Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you. “May peace be within
your walls, And prosperity within your palaces.” For the sake of my brothers and my
friends, I will now say, “May peace be within you.” For the sake of the house of the
Lord our God, I will seek your good.“ (Psalm 122:6-9)
On Jerusalem Day (Yom Yerushalyim), we celebrate the reunification of Jerusalem during the Six Day War in 1967. On this day the Israeli soldiers retook the Old City of Jerusalem from Jordanian control.
For 2,000 years, since the destruction of the Temple by the Romans, Jerusalem was occupied by one foreign power after another. In every generation the Jews in exile swore their loyalty to Jerusalem with the words:”If I forget you, O Jerusalem, May my right hand forget her skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth If I do not remember you, If I do not exalt Jerusalem Above my chief joy.”
Jerusalem was not forgotten! Immediately after the reunification of the holy city in 1967, standing at the Western Wall, the Chief Chaplain of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Shlomo Goren sounded the Shofar. Addressing the heroes of the IDF he spoke about the “realization of the vision off all Jewish generations, the redemption of the nation’s symbols, the site of the Temple, the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.”
Jerusalem Day is celebrated with rallies and mass marches around the Old City. On this day we also thank God for the victory in the Six Day War and that our 2000-year-old prayer, "Next year in Jerusalem" was heard. It is also a day to remember our Israeli heroes who bravely entered the city.
Unfortunately, today 47 years later, our soldiers still find no rest and have to be on alert around the clock. Day after day, including Shabbatot, they have to be awake to defend their country and its people.
It is therefore important for Israel Today to show appreciation of our soldiers’ dedication. We want to let them know that they are not alone and they are supported by us and our readers with prayer and practical things for everyday life.
By Ora Shapiro