Caio Szymonowicz, Rosh Chinuch Netzach Israel B’Brazil 

Achieving the independence of our state was very difficult. Blood was spilled, families were destroyed, and wars had to be fought. However, in 1948, after almost two thousand years of waiting, we were able to declare our independence. Yet the heart of our capital was still inaccessible. Jerusalem remained under Jordanian control until Yom Yerushalayim of 1967. 

In 1948, various organizations fought for the city separately. The Etzel, Lehi, Palmach and the Haganah were forced to leave the old city of Jerusalem, each group through a different gate. In 1967, the situation was entirely different: Tzahal, Israel Defense Forces, entered the old city of Jerusalem together, through only one gate. Tzahal did not only represent the persistence and willpower of the Jewish people but also their union. In the year 73 CE we were exiled from our land; in 1967 we returned to our capital, to Jerusalem, the city which represents the union of our people. 

Today is Yom Yerushalayim, the day we commemorate the reconquest of our eternal and beloved city. As Moshe Dayan, then the Defense Minister of Israel, stated: “We return to everything that is holy in our land; we return to never separate from it again.” It is not easy to write regarding what Jerusalem represents for the Jewish people; Jerusalem is everything. It is the spiritual and political center of our people. It is where everything started and where everything is going to end. It is the city of peace, of union. It is our indivisible capital. 

Congratulations, Jerusalem! 

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