We had a beautiful Shabbat service today at Magen David Synagogue.
It was in honor of Yom Yerushalayim, which starts tonight.
The day commemorates the reunification of Holy city of Jerusalem after the 1967 War.
The Rabbi read from Naomi Shemer's poetic song called, "Jerusalem of Gold."
And then we all sang the song together...
"Jerusalem of gold, and of bronze, and of light,
Behold I am a violin for all your songs."
What was amazing to learn was that Naomi Shemer wrote this song in honor of Israel Independence Day (Yom Ha'Azmaut) three weeks before the 1967 War and reunification.
She later added a stanza to turn the song from purely one of the longing for the holy city to one that rejoices in being reunited with it.
Some people from the shule who actually fought in the 1967 War were called up to the bimah, in front of the Torahs, to recite the Psalms and lead us in joyous and moving prayer for the Holy Land of Israel.
After almost 2,000 years of exile, G-d fulfilled his promise to the Jewish people.
As the Prophet Amos said (9:14-15):
"'I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land that I have given them,' says the Lord your G-d."
And as Prophet Ezekiel said (37:10-14) and (37:21-22)
"Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.' Therefore prophesize and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign L-rd says: O my people, I am going to open up your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel....I will put my spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land..."
[Note: Israel was reestablished in 1948 just three years after the end of the Holocaust where six million Jews perished.]
"I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them, and there will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms."
We are truly living in miraculous times when the words of the prophets are fulfilled, and there is not only a State of Israel, but a united Jerusalem of gold, of bronze, and of light. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)