Thursday, June 2, 2011

Jerusalem in Our Feet

O' our Jerusalem, you will always be in our hearts.
Last night, today, tonight Jerusalem was in our feet.
For the past day, I have walked my feet off all over Jerusalem. So did tens of thousands of others. And you know what? No one complained. Not even me.
Last night and today, walking in Jerusalem was something extraordinary. Everyone felt that he was walking along the paths of our forefathers. I'm not kidding. Whoever we stopped, and we stopped loads of folks, said that he felt tied to the generations before him, as he walked through Jerusalem.
What our ancestors wouldn't have done to walk through the crowds, heading for the Old City and the site of the Holy Temple!
Throughout Jerusalem, folks have been decked out in their Jerusalem Day finery, bursting with love for our ancient capital. No politics today, just pride in our past, and a deep connection to our roots in this city that is the center of the world.
It way past midnight and I'm just too pooped to pop, but I could not go to sleep without quickly telling you how inspiration, spectacular, exciting, heart-throbbing day this Yom Yerushalayim has been.
** If I had two minutes (which I don't tonight), I'd tell you about the fascinating program last night at Efrat's Orot Yehuda Yeshiva High School, on the Zayit overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem. We heard divrei Torah as well as the story of the capture of Jerusalem in 1967 from Mr. Eli Mizrachi (former Mayor of Efrat and a member of the Jerusalem Brigade). More on that tomorrow, IY"H.
** Then today Jerusalem was turning increasingly blue and white as the day progressed with more and more visitors jamming the streets. Buses lined just about every avenue in the city, as teenagers and children and even adults came to visit Jerusalem on its special day.
We joined the Rikudegalim (the Flag March) on Route One and we sang and danced with the boys' groups.
We walked near the train tracks and came upon the Old City Walls surrounded by dancing youth and flags and baby carriages.
We walked through the alleyways of the Old City amid a sea of people. Everyone was smiling and singing and carrying flags. Boys with hats, with kippot, without kippot, girls in long skirts, short skirts, pants. Everyone was cheering Jerusalem. The spirits was higher than I had ever seen them. Bli ayin hara.
Then as we descended from the Jewish Quarter to the Kotel, we were greeted by a scene straight out of a Cecil B. DeMille movie with a cast of thousands. Actually, there were 140,000 people dancing at the Kotel Plaza tonight and praying at the Western Wall. Wow!! Flags swayed, danced bounced and jumped and threw in a bit of gymnastics, as well.
I have been at the Kotel for Mass Tefillot (Giant Prayers), but the mood tonight was superenergized and completely celebratory. No tears, except for tears of joy.
Then as we left the Old City, suddenly red and green and blue and silver fireworks crashed through the skies, dazzling all those around. All over the Old City, folks stood with their eyes toward heaven as each burst of color lit up the skies.
Jerusalem, the light of the world. It shined brighter than ever tonight.

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