It’s Ours!

I spoke to a co-worker today about Yom Yerushalayim. She is older than I am, and was a resident of Tel-Aviv at the time. She said that people don’t really remember what it was like before the Six Day War, because the victory was so intense that the time leading up to the war is almost swept away. She described filling sandbags and setting them up in front of their apartment building, and being told which apartment to run to (the innermost one in the building) when the air-raid sirens went off.

She also spoke about her feelings for the Kotel (the Western Wall). She distinctly remembers two different tiyulim (trips). One was a tour of the parts of Jerusalem in Israeli hands before June 1967. She remembers that they all had to crowd onto a mirpeset (a balcony) of someones apartment, and being told that if she craned her neck and looked very closely, she would see a tiny sliver of the Western Wall in the distance.

That was before Yom Yerushalayim.  After, she was able to take a tiyul and see the whole Western Wall, without needing to crane her neck, thank you very much. 

Whenever the left wing and the Arabs start spouting their unrealistic idea of designating Jerusalem as an international city, I laugh to myself. They really have no idea how deeply they are misreading the situation. For thousands of years, even during times of persecutions, Jews had been able to pray at the Western Wall. After the war of Independence in 1948 the Jordanians forbid the Jews from praying there. They used gravestones from the Mount of Olives to pave latrines. These two things created a deep national scar, which is felt by most Israelis, religious and non-religious alike.

Now, it is common to see brides, both religious and secular, have their picture taken in front of the Kotel on their wedding day. During the intermediate days of Sukkot (the holiday of booths) I personally saw many secular Jews come to visit the Western Wall. I remember being very happy when I saw one particular woman, in skin-tight jeans and teetering on high heels, take her little girl up to the Wall.

“Har Habayit (adayin lo) b’yadeinu” – “The Temple Mount is (not yet) in our hands” – but the Kotel most certainly is. And any Arab who thinks that this is going to change is just fooling himself.

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Erica
    May 15, 2007 @ 15:29:20

    That is a quote that absolutely drives, full throttle, to the heart of the matter. Wow!

  2. Ozymandias
    May 16, 2007 @ 14:57:10

    Well said.

  3. aliyah06
    May 16, 2007 @ 17:31:17

    Take heart–today’s JPost quotes Fatah as saying they have finally recognized that they have “lost” Jerusalem……I could hardly believe it: a reality check from the enemy!

  4. muse
    May 16, 2007 @ 18:43:05

    Why’d we give our holiest place, Har HaBayit, to the people who want to destroy us?

  5. WaysofZion
    May 17, 2007 @ 18:46:39

    When we took our children to the Kotel it was the most moving moment of my life! I never got the chance to get right up to the wall and touch the stones, there were to many people there.

    The second time was the day before we left Israel. I just sat there and cried!

  6. PP
    May 20, 2007 @ 07:01:41

    I think you’ll find that most people on the Left are perfectly confortable with the Jewish Quarter remaining in the hands of the Jews- 94% i believe was the last survey. Yet such realism comes with a price: the folks who’ve lived in Jerusalem for as many generations as the Jews on the western side of the city don’t find their property and land being confiscated so worthy of laughter.

  7. RR
    May 20, 2007 @ 07:19:16

    Excellent post, WBM. I remember my father-in-law telling me what it was like in this country in the days leading up to the 6 Day War. Everyone was terrified that the Arabs would slaughter every last Jew. The whole country was crazy with fear and anxiety.

    What an unbelievable victory for Israel- every time I hear that recording of the soldiers at the Kotel for the first time since 1948, I cry.

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