Sunday, May 20, 2012

One Day in Jerusalem - a Tribute to Yom Yerushalayim

Today is Jerusalem Day (Yom Yerushalayim), commemorating the day (June 7, 1967) when Israeli paratroopers stormed the Lion's Gate to enter and capture the Old City of Jerusalem.

One week later, 300,000 Jews thronged to the Western Wall to celebrate the holiday of Shavuot. According to the lead story in the Jerusalem Post on that day,
Every segment of the population was represented, kibbutz members and soldiers in tallitot rubbing shoulders with Neturei Karta. Mothers came with children in prams, and old men trudged steeply up Mount Zion, supported by youngsters on either side, to see the Wall of the Temple before the end of their days.

Some wept, but most faces were wreathed in smiles. For 13 continuous hours, a colourful variety of people trudged along, stepping patiently when told to do so at each of the six successive barriers set up by the police to regulate the flow.
Now, 45 years later, the outpouring of joy has dissipated somewhat, and divisions between goups have returned, but taking a step back and seeing the totality of the city as we did on a trip only a few months ago, it's amazing to see how far we've come.

As the editorial in today's Jerusalem Post says:
In the 1930s the Jewish population in Jerusalem exceeded 50,000. By 1948 it had doubled. And 19 years later in 1967 it had nearly doubled again to 295,000.

But it was not until the reunification of Jerusalem 45 years ago today, on the 28th of Iyar, that the city truly began to flourish. No longer shackled by oppressive Jordanian rule over its eastern half, it could thrive and develop.

Though the Temple remains in ruins, the earthly, material city has truly been rebuilt. Just wander the streets around Mamilla or visit the outlaying neighborhoods of Pisgat Ze’ev and Neveh Ya’acov.

Jerusalem, Israel’s largest city, was home to 801,000 at the end of 2011. Never before has Jerusalem thrived so impressively. It should not be a surprise that it is the most desired place to live among new immigrants, according to a Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies report released on Jerusalem Day.
Here's a musical and photographic tribute to Jerusalem, set to the song One Day by Matisyahu.


  1. hmmmm... that was my neighbor's little boy in the close up. She probably would not be pleased to know that he is included in your video on the internet. Well, I won't tell her. But you really should get parent's permission first.

    1. The video is by Studio Aviv, a professional production company in Israel. I have to assume that they get the necessary permissions when creating a video and posting it for public use on YouTube.