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Monday, June 02, 2008

Yom Yerushalayim

I feel very separated from my people and heritage being here today...and not in Jerusalem, where I should be.
Today is Yom Yerushalayim, (Jerusalem Day) which falls on the 28th of the Jewish month of Iyar commemorating the liberation and reunification of the city of Jerusalem, which took place during the "Six Day War" of June, 1967 (for some background on the events leading up to that war, click here).
This year, 2008 (5768 in the Jewish calendar) marks the 41st anniversary of that event. This holiday is one of the four new holidays added to the Jewish calendar in the twentieth century, the other three beingYom HaShoa (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Yom Ha'atzma'ut (Israel Independence Day), and Yom HaZikaron, Israel's memorial to its fallen soldiers. This event marked the first time in thousands of years that the city of Jerusalem was once again under Jewish sovereignty.
This special city has always been vital to the Jewish people as a Nation, even during 2000 years of exile, scattered throughout the world. We have always said in our prayers, אם אשכחך ירושלים, תשכח ימיני - If We Forget Thee, O Jerusalem, May Our Right Hand Forget It's Cunning.
Jerusalem is also Tziyon - Zion. So you think you know what "Zionism" really means? Nope. You're wrong. Zion means 'marked,' or 'designated,' from the Hebrew ציון . It refers to Jerusalem being marked as the place of the inner spirituality of the Jewish People. The city from whence the Word of G-d must be disseminated. Read what Rav Avraham Isaac Kook, mystic, Talmudic scholar, lover of Eretz Yisrael and first Chief Rabbi of Israel, said about the concept of Zion, here.
Jerusalem is the heart and soul of the Jewish people. It was always thus; it will always be thus. The depth of feeling for Jerusalem was expressed beautifully in this video by Aish HaTorah, last year, on the 40th anniversary of the reunification of the city:


This year, they have an even more powerful one, lest the world continue to forget that this place belongs to the Jewish People. It is set to "A Letter to The World From Jerusalem," written in 1969 (go directly to the film at the Aish site, at http://www.aish.com/movies/.

My sentiments exactly. Yom Yerushalayim sameach to you all. . .

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