Jerusalem Day awaits the Redeemer

Why doesn’t all of Israeli society celebrate Jerusalem Day? When will the joyous celebration come to pass?

Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh

Judaism Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh
Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh
צילום: Gal Einai

The public responded to the miraculous victory of the Six Day War with a natural feeling of thanksgiving and joy, with the awakening of the point of Jewish faith and trust in G-d. This manifestation of Divine lovingkindness, however, is just the first step. After the act of G-d, victory, we must enter the arena with our own actions (along with Heavenly help) to fully embrace the wonderful gift that G-d gave to us with abundance.

Following Victory, there are three additional main stages to this process:

The stage that comes on the heels of the victory is Conquering: A clear government decision and announcement that the Land of our Fathers, which G-d has returned to our hands, is ours and is under full Jewish sovereignty (obviously, with no talk of withdrawal).

Conquering is not sterile army occupation. Instead, it leads to the next stage: Settlement (similar to the concepts of conquering and ownership in Jewish law). This means broad Jewish settlement throughout the Land, particularly in Jerusalem. Jerusalem must become a Jewish city, with no difference between its eastern and western sides (including removal of hostile elements in order to achieve this goal). Jerusalem must truly be a “city that has been joined together”.

All of this leads to the aspiration to reach the ultimate goal of Redemption and Mashiach. We yearn to establish the kingdom of the House of David in Jerusalem, the Holy City, and at the apex of this process – to build the Beit Hamikdash. “For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations.”

These four stages – Victory, Conquering, Settlement, Mashiach – create an entire process of ascent. The joy comes at the third stage, settlement, when the Divine illumination is integrated and ‘settles’ into the vessels that we have built for it. For this reason, the public displays the natural emotions of thanksgiving and joy over the triumph in the War of Independence. Then, we did not stop at the initial victory and salvation. Instead, we continued on to conquer and settle the land: “And you shall inherit it and dwell in it”, - including the distancing of our enemies from the Land.

As opposed to the War of Independence, the victory of the Six Day War has remained in its initial stage.
(In the language of the inner dimension of the Torah, these four stages parallel the foundational structure of the letters of G-d’s Name, Havayah, from bottom to top. Settlement is parallel to the sefirah of binah, understanding, which is the source of joy.)

As opposed to the War of Independence, the victory of the Six Day War has remained in its initial stage. It is still an act of G-d waiting for our action. For this reason, the public understandably does not respond with joy, which is connected to wholeness. “Israel are the children of prophets“, and we are not willing to remain suspended at the first stage when it is in our hands to progress, with G-d’s help.

These days are auspicious days for victory and conquering the Land. We must return to G-d on a public level and implement the above stages, which are the ‘direct route’ to the complete redemption, may it be speedily in our days.