“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. Our feet shall stand within thy walls O Jerusalem” (Ps. 122:1-2).
Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant. Even them will I bring to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar for mine house shall be called a house of prayer for all people (Is. 56:6-7).
Dear Intercessors for Jerusalem:
Greetings and Yom Yerushalayim! This past Thursday the nation of Israel celebrated the 56th anniversary of the unification of Jerusalem. An estimated 50,000 Israelis gathered in Jerusalem for the traditional Jerusalem Day flag march. For “onlookers,” ourselves included, it seemed as though there was a sea of blue flowing by us. Israeli flags accompanied by an army of youth, from every school, seminary, yeshiva all coming together to celebrate and sing “Am Yisrael Chai.” Former Likud MK Yehudah Glick said that this public holiday was not just about the nation’s love for Jerusalem but it was the essence at the heart of the holy city Zion, and the site of the Temple. Glick declared: “Our mission is to make Zion a house of prayers of all the nations of the world” (Jpost.com) And what a joyful day that will be, when we “the sons of the stranger” now grafted in, can join ourselves with our Jewish brethren and offer our sacrifices of praises and thanksgiving in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem Day was particularly joyful this year, as it came not long after a short conflict against Islamic Jihad in Gaza. Over 1000 rockets were launched against Israel, but due to your prayers damage was minimal, Islamic Jihad leadership was decimated, and Israel suffered three dead, including two workers from Gaza. A ceasefire was reached after three days of warfare. Even so the Gaza Strip remains a volatile threat, with the Iranian sponsored terrorist group Hamas in possession of tens of thousands of rockets and anti-tank weapons. But this week was different, Israelis could relax, celebrate and come up to Jerusalem by the thousands. There was peace and they were glad to “stand within the walls of Jerusalem.”
A brief recap: On the third day of the 1967 war, on the 28th of iyar at 10am Israel forces broke through the walls of the Old City which had been captured nineteen years earlier by Jordan. They entered via the Lion’s Gate and the Dung Gate. At 10:30am the voice of Mota Gur, the commander of the Paratroopers Brigade declared on the IDF radio this stunning announcement: “The Temple Mount is in our hands. I repeat, the Temple Mount is in our hands. “ Every Israeli that heard this thrilling announcement, found themselves emotionally undone. Immediately all the IDF soldiers retaking the city made their way to the western wall. Here the Chief Chaplain of the IDF, Major General Rabbi Shlomo Goren blew the shofar and made this historic announcement:
I am speaking to you from the plaza of the Western wall, the remnant of our Holy Temple. ‘Comfort my people, comfort them says the LORD your God’ This is the day we have hoped for, let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation. The vision of all generations is being realized before our eyes.
The city of God, the site of the Temple, the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, the symbol of the nation’s redemption have been redeemed by you, heroes of the Israel Defense Forces. By doing so you have fulfilled the oath of generations, “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its cunning. Indeed we have not forgotten you, Jerusalem, our holy city, our glory.
In the name of the entire Jewish people in Israel, and the diaspora, I hereby recite with supreme joy, “Blessed art Thou O LORD our God, King of the universe who has kept us in life, who has preserved us, and enabled us to reach this day. This year in Jerusalem – rebuilt.”
Not long after the unification of Jerusalem, the Israeli government proclaimed a new holiday: Jerusalem Day or Yom Yerushalayim. This holiday was to be celebrated on the 28th of Iyar, the date on the Hebrew Calendar when the divided city of Jerusalem became one. For Israelis this date is a day of joy. The date it falls on in the Hebrew Calendar is significant. The number 28 is represented in the Hebrew calendar by two letters: kaph (20) and heth (8). Together these two letters form the root of the Hebrew word ko’ah, meaning strength or power. The word is found in Psalm 29:4 where it is written “Kol Adonai ba koah” or “the voice of the LORD comes in strength.” For the Jewish nation, the return of Jerusalem meant thqt the LORD hade brought them back to the spiritual center of their land, and the stronghold of their faith.
Jerusalem had to be liberated on the 28th of Iyar, a date which “floats” compared to the Gregorian Calendar (June 7th, 1967). Any other day would not bring a national recognition and thankfulness for God’s mighty power. This is a day when everyone who is in Jerusalem shouts and declares: “This is the day that the LORD has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 118:24)
I could say much more, but know this, Jerusalem always has been and still is the heart of Jerusalem. Continue to pray for unity in this city. Although this city is unified, it is still divided in many ways, through language, religion (Judaism, Islam, Christianity), politics and land. The modern Jerusalem is a very earthly city in great need of its Messiah.
Join with the believers in Jerusalem, as we participate in the last week of the Isaiah 62 Global 21 days call for prayer and fasting for Israel. Marylois goes live at 7pm nightly (Israel time, 12pm Eastern) from the House of Peace. She is on Zoom as a part of Global Outpouring’s participation in this event. Email email@example.com to get the Zoom link.
Standing within the Walls of Jerusalem
Gene and Marylois/House of Peace