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Mother City dances to the tune of Yom Yerushalayim

  • YomYerushalayimCT
The Six-Day War was won with “miracles of Biblical proportions”, said guest speaker Rabbi Dorron Kline, at Cape Town’s Yom Yerushalayim celebration.
by RABBI MATTHEW LIEBENBERG | May 25, 2017

This week Cape Town’s Jewish community celebrated in style at an event co-ordinated by the SA Zionist Federation (Cape Council) and the Union of Orthodox Synagogues (UOS) with proceedings kicking off at the Sephardi Shul with a festive Maariv service lead by Rabbi Jonny Altman. 

The evening continued in the Weizmann Hall, which was decorated with murals of Jerusalem, including the iconic Western Wall.

Kline, CEO of Telfed, the organisation that supports South African olim, explained in detail how the war had been won.  “Israeli fighter planes had neutralised the entire Egyptian Air Force, while most of their planes were still on the runway. 

“Jordan had been aware of the surprise attack and had attempted to warn the Egyptians, but for some unknown reason, the Egyptians had not set their receivers to the correct code! When Egypt’s leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser, became aware of the attack, he lied to Jordan’s King Hussein, so that the latter would enter the war and not be dissuaded by Israel’s early victory from the air.” 

Rabbi Kline pointed out how Israel had prepared sports fields and parks to be used as cemeteries, because officials expected hundreds of thousands of fatalities.

“Indeed, hundreds of soldiers gave their lives to recapture Jerusalem and the West Bank, but their sacrifice brought about the reunification of the Holy City, which had not been fully under Jewish control for close to 2 000 years” he said.

Rowan Polovin, chairman of the SAZF (Cape Council), introduced the evening saying Jerusalem remains the eternal and undivided capital of the Jewish People. Israel’s Ambassador to South Africa Arthur Lenk, said the Jewish people are “connected to Jerusalem on every level - historically, religiously, politically and emotionally.” 

Lenk emphasised that Jerusalem did not become the Jewish capital in 1967, or even in 1948, but millennia ago in the times of King David. 

An Israel-style dinner and dancing was followed by a video presentation by the Rhor Jewish Learning Institute which took the audience back in time to the tension-filled six days in June 1967.

The guests left with a sense that the victory was more than just the result of military strategy- it was the hand of the Divine!

 

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