The Western Wall Heritage Foundation, Jerusalem municipality, Jerusalem and Heritage Ministry, and Authority for the Development of Jerusalem on Saturday evening held holiday prayers in honor of Jerusalem Day, marking 55 years since Israel retook in the Six Day War the areas of Jerusalem which were in Jordanian hands.
A crowd of approximately 10,000 joined the prayers and songs at the Western Wall.
The evening prayer was attended by Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites; as well as by Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion; the leaders of Israel's youth organizations; and approximately 4,000 youth who are members of those organizations in Jerusalem and who arrived by foot on Saturday afternoon.
Artists Ishay Lapidot, Yitzchak Meir, and Haim Israel accompanied the prayers with songs and joy.
At the start of the event, a large Israeli flag measuring about 1,000 square meters was spread over the youth in the Western Wall plaza.
Speaking at the event, Rabbi Rabinowitz said, "The secret of the eternal chain of generations is that they passed the dream to us, from generation to generation; they preserved for us the dream to return to Jerusalem. Thanks to them, you are here, and you are here, and I am here. This evening I want to say thank you - in my name and in yours - to all of the generations which came before us, which dreamed of Jerusalem, which wrote about Jerusalem, which swore to return to Jerusalem from Ethiopia, from Hungary, from Yemen, and from Spain - despite the fact that they never saw it. Thanks to them, we have come home. Thanks to them, we are praying here this evening, and thanks to them - with G-d's help, we will merit to see the coming of our righteous Moshiach (Messiah) and the rebuilding of our Holy Temple, speedily in our days, amen."
Lion said: "Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, is happy and proud to host these amazing youth in our beloved city. From here, the holiest place to the Jewish nation, we send prayers of unity, cooperation, and brotherhood to the entire People of Israel, wherever they are, and to the entire Jewish nation. This is a great merit, to be standing here together with you on the holiday of our beloved capital. I call on all of Israel to come to Jerusalem and enjoy the amazing variety that our city has to offer."