Happy Anniversary to Jerusalem!
Shalom Uv’racha to all B’nai Shalom Members, Families, and Friends:
At the time you will be reading this month’s shul bulletin, the jubilant celebration of the modern and joyous holiday of Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, the 28th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar, will be near or recently just past. This is the day we celebrate and commemorate the miraculous reunification of our eternal capital city as a result of the triumphant Six Day War victory back in June 1967.
Because of a series of events before, during, and after the battle for survival – won in an unimaginable scant six days, the holiest Jewish city in the world was captured by the brave soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces, never ever to be divided again by anyone for any reason. It is interesting to note and meaningfully appropriate that when the Old City of Jerusalem was safely secured by the courageous I.D.F. soldiers, the call went out by the military high command of the
Israeli army that “Har HaBayit b’yadeinu!” – “The Temple Mount is in our hands,” as opposed to identifying that location by any one of dozens of other references. The historical, biblical, and religious significance of that spot – the holiest place in the world for Jews everywhere – once back again where it belongs: in the control of the Jewish people, was asserted in the expression used to declare that G-d’s holy city was whole once more.
For nineteen previous years, from the 1948 War of Independence thrust on Israel from all sides by its Arab enemy neighbors, with the compliant approval of the rest of the world, the country of Jordan controlled the Old City of Jerusalem and kept Jews out of our holy places by means of menacing barbed wire and armed force. All places sacred to us were desecrated – trashed, destroyed, and in some cases reduced to rubble, and all the while, the entire world stood by and said nothing. With G-d’s hand and the unmatched daring of the heroic Israeli soldiers, we retook our holy city. Since that time, all religious sites holy to other religions have been maintained and have had their sanctity and security protected by Israel, a guarantee of safeguarding not afforded Israel during the long nineteen years OUR holy places were held by Jordan.
All calls for a re-dividing of Jerusalem, all inferences of internationalization of Jerusalem, all gestures of de-legitimization of Jerusalem as our eternal undivided capital should be shunned and thrust aside. These hypocritical calls are shameful. Let the world research and study the nineteen years of our exile from our Holy City by the Jordanians. Let the world be reminded of the nineteen hundred years our people were cast to the four corners of the world and left merely to pray for our return to Jerusalem and Israel. With each of the first four wars perpetrated against Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973, aimed at destroying our Jewish nation, we have, with G-d’s help, affirmed our divinely-ordained sovereignty over our historical capital.
And, we proudly thank and express our heartfelt gratitude to our greatest ally, the United States of America, that the American embassy has finally been moved from its previous location in Tel Aviv, to its rightful location in our nation’s capital, Jerusalem! But without degrading the courage and decency in America finally moving its embassy to its rightful place in Jerusalem, the truth is Jerusalem has ALWAYS been Israel’s capital. This is not a new pronouncement or breakthrough.
Let us be united and resolute in our unwavering support for our sacred, historical, biblical, and religious capital of our national and ancient homeland. Let no person, nation, force, or movement gain momentum in shaking us from our determined devotion to our beloved and cherished City of Peace. And let our “City of Peace,” for once, be permitted to live up to the name given it, which has long eluded its inhabitants, generation after generation.
It is through the spilled blood and sacrificed lives given throughout the years and decades, that our venerated city of Jerusalem remains in our hands, undivided, and never ever to be divided again by anyone for any reason.
May we all soon meet together in the streets of a rebuilt Jerusalem, to greet the Moshiach — may he soon appear — and begin the process of rebuilding the Bayt HaMikdash, the third and final Holy Temple, and there declare the glory of G-d in our undivided, eternal capital city.
With Torah blessings to all,
Rabbi Dr. Yaacov Dvorin