Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) is a modern Jewish holiday that commemorates the reunification of Jerusalem following the Six Day War in 1967. A major consequence of the war was that Israel regained control of the Old City, including access to the Kotel, the western wall of the Temple compound. The significance of this event should not be lost on anyone who has visited Israel. Can you imagine going to Jerusalem and not being able to visit the Kotel, which for us is the apex of any Israel trip? If not for the miracle of the Six Day War, such would be the case!
The sentiment of Yom Yerushalyim is often expressed by quoting Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, who said the following upon announcing the reunification of the Holy City:
“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.”
Of course, OU Holidays has lots of Yom Yerushalayim content to provide appropriate information and inspiration for the occasion. This year, however, the OU is offering something exceptional. Over 200 shuls are participating with the OU in an unprecedented Yom Yerushalayim Day of Learning!
Join us as five master educators – Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz, Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller, Rabbi Michael Rosensweig, Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter and Rabbanit Shani Taragin – answer the question “Why is Yerushalayim important to us as religious Jews?”
Is your shul participating? Visit www.ou.org/yomyerushalayim for full information and to see the list of participants!