Israel’s establishment in 1948. It was a moment of promise, of weak overcoming strong, when many felt that the Jewish exile had ended. After thousands of years away, there was a triumphant feeling among Jews to finally be home.
Jews were able to pray freely and access all parts of Jerusalem, including the Kotel, or Western Wall for the first time in two thousand years. Tradition claims that in Jerusalem alone, the divine spirit of G-d, or Ruach Hakodesh, lives on in perpetuity. This spiritual presence is what causes Jews all around the world to pray facing Jerusalem, pledge to return to Jerusalem during the Passover Seder, commemorate Jerusalem at weddings and other Jewish special occasions. For nearly 4,000 years, Jerusalem has been holy for the Jewish people.
With Jerusalem’s reunification, the young Jewish state made a commitment to preserve and keep access to all holy sites for all religions, which is a promise that is kept every day.
In a statement at the Western Wall, Minister of Defense, Moshe Dayan, pledged to preserve religious freedom for all faiths in Jerusalem, “To our Arab neighbors, we extend, especially at this hour, the hand of peace. To members of other religions, Christians and Muslims, I hereby promise faithfully that their full freedom and all their religious rights will be preserved.”
We support the people of Jerusalem and rejoice in this historic moment. We extend our prayers for the city’s well-being, for its security and safety, and peace for all people. We share in the commitment for Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel with safe space for all religions.
Several events and activities surround this historic event, in Colorado and around the world. Celebrate your way:
- Share your Jerusalem story, your personal connection with us on Facebook. Now through June 7, we are marking this historic time in Israel’s history. Tell us, where were you in June 1967?
- Be part of history by signing up for Jerusalem University’s weekly and daily videos commemorating the 6-day war, going on now through June 12. www.sixdaywarproject.org.