This evening (Thursday), there was a festive broadcast from the Western Wall in honor of 53 years since the liberation of Jerusalem. Participants included the chief rabbis of Israel, the rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites, the mayor of Jerusalem, the minister for Jerusalem affairs and heritage and the Minister of Religious Affairs, Jewish communities from around the world, youth groups in Jerusalem and hundreds of thousands of viewers from Israel and around the world.
The Jerusalem Municipality, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, the Office for Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage, and the Authority for the Development of Jerusalem held a festive event this evening that included a festive prayer service, and a medley of songs of Jerusalem led by Cantor Shai Abramson, the Kippalive group, and Shai Barak, and the singers Yishai Lapidot and Eli Cohen.
During the evening, a short film clip was shown that showed a glimpse into the 2,000-year-old remnants uncovered in the Western Wall Tunnels, revealed this week to the public in honor of Jerusalem Day. Afterwards, a huge flag was raised as a symbol of the traditional Flag Dance.
The evening ended with a prayer for the welfare of the State of Israel and the singing of Hatikva, a prayer for the recovery of those who have fallen ill with the coronavirus in Israel and around the world, and a thanksgiving prayer for all those who have recovered from the plague. When the broadcast ended, the traditional Flag Dance began, this year in a special limited manner in accordance with the Health Ministry regulations.
Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites said: “On this holiday of Jerusalem’s we must be grateful for the miracles that have occurred for us also over these past few months in the face of the terrible pandemic that affected the entire world. The Western Wall was almost closed to worshipers for about a month and a half, and now again, anyone can come here to pray, within the Health Ministry regulations. It’s a miracle! Since it has reopened, tens of thousands of worshipers have visited the Western Wall. We can gather again in synagogues and pray together in a quorum. It is a miracle. We will ask the Blessed be He at this time to send a complete recovery to all those who are sick and keep all those who are healthy well.”
Mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Leon: “There is no more appropriate place at which to celebrate Jerusalem Day than at the Western Wall. The place we longed for for thousands of years in anticipation of redemption. I was moved to pray alongside the chief rabbis at the Western Wall and I hope that on the 54th Jerusalem Day we will all celebrate in the complete redemption.”
The Minister for Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage, Rabbi Rafi Peretz said: “Jerusalem is the light of the world. I am happy that despite the limitations, the Flag Dance took place this year and Jerusalem is festive. For thousands of years, Jews prayed to return to Jerusalem, to our source. We are fulfilling the prophecies of the prophets every day. The built-up Jerusalem is like a city that was joined together within itself, said Chazal. A city that makes everyone friends. The unity of the city sheds light onto the entire Jewish nation.”