Wednesday, May 8, 2013

SPECIAL EDITION: Jerusalem's day

Today, the 28th day of the month of Iyar we celebrate Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem's day).

Why today? In 1967, Egypt, Syria and Jordan with the help of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Kuwait, Pakistan, the PLO and Sudan decided to go to war to destroy the State of Israel.  Led by president Gamal Abdel Nasser, Egypt mobilized its troops into the Sinai desert, expelled the UN peace keeping forces and initiated hostile actions, like closing the Suez canal, which were considered acts of war. They were so confident in their military superiority that the Arab states declared (and celebrated) victory for the destruction of the Jewish State even before they started the war.

On June 5th 1967 Israel launched a preemptive strike, beginning what is known as the Six Days War. 

Against all odds, Israel --with no American help-- not only survived the attacks of a much more numerous and stronger army but also conquered the Sinai Peninsula, Judea and Samaria and the Golan heights.

Probably the most important aspect of the Israeli victory was that after more than 1900 years of its destruction by the Romans, on the 28th of Iyar 1967, Israel regained control over the entire city of Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). Before this day the Jews did not have access , for instance,  to the Old City or to the Western Wall. 

That was one of the happiest days in the history of the Jewish people and the highest point and culmination of Israel's independence, which began in Yom haAtzmaut, 1948.

Many miracles took place in the Six Days war (see below) and very especially in the battles for Yerushalayim. We shouldn't be surprised: The Tora already promised the People of Israel that even when we are outnumbered in battle, God will intervene in our behalf (Lev. 26:7-8) "five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand...".

HaShem, our God,  encouraged us not to be afraid of a more powerful enemy, because He will be fighting with our troops, protecting us and delivering us from destruction (Deut. 20:1-4): "When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for HaShem your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with You... HaShem your God is going with you fighting with you against your enemies -- to deliver you..."

All these Biblical promises were fulfilled during the Six Days war and the conquest of Yerushalayim. 

Today, we celebrate Yom Yerushalayim with Hallel and prayers of gratitude to HaShem Yitbarakh.



From Arutz 7 (