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Liberation of the Wall

Liberation of the Wall

In June 1967, Jews from all over the World were electrified that the Wall was once again in our hands.

by

When the Western Wall was liberated in 1967, Jews from all over the World felt an electrifying excitement, as once again the Wall was in our hands.

The following two stories of Israeli soldiers, who participated in the liberation, exemplify how the Wall has touched the hearts of Jews throughout the ages.

Moshe Amirav, a paratrooper, describes his first minutes at the Wall:

We ran there, a group of panting soldiers, lost on the plaza of the Temple Mount, searching for a giant stone wall. We did not stop to look at the Mosque of Omar even though this was the first time we had seen it close up. Forward! Forward! Hurriedly, we pushed our way through the Magreb Gate and suddenly we stopped, thunderstruck. There it was before our eyes! Gray and massive, silent and restrained. The Western Wall!

Slowly, slowly I began to approach the Wall in fear and trembling like a pious cantor going to the lectern to lead the prayers. I approached it as the messenger of my father and my grandfather, of my great-grandfather and of all the generations in all the exiles who had never merited seeing it ― and so they had sent me to represent them. Somebody recited the festive blessing: "Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe who has kept us alive, and maintained us and brought us to this time." But I could not answer "Amen." I put my hand on the stones and the tears that started to flow were not my tears. They were the tears of all Israel, tears of hope and prayer, tears of Chasidic tunes, tears of Jewish dances, tears which scorched and burned the heavy gray stone.

Abraham Duvdevani also describes his first encounter with the Wall:

"Narrow alleys, filthy passageways, garbage at the entrances of shuttered shops, the stench of dead legionnaires ― but we paid no attention. Our eyes were fixed on the golden dome which could be seen from a distance. There, more or less, it had to be! We marched faster to keep up with the beating of our hearts. We were almost running. We met a soldier from one of the forward units and asked him the way and hurried on. We went through a gate and down some steps. I looked to the right and stopped dead. There was the Wall in all its grandeur and glory! I had never seen it before, but it was an old friend, impossible to mistake. Then I thought that I should not be there because the Wall belongs in the world of dreams and legends and I am real.

Reality and legend, dream and deed, all unite here. I went down and approached the Wall and stretched out my hand towards the huge, hewn stones. But my hand was afraid to touch and of itself returned to me. I closed my eyes, took a small, hesitant step forward, and brought my lips to the Wall. The touch of my lips opened the gates of my emotions and the tears burst forth. A Jewish soldier in the State of Israel is kissing history with his lips.

Past, present and future all in one kiss There will be no more destruction and the Wall will never again be deserted. It was taken with young Jewish blood and the worth of that blood is eternity. The body is coupled to the rows of stones, the face is pushed into the spaces between them and the hands try to reach its heart. A soldier near me mumbles in disbelief, 'We are at the Wall, at the Wall...' "

Published: November 3, 2002


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Visitor Comments: 15

(15) Anonymous, January 30, 2011 10:17 PM

What a wonderful story.liberating the western-wall.!

(14) A person that lives there, June 3, 2008 1:28 AM

As a person that lives there...

I know what it feels like to see it for the first time it does touch you deeply and I think that it is a monument of the sacrefice that most young jewish people in israel make a sacrefice required to keep our country,israel alive a sacrefice most precious of all sacrefices a sacrefice of life of three precious years of youth and three precious years of service for our country!

greetings from israel and hope you come visit

(13) Cheryl Mavrikos, May 15, 2007 12:55 PM

something here that loves a wall!

A wall that unites rather than divides. A living miracle, God's reminder that He is still with us. The greatest moment in modern history! God bless the Zahal; thank you, Israeli soldiers, for returning these precious stones to us.

(12) Anonymous, May 10, 2007 5:23 AM

Do we really want the temple.

The site of our Holy Temple was back in Jewish hands after 2000 horrendous years, but what did we do? We ignored it, turned our backs to it, did not even bother to find out whether we need a Temple in order to rebuild the Altar, and rushed to the Wall. And we still have not realised our mistake.

(11) Helene Jenkins, March 19, 2007 9:53 PM

Brings Tears to Your Eyes

Foreigner or Jew can come to the Wall and pray and be assured G-D is with him.In 1984 I came to the Wall and met G-D,and now all I have to do is see a picture of it and tears come to my eyes.Thank G-D for the Jews who freed the wall so all can come and worship,some day I"ll be back. Next year in Jerusalem. Thank You Helene Jenkins USA

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