Jerusalem Day

May 22, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin has delivered an address to commemorate Jerusalem Day.

Photo: Mark Neyman (GPO)

“Today, we are making our united capital, Jerusalem, our greatest joy and marking 53 years since the Six-Day War and the city that was reunited,” said the president. “It is difficult for me to describe our feelings, we sons and daughters of Jerusalem, who were part of the war to reunite the city. We who grew up in a divided city, with longing and prayers for a city that was whole, cannot ever forget the extraordinary feeling. The feeling that we had done our duty to the Jewish people over the generations. ‘Our feet stand at your gates, O Jerusalem! Jerusalem—built as a city that is bound firmly together’.” (Psalms 122: 2-3)

The president described when the words ‘The Temple Mount is in our hands’ came over the military radio, with his friends in an armored vehicle from Bethlehem to Hebron as a reserve intelligence officer in the Jerusalem Brigade, saying “Every year I find myself astonished at the wonder of Jerusalem. Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, the capital of the Jewish people, is a unique city unlike any other in the world. A city that is a home to all religions, a city that tells a long tale of battles and victories, a city of culture and art, a city that has mountains and valleys, walls, forests and springs. Our Jerusalem is the physical and spiritual heart of the people of Zion, the city of dreams and of prayers for over two thousand years of exile. In this very city we are able to celebrate our sovereignty as a free people in its land today.”

“53 years ago, we fought over Jerusalem, and today we must declare a new war. Not a war to liberate the city, but a war to develop Jerusalem. A war to turn Jerusalem into ‘the joy of all the earth’ (Psalms 58:2), this war is not a six-day war. The real war for quality of life in Jerusalem, for preserving peace on its streets, to turn it into a flourishing metropolis, is our Hundred Years War. A war we must fight in the long term,” he said.

The president congratulated the mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Lion, on his leadership, saying “As an elected representative with a position on national issues, you take real leadership for all parts of the city – east and west – and that is true Zionism. You bear a heavy responsibility, and great power, and the ability to influence the history of the Jewish people.”

“In our Jerusalem, for all of us, there are and must not be any black holes. This is a municipal and national responsibility. Katamon and the City of David, Beit Safafa and Ma’ale HaZeitim, Kikar HaShabbat and the Damascus Gate, Pisgat Ze’ev and Beit Hanina, Rehavia and Abu Tor, Ezrat Torah and Gilo – they are all part of the same city that we all continue to bring together. This is the profound meaning of united Jerusalem, of Jerusalem that is bound firmly together. ‘Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her.’ (Isaiah 66:10). Chag Yerushalayim Sameach! Happy Jerusalem Day!”

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