Yom Yerushalaim - Jerusalem Day Summary

יום ירושלים

Jerusalem was the capital of the Israelite Kingdom in Biblical times, as well as during the Second Temple period, until its destruction at the hands of the Romans in 70 CE. During the period of exile, Jews still lived in the city, prayed in its direction from wherever in the world they lived, and promised themselves again and again, "Next year in Jerusalem." When Israel's 1948 War of Independance ended, the Old City of Jerusalem was in the hands of the Jordanians, who had expelled all of its Jewish residents. For one of the very few times in almost 3000 years, there were no Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem. In abrogation of the cease-fire agreement, Jordan would not even allow Jews to visit the city's holy sites.

In June, 1967, Israel was attacked by Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. Though heavily outnumbered, Israel managed to defeat their attackers. Before the war began, Jordan was asked repeatedly by Israel to not attack, but the Jordanians shelled Jerusalem and parts of the coastal plain, killing a number of civillians. Israel moved to defend itself, and took the battle to the Old City of Jerusalem, and the areas of Judea and Samaria, which had been occupied by Jordan. On the third day of fighting, June 7th, the 28th day of the month of Iyyar, Israeli forces took the Old City back, capturing the Western Wall and Temple Mount. The 28th of Iyyar was declared Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, to celebrate the return of Jewish sovreignty to the Holy City.  Prayers of praise and thanksgiving, including the Hallel, are said, and parades are held in the city itself.

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