Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Day – commemorates not only the liberation of half of Jerusalem from Jordanian occupation, but the victory of Israel over Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq in the 1967 Six Day War, a war Israel’s Arab enemies had envisioned as the end of the Jewish state.
Jerusalem Day has a special meaning for Jews living in Israel, particularly those living in the capital, marking the six days when certain defeat was transformed into incredible victory and when liberation transcended narrow geopolitical terms to encompass the reversal of historical injustices.
For the 50th anniversary of that liberation, the Orthodox Union’s Israel Center in Jerusalem has organized a special Jubilee celebration for Jerusalem Day, catering specially to the tens of thousands of immigrants from the Anglosphere and their children living in Jerusalem.
Speaking with Arutz Sheva, Rabbi Avi Berman explained the importance of celebrating the 50-year old victory and bringing the memory of the war to life for English speakers living in the capital.
"When you think about Yom Yerushalayim, it automatically takes you back to the Six Day War."
"All you have to do is read the most basic literature about the war, to speak to the people who were standing on the sides and just watching the war and experiencing these unbelievable miracles of seeing the Jewish people in just six days beat the biggest armies that were in the area, and you say, 'Wow, this is clearly something that God wanted us to have back'."
"Standing on such a day, the 28th of Iyar, commemorating and thanking God for such a wonderful miracle - the ability that we have to just walk over to the Kotel, to walk around Jerusalem... this is the land that David Hamelech was walking around in, Shlomo Hamelech, all the Jewish kings - this is where everybody aspired to be. And thank God, we're able to walk around here like no other generation before us."