Sunday was the 28th of Iyar on the Jewish calendar, the 45th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem — Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day.
In 1948, Israel declared independence and her Arab neighbors attacked her. When the dust settled, Israel had her land and modern Jerusalem. But Jordan had control of much of Judea, Samaria and ancient Jerusalem, including the City of David and the Temple Mount (the whole of which Jordan called the “West Bank,” as in the west bank of the Jordan River).
In 1967, Israel saw that its neighbors were gathering again to attack. So Israel beat them to the punch. In six days, Israel had miraculously beaten back the armies of Egypt, Syria and Jordan and had gained control of Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights, the Sinai and Old City Jerusalem (complete with Western Wall and Temple Mount). (Times of Israel published an excerpt of “The Battle of Jerusalem.”)
“We will protect Jerusalem, because Israel without Jerusalem is like a body without a heart,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday as quoted in the Jerusalem Post. “On this [Ammunition] Hill, 45 years ago, the united heart of our people began to beat again, with full power. Our heart will never be divided again.”
This sentiment is not new. While exiled in Babylon, a psalmist wrote:
“If I forget you, Yerushalayim,
may my right hand wither away!
May my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth
if I fail to remember you,
if I fail to count Yerushalayim
the greatest of all my joys.” —Psalm 137 (CJB)
So many — but mostly “national religious” teenagers — filled the streets of Jerusalem to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the restoration of all of Jerusalem into Jewish control.
Not all are joyful and not all are peaceful. The parade route was changed this year because in 2011 there were more brawls than usual. And still, this year some dared to chant “Death to Arabs” as they marched through the Muslim Quarter.
I did not follow the crowds to the Damascus Gate of the Old City. I felt God say ‘no’. So I followed other marchers through Jaffa Gate and around past Zion Gate to get to the Jewish Quarter and then to the Western Wall Plaza, the end of the route.
Mitch Ginsberg of the Times of Israel really captured the details of the afternoon and evening, so I won’t duplicate that here.
I was taken by the T-shirts that the young people were wearing. As Ginsberg explains:
Most wore t-shirts that told a story. Some said: “I got a new surfboard for my girlfriend and it was the best trade I ever made.” Others said: “Sometimes the Kippa just has to come off,” referring to the Dome of the Rock, as it is known in Hebrew (Kippa = Dome) and depicting a Jew leveling the Muslim place of worship that sits atop the Temple Mount. But most carried the names of boys’ yeshivas and girls’ ulpanas from all across the country, with quotes from Numbers and Isaiah like: “Behold, the people shall rise up like a great lion” and “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem.”
I was able to capture five of the T-shirt designs. Click the image to see a larger version.
Here are rest of my images from the evening.
If you’ve come this far, I will leave you with a provocative thought via Bible teacher Chuck Missler.
The LORD has Ezekiel lay on his side for 430 days, saying that each day represents a year of judgment (Ezekiel 4:1-8). If you take off the 70 years of the Babylonian captivity, you are left with 360 years, but that number doesn’t specifically fit a period of Jewish history.
Some commentators, multiply the 360 by 7 based on Leviticus 26:18. So now you have 2520, which looks like roughly the time the Jews were in the Disapora.
“This seemed rather contrived,” Missler says. “Furthermore, it had bothered me since I never like to use the term ‘approximately’ and ‘God’ in the same sentence! I felt that if it was meant to fit, it would fit precisely.”
Missler did the math to convert the years into days (to account for various calendar changes through history) and added those days to two dates in Jewish history: Cyrus’ decree releasing the Jews from captivity (see Ezra) and Artaxerxes’ decree to rebuild Jerusalem (see Nehemiah).
The dates you get at the end of the math are May 14, 1948 and June 6, 1967 — the modern restoration of the state of Israel and the reunification of Jerusalem.
Intrigued? Read the whole article at KHouse.org.