Yom Yerushalayim

Yom Yerushalayim

Infobox Holiday

caption = Jerusalem Day 2004 at the Western Wall
holiday_name = Jerusalem Day
official_name = _he. יום ירושלים ("Yom Yerushalayim")
observedby = Israeli Jews, especially Religious Zionists
begins = Iyar 28
type =
significance = The reunification of Jerusalem under Israeli rule after the Six-Day War
relatedto = |
date2008 = June 2
date2009 = May 22
date2010 = May 12
date2011 = June 1
date2012 = May 20

Jerusalem Day ( _he. יום ירושלים, "Yom Yerushalayim") is an Israeli national holiday commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City in 1967.

The day is marked by state ceremonies, memorial services for soldiers who died in the battle for Jerusalem, parades through downtown Jerusalem, reciting the Hallel prayer in synagogues, [http://machonshilo.org/content/view/79/29/ Machon Shilo - The Rebbe’s Hallel ] ] lectures on Jerusalem-related topics, singing and dancing, and special television programming. [ [http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/israel/yom-yerushalayim Holidays: Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) in Israel ] ] Schoolchildren throughout the country learn about significance of Jerusalem, and schools in Jerusalem hold festive assemblies. [http://www.myjewishlearning.com/holidays/Modern_Holidays/Yom_Yerushalayim.htm My Jewish Learning: Yom Yerushalayim ] ] The day is also marked in Jewish schools around the world. [ [http://www.cjhs.org/e-news/051807.htm#LETTER.BLOCK15 Save the Date for our Grand Opening Celebration! ] ] [ [http://www.halbweb.org/SKA/Website/Skaparchive/skapjun2306.htm News from SKA Yeshiva High School for Girls, Hebrew Academy of Long Beach ] ]

Anti-Zionists in the Haredi community do not celebrate Jerusalem Day and other national celebrations because of their refusal to acknowledge the jurisdiction of Israel as a secular state. [http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1209627042527&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull] Religious Zionists in Israel regard Yom Yerushalayim as even more important than Israel Independence Day. [ [http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/yomyerushalayim.html Yom Yerushalayim - Jerusalem Day ] ]

Palestinian residents of Jerusalem (36% of the municipal population in 2007) also do not celebrate the holiday. For these municipal citizens of Israel, Jerusalem Day denotes the loss of Jordanian citizenship and their disenfranchisement in the Jewish Israeli state. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/13/weekinreview/13myre.html?_r=1&oref=slogin Israel - Jews - Arabs - New York Times ] ]


Under the 1947 UN Partition Plan, which proposed the establishment of two states in Palestine - a Jewish state and an Arab state - Jerusalem was to be an international city, neither exclusively Arab nor Jewish for a period of ten years, at which point a referendum would be held by Jerusalem residents to determine which country to join. The Jewish leadership accepted the plan, including the internationalization of Jerusalem, but the Arabs turned it down. [ [http://www.passia.org/seminars/2000/israel/part3.html The Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA) ] ]

As soon as Israel declared its independence in 1948, it was attacked "en masse" by its Arab neighbours. Jordan took over east Jerusalem and the Old City. Israeli forces made a concerted attempt to dislodge them, but were unable to do so. By the end of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War Jerusalem was left divided between Israel and Jordan. The Old City and East Jerusalem continued to be occupied by Jordan, and the Jewish residents were forced out. Under Jordanian rule, the Old City's fifty-eight synagogues were demolished and the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives was plundered for its tombstones, which were used as paving stones and building materials. [ [http://www.forward.com/articles/11976/ A New Ruin Rising - Forward.com" ] ] The area around the Western Wall was turned into a public dump.

This state of affairs changed in 1967 as a result of the Six-Day War. Before the start of the war, Israel sent a message to King Hussein of Jordan saying that Israel would not attack Jerusalem or the West Bank as long as the Jordanian front remained quiet. Urged by Egyptian pressure and based on misleading intelligence reports, Jordan began shelling civilian locations in Israel Fact|date=July 2008 to which Israel responded on June 6 by opening the eastern front. The following day, June 7, 1967 (28 Iyar 5727), Israel captured the Old City of Jerusalem.

Later that day, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan declared what is often quoted during Yom Yerushalayim: [ [http://www.pmo.gov.il/PMO/Archive/Speeches/2006/05/speechjeru250506.htm Prime Minister speech] ] [ [http://www.knesset.gov.il/holidays/heb/jer1.htm Knesset speeches] ] :This morning, the Israel Defense Forces liberated Jerusalem. We have united Jerusalem, the divided capital of Israel. We have returned to the holiest of our holy places, never to part from it again. To our Arab neighbors we extend, also at this hour—and with added emphasis at this hour—our hand in peace. And to our Christian and Muslim fellow citizens, we solemnly promise full religious freedom and rights. We did not come to Jerusalem for the sake of other peoples' holy places, and not to interfere with the adherents of other faiths, but in order to safeguard its entirety, and to live there together with others, in unity. [ [http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Jerusalem+Capital+of+Israel/40th+Anniversary+of+the+Reunification+of+Jerusalem.htm?DisplayMode=print-- 40th Anniversary of the Reunification of Jerusalem] Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 16 May 2007]

The war ended with a ceasefire on June 11, 1967.

On May 12, 1968, the government proclaimed a new holiday - Jerusalem Day - to be celebrated on the 28th of Iyar, the Hebrew date on which the divided city of Jerusalem became one. On March 23, 1998, the Knesset passed the Jerusalem Day Law, making the day a national holiday.

One of the themes of Jerusalem Day, based on a verse from the Book of Psalms, is "Ke'ir shechubra la yachdav" - "Built-up Jerusalem is like a city that was joined together" (Psalm 122:3).

Haredi view

In 1949, the two leading Lithuanian-style Haredi yeshivas in Israel, Ponevizh and Hevron, instituted the recitation of the Hallel prayer on Israel Independence Day. Since then, some Haredim have changed their approach, and reject all national holidays, including Yom Yerushalayim, to distance themselves from what they perceive as a secular and "ungodly" system.

40th anniversary celebrations

The slogan for Jerusalem Day 2007, marking the 40th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, was "Mashehu Meyuhad leKol Ehad" ( _he. משהו מיוחד לכל אחד, "Something Special for Everyone"), punning on the words "meyuhad" (special) and "me'uhad" (united). To mark the anniversary, the approach to Jerusalem on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway was illuminated with decorative blue lighting which remained in place throughout the year.

See also

*Yom Hazikaron, Memorial Day
*Jerusalem of Gold, by Naomi Shemer, chosen as the "Song of the Year" in Israel in 1967.


*cite web |url=http://www.myjewishlearning.com/holidays/Modern_Holidays/Yom_Yerushalayim.htm |title=Overview: Jerusalem Day |publisher= |accessdate=2006-05-27

External links

* [http://www.knesset.gov.il/holidays/eng/jerusalem_day.htm Jerusalem Day on the official Knesset website]
* [http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/1967lib.html Hebrew broadcast of the conquering of the Old City,] from Voice of Israel Radio, June 7, 1967
* [http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3399490,00.html European parliament marks Jerusalem Day]
* [http://www.pbase.com/rdavid/20070516 Photos of the Celebration, 5767 (2007)]
* [http://www.myjewishlearning.com/holidays/Modern_Holidays/Yom_Yerushalayim.htm "Overview: Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day)" in "My Jewish Learning" Web site]

Israeli holidays

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