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September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Yom Yerushalayim’

Jerusalem Day Parade

Monday, May 21st, 2012

30,000 boy and girls from schools around the country participated in the Jerusalem Day Dance and Flag Parade on Sunday, May 20, 2012.

The parade began with dancing in front of the Great Synagogue, followed by a march to the Old City, walking through the gates of Jerusalem, and finally, culminating at the Kotel.

The parade celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967.

Photo Credits: Stephen Leavitt, Flash90: Noam Moskowitz,  Miriam Alster

Jerusalem Mayor: Netanyahu Government Providing ‘Unprecedented’ Resources For Jerusalem’s Growth

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, in remarks at Ammunition Hill to celebrate Jerusalem day, hailed Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government for providing an “unprecedented” amount of resources and tools to Jerusalem, enabling it to progress rapidly.

Barkat, speaking before Netanyahu and his Cabinet, thanked them for their “continuous” and “direct support of Jerusalem.” He took the opportunity to point out the “good news” coming out of Jerusalem; that “for the first time, we are seeing a changing trend: from a drastic decline in the numbers of students in the state secular and state religious schools in Jerusalem, we have seen an increase – over a 15 year span - in the state secular stream, and for the past three years, we have seen growth in the numbers of students in the state religious stream.

“Economic and cultural growth in the city have also been considerably higher than the national average over the past three years,” Barkat continued. “Jerusalem has returned to being a cultural capital with a growing number of visitors and tourists.” Barkat also highlighted the “increase in pupils’ achievements on their matriculation exams, and…in enlistment in the IDF from Zionist schools.”

The Prime Minister, in response, took the opportunity to announce a number of initiatives related to the city of Jerusalem: the decision to renovate Ammunition Hill and turn it into a heritage site; a plan to “build Biblical sites in [Jerusalem] that will enhance and explain our link to the Land of the Bible”; a decision to alleviate housing distress in Jerusalem by building subsidized apartments for military and police personnel; and the decision to build an Einstein Museum in Jerusalem.

“We are joining the past, the present and the future,” Netanyahu said,  “and I think that very great and important things are being done here to ensure the future of Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital as well.”

Turning to the hot-button issue of the 60,000 “illegal infiltrators” currently residing in Israel, Netanyahu underscored the threat they posed to the Jewish and democratic nature of the state. He said that the first step is to complete the physical barrier. “By October it will be complete in its entirety…But until then we will block it with other means, including forces.”

The next step, he said, “is to start withdrawing. How will this be done? First of all, those who employ illegal infiltrators will be severely punished, and we will also begin the physical withdrawal.”

“We will resolve the issue, not by shouting,” he concluded, “but by action.  We hear the shouts, we are taking action and the action will succeed.”

 

Jerusalem in the Twilight Zone

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

I came on aliyah in May, toward the end of Iyar, just in time for Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Day. As we mentioned in an earlier blog, the same Rabbi Yehuda Hazani, of blessed memory, who co-founded the Volunteers for Israel/Sarel project, also began the joyous flag-waving parade through the streets of Jerusalem to the Kotel on Yom Yerushalayim. While Yom HaAtzmaut was widely celebrated throughout the country, Jerusalem Day, the day marking our re-conquest of the Old City and the Kotel hadn’t yet become the gala, inspiring event that it is today. After the Six-Day War, under the spiritual leadership of Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda HaKohen Kook, the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva would hold a festive dinner with speeches from government leaders and leading Rabbis. After midnight, students would join the Rosh Yeshiva in a joyous march to the Kotel. With each passing year, students would gather from other yeshivot around the country for the festive procession. Seeking to turn the march into a national event which would express the Nation’s eternal attachment to its Holy City, and proclaim to the world that Yerushalayim would never be divided again, Rabbi Hazani, who was studying at the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva, organized another parade for the following day. Plastering the billboards of the country with posters, he handed out hundreds of blue-and-white Israeli flags and had the crowds follow a lively band from Emancipation Park across from the United States consulate to the Kotel. Every year the crowds increased, swelling to fifty thousand and more. Women entered the Old City through the Jaffa Gate, while men and families walked along the walls to the Shechem Gate, where they paraded through the narrow main street leading through the Old Jewish Quarter, who’s name had been changed to the “Moslem Quarter” after the pogroms of 1929, when Arabs had slaughtered dozens of resident Jews and chased the Jewish population out from the Old City. How wonderful it is on Jerusalem Day to see Arabs cowering in their doorways and windows as the Jews swarm through all the gates our eternal Holy City!

That first year, being a greenhorn in Israel, the happy parade blew me away, walking side-by-side with so many proud Jews into the Old City, along the alleyways of the Moslem Quarter. When we arrived at the Kotel Plaza, Rabbi Hazani grabbed my hand and pulled me up onto the bandstand where a band led the joyous flag waving and dancing. Introducing me to the huge crowd as the director of Volunteers for Israel in America, who had just come on aliyah, he had me read out a Psalm in English for the foreign press. Talk about an aliyah! I felt 100 feet tall, as if I had suddenly become a giant Jew in my connection to Jerusalem and Clal Yisrael! That year, and every year since at the incredibly festive gathering at the Kotel, the joy is supernatural, above time and space, a spiritual high like no other, illuminated by the Divine Presence which still shines forth from the stones of the Kotel, and by the great light of Redemption that fills the air over the Old City as tens of thousands of Jews from all corners of the world pay tribute to God for His transcendental kindness in bringing us back to our beloved Holy City in fulfillment of prophecies of old.

I couldn’t imagine that there could be anything like it until the following week and the arrival of Shavuot. After the evening holiday meal at the home of Rabbi Hazani, I learned with Rabbi David Samson, the English-speaking hevruta he had arranged for me at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva. In the wee hours of the morning, all of the students set off for the Kotel. As we walked along Jaffa Road toward the Old City, more Jews appeared from every direction, thousands of them, young and old, men, women, and children, Haredim, Hasidim, Religious Zionists with knitted kippot, even secular Jews. It was amazing! By the time dawn arrived, the Kotel Plaza was full!

Here I was, just out of New York, not knowing Hebrew, not knowing what the Torah was really about, surrounded by tens of thousands of ecstatic davening Jews, with the choruses of “Amen, yihe shamai rabbahs” ringing in my ears like the blasts of the shofar on Mount Sinai, standing beside Rabbi Hazani and a sea of Moses-like beards. What can I tell you? New York and Hollywood were blown out of my brain, like a dream that never happened, just like the Psalm says: “When the Lord brings back the captives of Zion, we were like those who dream.” I felt like I had been Star-Trekked into another time and planet – into another galaxy and totally different reality, into a living, vibrant, electrifying Judaism I had never experienced before.

Teaching The Arab Narrative

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

How does a state keep its capital city united? A strange question, and one that is clearly not an issue in most of the world. But in Israel, whose capital is the most coveted and contested city in the world, the problem is an acute one.

Even this very week, as we celebrate Yom Yerushalayim, the 45th anniversary of the liberation and unification of our Holy City, the Arab world continues to encourage its masses to believe that Jerusalem will soon be theirs. Thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters cheered a preacher in Cairo a few days ago when he promised them that a global Islamic caliphate will have its capital in none other than the city of King David.

“The capital of the caliphate – the capital of the United States of the Arabs – will be Jerusalem,” the preacher declared, “not Cairo, Mecca or Medina.” The crowd then chanted, “Millions of martyrs march toward Jerusalem.”

What, then, must be Israel’s strategy to keep Jerusalem united under Jewish sovereignty? In this age of information, it must center not only around security and diplomacy, but also education. To allow the PLO to control the curriculum in Arab schools in eastern Jerusalem – as the Palestinian Authority demands – means allowing the Arab narrative to be officially inculcated into the younger Arab generation, year after year, with no interference. This, in turn, means that we are conceding our sovereignty in all of Jerusalem, and even worse, tacitly encouraging new generations of terrorists, suicide bombers, and other anti-Israel “freedom fighters.”

For what is the “Arab narrative” that comprises the basis of PLO education? It is that the Jews are colonial usurpers of the homeland that has been holy for Palestinians since time immemorial; that Israel has no legal or moral right to exist and is living on borrowed time; that it flourishes not on its own merits but by virtue of American handouts; and that it brutalizes Arabs wherever possible via Israel’s “Occupation Forces” and “apartheid” government.

Having been fed such poison, what self-respecting generation anywhere could grow up with anything other than total hatred and resentment for Israel, and often the desire to kill and maim? For Israel to allow these lies – each of the above is nothing less – to be taught unfettered is a form of national suicide.

Yet just a week ago, PA prime minister Salam Fayyad announced he will fight for the right to indoctrinate his young precisely in that way. “We assure you,” he told a rally in Ramallah, “that the PA is determined to continue to stand with you to protect the Palestinian curriculum in East Jerusalem, with all its contents, and confront all attempts to distort and tamper with the national and Arabic curriculum in the city.”

The PA’s Maan news agency reported that in 2011, the Jerusalem municipality sent a letter to the heads of private schools, which receive Israeli funding, instructing them to use only textbooks prepared by the Jerusalem Educational Administration, a joint body of the municipality and the Israeli Ministry of Education. The PA Education Ministry had actually placed its logo all new textbooks; Israel removed it.

We recommend that you write to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (http://www.facebook.com/nir.barkat) and to Israel’s education minister (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Gideon-Saar/34775063966), asking them to ensure that Israel does not give up its rights to teach the truth in its capital.

Benzion Netanyahu, Legality of Settlements, and KeepJerusalem

As these words are being written, Prime Minister Netanyahu is completing his shiva mourning period for his father, Professor Benzion Netanyahu, who passed away at the age of 102. In late 2010, KeepJerusalem conducted what was likely the last video interview with the venerable historian and ardent Zionist, on the occasion of his joining KJ’s advisory board.

Prof. Netanyahu told KeepJerusalem that the way to ensure Jewish control over all of Jerusalem is “to enlist the Jewish people to fight for the integrity and completeness of Jewish Jerusalem.” Asked if he meant militarily, he said, “Yes, if that’s what’s needed.”

The historian, who was Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s last personal secretary, said KeepJerusalem should continue its work in educating the Jews about Jerusalem: “But don’t come to people like me who’ve been there 100 times; go to people who haven’t been there even once!”

Jewish Press Radio with Yishai Fleisher: More than just a flag

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

More than just a flag

With Shavuot rapidly approaching, the managing editor of the Jewish Press online, Yishai Fleisher, broadcasts the second segment from Beit Knesset Dati Leumi in Jerusalem and is joined by Rabbi Shimshon Nadel. Together, they talk about Yom Yerushalayim, the holiday that commemorates the reunification of Jerusalem during the Six Day War of 1967. Rabbi Nadel talks about his feelings regarding the Israeli flag and it’s importance to him. The two move on to talk about the observance of holidays and how some are more important and we end this segment with Yishai and Rabbi Nadel talking about Aliyah Day.

Jewish Press Radio with Yishai Fleisher: Changing Diaspora Thinking

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Changing Diaspora thinking

The Jewish Press’ Yishai Fleisher is joined in a crowded square in the Old City of Jerusalem by alternative peace activist Yehuda HaKohen. They discuss the upcoming holiday of Yom Yerushalayim and how it, along with other holidays that have been added to the Jewish calendar since the founding of Israel in 1948, are affecting and changing the entire Jewish world. The two move on to talk about the American commitment to reverse Israel’s achievements during the Six Day War.   Yishai then interviews Alex Traiman about how Traiman’s home in the Ulpana neighborhood of Beit El is scheduled to be destroyed by the Israeli government.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/jewish-press-radio-changing-diaspora-thinking/2012/05/16/

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