While today is the traditional day for mourning over the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem and many other calamities, it is becoming clear that what happened in 1967 was only the beginning of the return to Jerusalem.
In the fifty plus years since Jerusalem’s liberation, young Jewish pioneers have returned to live across all of Jerusalem’s Old City. These pioneers are not “colonists” as the world wants to claim, but returnees.
Before the Arab pogroms of the 1920s and 1930s there was a Jewish majority in Jerusalem. Jews in fact lived across the entire Old City in what is now considered the Muslim and Christian Quarters.
So how is it that today’s pioneers are so successful in reversing the Jewish exile from the Old City?
Organizations like Ateret Cohanim, Ir David, Heritage House, and others are leading the way as a driving force in helping to connect, return, and develop Jewish neighborhoods throughout the Old City and Holy Basin.
Through education, purchases, and community activities, old Jewish neighborhoods where Jews were driven out are now resettled. Historical landmarks like Beit Wittenberg where Mark Twain stayed and the Old Yemenite Shul in Kfar Shiloach (today called Silwan) have been returned and restored.
So have we won? Have we liberated to the point where we no long have to cry and fast on Tisha B’Av. Not yet, but we are well on our way.