Israel Celebrates Jerusalem Reunification Day – May 8
Reprinted from Daily Alert, May 8, 2012
- Jerusalem: The Jewish Nation’s DNA – Nadav Shragai
When celebrating Jerusalem Day, let’s talk about the nature of our connection to the city, from the time of King David, through the First and Second Temples, to modern independence in 1948, through the Six-Day War, and up to today. We need to talk about our birthright to this city of ours.
Our connection to it is rooted in our religious faith, in our history, and in two thousand years of recollection and longing. The Jewish presence in Jerusalem never ended. As former Prime Minister Menachem Begin said, "More than Israel watches over Jerusalem, Jerusalem watches over Israel."
Jerusalem is the DNA that runs through the veins of Jewish people all over the world. Jerusalem was a magnet to us, a compass, a glue, the weave forming the Jewish people’s most characteristic memory. Without Jerusalem our nation would never have been resurrected here in Israel.
Islam, which now claims Jerusalem and its holy places, entered the scene some 2,000 years after Israel became a nation. The Palestinians – who are claiming eastern Jerusalem, including the Old City and the Temple Mount, as their capital – only began to define themselves as a nation within the last century. Jews have lived in Israel for the past 3,300 years. Throughout this time, Jerusalem has always been the Hebrew capital. (Israel Hayom)
- Jerusalem Mayor Sees One Jerusalem, Undivided, Open to All, Controlled by Israel – David Horovitz
In an interview, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said: "When Jews came to the Land of Israel, each tribe had a piece of the territory, except Jerusalem. It was not divided among the tribes. For a thousand years, it was managed as a city that all people came to, and they felt, ‘Wow, the city belongs to me as much as it belongs to the other tribes.’ And Jews and non-Jews alike that used to come to Jerusalem felt respect…for people different from them."
"Not one city in the world that was ever divided stayed functional….The vast majority of the Arab residents in Jerusalem do not want the city divided." (Times of Israel)
- Jerusalem: Steeped in History, Politics and Religion – Rick Steves
Before Columbus, many maps showed Jerusalem as the center of the world. While the Muslims have worshipped there since around the mid-600s, the first Jewish temple was built in Jerusalem in 925 BCE. And when debating who most belongs in Jerusalem, many are quick to note that Jerusalem is mentioned 676 times in the Bible but not once in the Koran. Since 1967, the city has been united with all religions having access to their various sacred places. (Chicago Tribune)
- Jerusalem’s Population – Gavriel Fiske
Jerusalem Day is a holiday commemorating the reunification of the city during the Six-Day War in 1967. Jerusalem’s population at the end of 2011 was 804,400, including 499,400 Jews, 281,100 Muslims, and 14,700 Christians, according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics. In 2011 the average Jewish woman in the capital had 4.24 children. The average Muslim woman in Jerusalem had 3.71 children. (Times of Israel)
- Archaeological Discoveries Reveal Jerusalem’s Jewish History – Judy Lash Balint
As tens of thousands visit the Old City for Jerusalem Day, new excavations are being uncovered and opened to the public, expanding understanding of events in the center of the Jewish universe.
Old City expert Rabbi Barnea Selevan describes excavations at the back of the Western Wall plaza, where part of a Roman colonnaded street dating back to the 2nd century CE has been uncovered. "There’s no question they’re from First Temple times." Seals from the Temple were found nearby. The walls, according to some archeologists, are from homes that were abandoned but not destroyed by the Roman onslaught on Jerusalem in 70 CE. (Algemeiner)