What is Yom Yerushalayim?
Today we're celebrating Jerusalem Day!
It’s the 55th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem!
Jerusalem may have been around for a while, but Israeli control of the city has not. Today we celebrate the reunification of the Old City of Jerusalem from Jordanian forces back in 1967.
Jerusalem was divided since the end of the War of Independence, with the Old City and East Jerusalem under Jordanian control.
Those areas have a lot of significant sites dear to Christians, Muslims, and Jews alike.
Visiting places like the Dome of the Rock, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher were restricted or forbidden during that time. That means no bar-mitzvot at the Kotel, no Birkat Kohanim, no bagels in the Old-City, and none of the other events and pastimes we have become so used to at those holy sites (whenever there isn't a dangerous pandemic going on of course). So when Jerusalem was recaptured and reunified on June 7th, 1967, Israel had to celebrate!
“All Eyes on Jerusalem”
With the reunification of Jerusalem, the Israeli government set up a national holiday to celebrate called Jerusalem Day. Just think of this day as Jerusalem's birthday. For one day every year, Jerusalem is the center of attention and all eyes are on the city. The entire city and Israelis from all over the country join together in celebration.
The Jerusalem Event of the Year
The biggest event every year is the Jerusalem Day Flag Parade that lasts most of the day. The parade procession passes through the downtown area of Jerusalem on the way to the Western Wall for a festive ceremony.
Many people decided to celebrate in the privacy of their homes, so as not to crowd and endanger each other. Beginning last night, people have been barbecuing, singing, and dancing on balconies all over Jerusalem and Israel.
Happy Yom Yerushalayim!