Yom Yerushalaim - Jerusalem Day

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The freshest holiday to be added to the Hebrew calendar is Jerusalem Day. This day is to celebrate the city of Jerusalem, which is an important geographical area for all Jewish people. Even though this city has always played an essential role in Jewish history, it was not until 1967 that the Jewish people had a day in honor of this city. In some respects, this day is not unlike Yom Ha’atzmaut, the Israeli Independence day. Jerusalem Day, or Yom Yerushalaim, is much newer, however, and is also more controversial. For this reason, it is not as popular among Jewish people who live outside of Israel. In this article, you will learn about the history of Jerusalem Day, how it is celebrated, and a little about the controversy surrounding it.

After the Israeli War for Independence of 1948, the city of Jerusalem was divided into two sections. There was an Arab half and a Jewish half. After the Six-Day War of 1967, however, the two halves of this city were brought together. Israel took over the eastern part of the city, which was the ancient half. This was the beginning of Yom Yerushalaim. The Six-Day War is still very controversial, however. Research this topic to learn more about the current debates.

Because Yom Yerushalaim is such a new holiday, there is not yet much in the way of customs to celebrate it. Many Jewish people will travel to Jerusalem to show their connection to the city. Others will hike to the city. For Israeli citizens who feel a special bond with the city of Jerusalem, these pilgrimages on this holiday can be very important. The international community has not recognized the city of Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel, so a pilgrimage shows solidarity and an awareness of Jewish heritage and history.

Outside of Israel, Yom Yerushalaim is not nearly as popular as other Israeli holidays, such as Israeli Independence Day. Many Jewish people with politically liberal leanings are conflicted by this holiday, since Jerusalem is not recognized as the capitol of Israel and they are unsure about the place of the Arab people who live in the city. Many Orthodox Jews also do not recognize this day as a holiday since it is so new. There is, of course, no basis for this holiday in the Torah. Only time will tell the fate of this contemporary holiday. To learn about on which side of the debate you belong, do some research and speak to different members of the Jewish faith.

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Posted by on Wednesday, March 24th, 2010. Filed under Yom Yerushalaim. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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