Here’s Jeremiah Smith’s reflections about Jerusalem Day. (Jeremiah is a member of our team who is on a 3 month term at a House of Prayer in Israel) We are so glad he has been regularly blogging about his experience.
It seems that every week there’s a celebration, festival or holiday happening. Let’s just say the Jewish people know how to party! Coming up next week is Shavuot (Festival of Weeks). It commemorates the revelation of the law to Moses on Mount Sinai. As it occurs 50 days after passover the Greeks termed it Pentecost. I’ll write some more on that next week, but I’d like to focus on another celebration that occurred last night, Jerusalem Day.
Prior to 1967, Jerusalem was partitioned into East and West. Jordan controlled East Jerusalem, including the Old City, and Israel controlled West Jerusalem. In 1967 the “6 Day War” occurred, with Israel fighting against Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Israel was vastly outnumbered, but miraculously emerged victorious. Israel, by the end of the war, had gained control of the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and Jerusalem. Israel has retained control of these areas, but each has been highly contested, and none more ardently then the city of Jerusalem.
What should happen? Should Jerusalem be partitioned again? Should it be controlled by a dual-Governance? To be honest I’m not sure of the answer, but I do know this… For now there is peace in Jerusalem. As fireworks went off last night, I could only think that 43 years ago there was open warfare in the streets of Jerusalem. You can still see the evidence of that war throughout the Old City.
People were dancing in the streets last night. Children were everywhere. I could walk around without threat of violence. The conflict here is complicated, but last night reminded me that peace should be the ultimate goal. In that way it’s quite simple. May there be peace in Jerusalem for many years to come.
Here’s Jeremiah’s webblog address. if you would like to read more of his observations on life.