Jerusalem Day is celebrated on the 28th of Iyar (mid to late May). This is the day that East Jerusalem was liberated by the Israel Defense Forces. This day symbolizes the historical connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem.
From the inception of the State of Israel until the Six Day War in 1967, Jerusalem was a divided city. The western part was in Israel's control and the eastern side was governed by Jordan. When Israel was attacked during the Six Day War, the army fought back and was able to capture East Jerusalem. It was a miracle!
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This capture was very significant as the Old City and the Kotel (Western Wall) are located in the eastern part of the city and the Jewish city was now tripled in size. The soldiers that reached the Kotel were very emotional as they were the first Jews to be at the Kotel in 19 years. The paratroopers commander, Rabbi Mordechai Gur made the famous quote "The Temple Mount is in our hands" and blew the shofar. Watch this incredible footage from the capture.
Jerusalem Day is marked with ceremonies honoring the city and the soldiers that died during its capture. There are special prayers which thank G-d for returning the city back to us after 2,000 years. There is special television and radio programming and the day is celebrated in schools around the country.
The day is most famous for the Jerusalem Day Parade when thousands of Israel youngsters dressed in blue and white march down the streets of Jerusalem towards the Kotel waving Israeli flags. Watch this video of the parade.
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