This Thursday night and Friday we will celebrate Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day.
Yom Yerushalayim comes at the height of the spring wedding season in Israel which begins on Lag Ba’Omer and goes until early July.
Unfortunately, there was a small glitch in the kickoff of the wedding season this year, Operation Shield and Arrow, a war on the border of the Gaza strip.
Brides and grooms who were supposed to get married in Southern Israel last Tuesday, on Lag Ba’Omer, received calls from their wedding halls on the morning of their wedding that their celebrations would have to be moved as there was a chance that rockets would be launched from Gaza. Those who wanted to keep the special date of Lag BaOmer had to find a new hall further north that could accommodate them on such short notice. It was a nerve racking experience for many couples but in the end the Jewish people came together and made it happen! Thanks to the help of social media, networking and television coverage, the weddings were moved to the Jerusalem area or further north.
On Yom Yerushalayim we read the Haftara from Yishayahu 61:10-63:9 which compares the covenant between God and the Jewish people to the commitment of a bride and groom.
The opening sentence of the Haftara, “Sos asis b’Hashem tagel nafshi b’Elokai”, “I will rejoice intensely with HaShem, my soul shall exult with my God” reminds us of the fifth of the Sheva Brachot, seven blessings, read under the chuppa, “Sos tasis v’tagel HaAkara, bikubutz baneha litocha bisimcha”, “Bring intense joy and exultation to the barren one through the ingathering of her children amidst her in gladness.”
We pray that the joy and gladness of both Jerusalem and the new couple will be intense and never ending.
In Yishayahu 62:6, God assigns guardians to protect the walls of Jerusalem to keep the city safe, “Al chomotayich Yerushalayim hifkadeti shomrim kol hayom vikol halayla.”
The prophecy of Yishayahu was fulfilled in the days of Nechemia when the Jews returned from exile and rebuilt Jerusalem and it is being fulfilled today by the Israeli soldiers who work around the clock to make sure that we are protected and safe and ensure that the weddings during this very busy season go on as planned!