Jerusalem-Yerushalayim Day-Yom Yerushalayim, is an Israeli national holiday commemorating the redemption and reunification of the City of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli sovereignty over the Old City in June 1967.
The Chief Rabbinate of Israel declared Jerusalem Day a minor religious holiday to thank God for Israel’s victory in the Six Day War and for answering the Jews’ 2,000-year-old prayer of “Next Year in Jerusalem.” This year’s Yom Yerushalayim is celebrated today, June 1, 2011.
I believe in freedom of speech and I keep it as alive and well as possible in my life, to include in my writing. I am sure I remind many of the limits of diplomacy. In fact, I think that when one is a diplomat, one has perfected the art of lying.
Though of the Jewish faith, I am not an observant Jewess. I have a belly full of questions to ask God and we have not met yet.
But today, on Yom Yerushalayim, I am dressed up in the cloak of faith and am letting the Divine guide this essay.
I was barely twenty year old when the first Sabra Jewish Israeli soldiers stood in awe in front of the Wailing Wall, the Western Wall, almost not knowing what they are experiencing. Then each soldier of the unit that was at the Holy Site first, grabbed a piece of paper, wrote a wish and inserted it in the crevices of the Wall, the first bunch of notes, written by Jewish soldiers, citizens of the new State of Israel. Remember, Temple Mount-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__f3-j_2DN0). The Holy Wall heard the last Jew praying in 1948-1949. Since then, for nineteen years it stood erect, waiting for its redemption by its people and it happened.
As soon as the Six Day War sirens silenced, I found myself walking the narrow streets of the Old City of Jerusalem toward the Western Wall. If felt as if I was in another country in another world. And when I made my last few steps out of the kind of street, paved with cobblestone, into the open, then a narrow space in front of the Wall, my heart stopped. Simply stopped. I saw God! That is how I felt, I saw Him. I heard His voice. I was united with my faith.
I no longer needed an explanation why I was compelled to study our Jewish scriptures during my school years. I then knew those lessons were in preparation for what I have felt and experienced when I stood in front of the WALL that day. The Holy Wall that is part of an outer wall that surrounded the last Jewish Temple, once stood behind and above it. The Temple the Romans burned and with it changed the course of Jewish History.
I since made it my ritual, that when in Israel, a visit to the Western Wall is my obligation to my inner soul.
Israel redeemed its Holy Western Wall in a war it was compelled to fight against the aggression of its neighboring Arab states. That war took place in 1967 and today in 2011 that war has not ended; no peace for the Jewish Nation yet.
I tend to believe that fortunately, the G-d of Israel neither slumbers or sleeps. Some say He can even undo his children shortcomings and may even use them to further His goals. That is why sometimes life appears to be too complicated for the human mind to comprehend. He has a plan; He has had it since he created the Universe and took us under our wings.
My human sensors, or my human whiskers, sense a remarkable favor upon Israel in the upcoming near future, despite the frustrations of the political environment.
He has made provisions for His children’s failings and while what we say is very important, I thank Him for His grace and mercy because grace and mercy triumphs over judgment and fear.
We must be thankful for His ability to provide, protect, correct, and restore us which is so much greater than our ability to do what we should do. While our ways are so marginal when compared to His ways, He nevertheless has given the Jewish Nation the job of bringing light unto the world. It is like being selected to an elite rescue operation team with the knowing that we are way over our heads. Or, it is like having an autopilot that keeps us from destroying ourselves when we think we are going the right way, but in fact, we are headed for a disaster.
Being still and listening to His voice, the way I felt on the day I first stood in front of the Western Wall, is not a passive exercise, or an emptying out of oneself. It is like that elite military unit, extremely well trained and equipped inserted into a tenuous operation situation, and, at critical moment, all its members stop to pause to carefully listen before acting, knowing there is no room for second best and their lives as well as their nation’s is hanging in the balance.
There is a very ancient war, between the spirit of Elijah and the spirit of Jezebel. In this age-old battle, Elijah represents the voice of Heaven: the call to repentance and the return to God. Jezebel, on the other hand, embodies that unique principality its purpose is to hinder and defeat the work of repentance. Its goal is to silence the prophetic call. When Jezebel unleashed her witchcraft against Elijah, after his tremendous victory on Mount Carmel, Elijah inexplicably leaves the battlefield and runs off to hide as far away as he could only to find that small voice still telling him to get back into the fight. That is a picture of favor and mercy triumphing over fear and self-pity. That is the picture of Israel in 1967 it needs to capture again.
In ancient times, a mantle was an outer cloak worn over other clothing. While used primarily as a means to keep warm, it also served for some people as a symbol of authority. The English word mantle is used to translate three different Hebrew words of the Scriptures. The first, pronounced, smee-chah, meaning a rug; it is what Yael used to cover Sisera to hide him in her tent (Judges 5:24,26 KJV). The second, pronounced, meh-eel, meaning an outer garment-coat; it is used to describe a common outer cloak, as in the verses involving Job, Saul, Samuel and Ezra (1 Samuel 15:26-28 KJV). The third, pronounced a-deh-ret, also means an outer garment, but is from a root word meaning power, adir; it is used in the Scriptures to refer to the mantle of Eljiah.
After Elisha received the mantle from Elijah, Elisha instructs his servant, who looks around and sees that the situation is not promising. Elisha prays that his servant see the unseen angelic force assigned to aid them and declares that greater are those who are for us than those who are against us! His servant sees the hills filled with horses and chariots of fire!
We all have good reasons to fear; if not, our enemies will be more than glad to give us some. But we can also rejoice because G-d, the host of wars, has given us vital intelligence and strategy, as well as hidden caches of resources and unseen angelic forces, hidden in our arsenal. All we have to do is to choose to let Him open our eyes and ears as we take one step at a time, dodging traps and hidden devices placed to deter, distract, dissuade, and destroy us.
Therefore, let me encourage you, the reader with this.
The God of Israel has bestowed favor upon us, even as a coat of many colors!
I was there in 1967 when it all, so miraculously, took place, and the rejoice thereafter was so mightily! Many were in all parts of the world hearing the good news and also rejoiced mightily!
In my heart of hearts, on this day I rejoice in the return of OUR Yerushalayim, a gift we received that came along with encouragement and uplifting.
Faith in Him leads us to take action, believing that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Hope is trusting that we will end up in the right place and the right time, doing the right thing.
Love is being free to care for others and not just ourselves, because He cares for us and greater are those who are for us, Israel, than those who are against us!
There is no greater love than one who gives his life for a friend.
Happy Celebration Day the Free Holy City of Yerushalayim-Jerusalem.