Watch: Eyewitnesses tell of the liberation of Jerusalem

A new and historic film, recently given English subtitles, tells the story of Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook and the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva students who liberated the city - and continue to celebrate its unification every year as if it has just occurred.

Arutz Sheva Staff

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The day Jerusalem was liberated was the culmination of thousands of years of love and longing  for the Land of Israel.

Watch the first hand story and the annual joyous celebrations of that miracle at Mercaz Harav yeshiva - in a new film sent to Arutz Sheva immediately after its translation into English.   

Jerusalem's central yeshiva, Merבaz Harav, founded by Rav Avraham Kook zt"l (called "the Rav" by students and followers), played a central role in the miracle:

-In its Beit Midrash, where thousands studied the  "Torah of Eretz Yisrael" as the Rav called their Talmudic studies

-In its recognized spiritual leadership whose representatives in 1967, Rav Tzvi Yehuda  Kook and the "Nazir of Jerusalem" zt"l, were brought by jeep to the Kotel as soon as it was liberated

-In its students, who fought bravely in the1967 war which saw Israel return to its biblical heartland in Judea and Samaria - and still do

-In serving as the spiritual wellspring for Religious Zionism through the large number of today's renowned rabbis from Mercaz Harav who founded new yeshivas and spread the message of Torah-true Zionism, inspiring generations of Religious Zionist youth: Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed of Beit El Yeshiva, Rabbi Chaim Druckman of Or Etzion Yeshiva, Rabbi Eliezer Waldman of Kiryat Arba Yeshiva - and many others.

-In spearheading the rebuilding of Judea and Samaria with the guidance of Rosh Yeshiva Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook zt"l and his student-leaders including Rabbi Menachem Felix, MK Motti Yogev, the late legendary MK Rabbi Chanan Porat and others.

- In being the source for tens of rabbis of municipalities and towns, Members of Knesset, army officers, educators and  founders of Religious Zionist institutions, from its founding up to the present time.

Every year since Jerusalem's liberation, Israel's leaders gather at Mercaz Harav, from the  Chief Rabbis, the President, Prime Minister, government ministers, IDF brass to scores of other well-known figures, all of whom join the thousands celebrating Jerusalem Day at the yeshiva. For decades, until the police asked for a security-caused hiatus, the entire yeshiva would march with song and dance to the Kotel in the middle of the night and say the morning prayers there as the sun rose over the  holy city. Today's Rikuddgalim, the youth group march to the Kotel with hundreds of Israeli flags on Jerusalem Day, is present day expression of that march.