Last year, this year, next year -- All the years in Jerusalem...rebuilt
Fifty one years ago today, according to the Jewish calendar, Israeli Lt. Gen. Mordechai "Motta" Gur jubilantly proclaimed, "The Temple Mount is in our hands," as Israeli troops broke through the Jordanian soldiers occupying the divided city of Jerusalem since 1948, liberating it and unifying the city during the Six Day War. Thus, with those official words and the intense fighting that preceded it, 1900 years of foreign occupation of Jerusalem ended and the Jews finally took control of their city.
The fervently wished-for Jewish prayer, "Next year in Jerusalem!" became a near miraculous reality. When Jews pray anywhere in the world, they face towards Jerusalem. (The date according to the Gregorian calendar, widely used in civil affairs, was June 7, 1967.)
Yeah, yeah, the cliché that Jerusalem is important to Christianity and Islam is partially true, but these religions developed centuries after Judaism and do not negate Jewish rights to the city and to the land where a small Jewish presence always remained no matter the illegal occupying power. Important Christian events occurred in Israel and other places and for Christian Catholics, Rome is their holy city. Islam's holy city is Mecca. In the 19 years that Jordan illegally occupied part of Jerusalem, Jews were forbidden access to the Jordanian ruled area, including the Western Wall, the last remnant of the Temple destroyed by the Romans, while the Jordanians destroyed many synagogues and churches. They even bulldozed an ancient Jewish cemetery to allow construction of the American Colony Hotel. Under Jewish rule, freedom of religion was restored.
Jews praying at their holiest site (Max Pixel)
And so it is only fitting that the day after the May 13, 2018 Jerusalem Day, on May 14, 2018 the United States admits reality and moves its embassy to Israel's capital, Jerusalem. All over the world, embassies are in the country's capital; consulates are in the other important cities. Israel is the only country in the world whose capital does not host embassies, and so President Donald J. Trump (R) is righting a great wrong while leading other countries to rectify their gross mistake.
And, what freedom! Adding another festive element to this year's Jerusalem Day, the preceding day, Netta Barzilai of Israel captured the hearts of European voters and judges, winning Eurovision's song contest with her creative performance of the oh so contemporary "Toy."
I’m not your toy. You stupid boy. I’ll take you down now
Because the homeland of the winning singer hosts the contest the following year, "Next time in Jerusalem," Barzilai proudly informed the watching world.
So, Happy Mothers' Day.
Happy Jerusalem Day.
And for Jews everywhere, all the days in Jerusalem.