Jerusalem Day is an Israeli national holiday commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City in June 1967. This day begins on the 28th day of the month of Iyyar in the Hebrew calendar. On our calendar it begins tonight and the official day is tomorrow. The Six-Day War began with a pre-emptive strike Israel made when Egyptian enemy forces were seen surrounding Jerusalem in preparation for annihilation. Israel was able to remove the enemy forces before they were able to make their initial attack. On the morning of June 7, the order was given to recapture the Old City. Israeli paratroopers stormed the city and secured it. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan arrived with Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin to formally mark the Jews’ return to their historic capital and their holiest site.
It was just three years after Auschweitz that Israel became a state….a state without a soul. After the Six-Day War, Israel felt completed because they had captured the Kotel (which is what the Jewish people refer to as the Western Wall), the heart and soul of the people of Israel. At the Western Wall, a shofar was blown to celebrate this capture!
The Six-Day War united Jerusalem. Israel has always wanted to live in peace and after this war, they continue to strive to live together with others in peace. This holiday is declared as a minor religious holiday to thank God for victory in the Six-Day War and for answering the 2,000-year-old prayer of "Next Year in Jerusalem".
The day is marked by state ceremonies, memorial services for soldiers who died in the battle for Jerusalem, parades through downtown Jerusalem, reciting the Hallel prayer with blessings in synagogues, There are also lectures on Jerusalem-related topics, singing and dancing, and special television programming.