Jerusalem More Than Dream

Jerusalem More Than Dream

“Next year in Jerusalem”

has been for centuries,

the mantra of the Jewish people.

At the conclusion of the Passover seder

and at end of weddings by breaking a glass,

 the destruction of Jerusalem was remembered.

From May 1948 to June 1967,

the years under Jordanian occupation,

Jerusalem Old City Walls

reaching the Kotel, Western Wall or

walking near the Temple Mount,

was only for the imagination or in a dream.

A view from a look out at Notre Dame,

over a dangerous No Man’s Land,

was as close as a Jew could get.

For those under the age of 60,

the drama and trauma of the Six-Day War,

and the resulting victory are taken for granted.

The rush of feelings, of a miraculous deliverance

against giant Arab armies attacking on all sides is lost.

The significance of

Jerusalem 50 and its many celebrations are shrugged off,

Birhat Kohanim at Kotel on Pesach 5777

for today tens of thousands can reach the Kotel Plaza to pray.

However, the Six-Day War,

also saw the return to Gush Etzion,

At Harel Memorial distance to Gush Etzion lost in 1948 to Jordan

a distance 16 kilometers south of the Knesset.

And in the north,

Kinerret at Sunrise

 the beautiful Kineret, Sea of Galilee,

Golan, Kinneret

had Syrians in those Golan Heights towering above.

 Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus

was closed after a convoy of medical staff was ambushed

and 73 people were murdered in April 1948.

Memorial at Hadassah hospital to the convoy which was attacked and murdered in 1948

This memorial wall in the Mt. Scopus memorial garden

was backdrop for a reenactment of Hadassah getting its keys back

from Mayor Teddy Kollek, in June of 1967.

And the West Bank,

which was for centuries known as Judea and Samaria,

Benyamin region of Judea and Samaria

 the land of Benjamin,

West Bank land of Bemyamin

stretches as far as the eye can see,

Tel Shiloh in Judea and Samaria

and includes Tel Shilo,

which for 369 years was location of the Holy Ark,

before the time of King David and the Temple in Jerusalem.

50 years.

Half a century.

This is a wondrous time to be in Jerusalem, Israel.

The days of choking polluted air

from vehicles stuck in heavy traffic on Yaffa Road,

Jerusalem light rain train Israel Yerushalayim

are vanishing memories, as the light rail trains run by.

50 years,

things are far from perfect,

but I would not want to go back to 51 years ago.

Jerusalem Day 50 Yom Yerushalayim

Jerusalem Day 50 Yom Yerushalayim

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day,

started early this year

with the official opening extravaganza on Sunday night.

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day

The preparations for the major event were extensive

near the Jaffa Gate and the walls of the Old City.

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day

Not only a presidential visit requires extra security.

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day

Viewing stands were in the Teddy Park Garden

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day

where an impromptu maariv minyan

was held prior to the start of the speeches and show.

Jerusalem Day, Yom Yerushalayim

The lights and music

Jerusalem Day, Yom Yerushalayijm

and speeches were projected on the walls

for the tens of thousands gathered on the streets to view.

Jerusalem Day Yom Yerushalayim

Lights

Jerusalem Day Yom Yerushalay

changed with each song,

Jerusalem Day Yom Yerushalay

and the fireworks

Jerusalem Day Yom Yerushalay

ended with drones writing ‘Jerusalem’ in the sky.

Jerusalem Day Yom Yerushalayim Beit Shmuel

The most exclusive view was from Bet Shmuel,

Jerusalem Day Yom Yerushalay

but the crowds standing on the surrounding streets

audibly appreciated the sounds and the lights and more.

This was an event where photos could not capture the moments.

Listen to one of the songs to give you an idea of what you missed.

Now off to see more Yom Yerushalayim celebrations,

as flags, singing and dancing fill the Jerusalem streets.