Monday, May 22, 2006

Jerusalem Day: Broadcast of the Liberation of the Temple Mount and Western Wall by the Israel Defense Forces


On the 28th of Iyar, which falls out this coming Thursday night, the Jewish People will give thank to G-d for the liberation and unification of Jerusalem, the eternal Jewish capitol, which took place on the 3rd day of the Six-Day War, June 7th, 1967.

In the historic live broadcast on Voice of Israel Radio (courtesy of IsraCast), one will hear arguably the three most significant words uttered in the last 2,000 years of Jewish History, and perhaps the most significant since the Jewish People uttered the words of "Na'aseh V'Nishma" ("We will do and we will listen") prior to their accepting of the Torah at Mt. Sinai, nearly 3,500 years ago.

Of course, I am referring to the words uttered by Colonel Motta Gur Z"L, "Har HaBayit B'Yadeinu!" ("The Temple Mount is in our hands!").

Below you will find the complete transcript of the historic live broadcast on Voice of Israel Radio, June 7th, 1967, of the Liberation of the Temple Mount and Western Wall by the Israel Defense Forces (courtesy of IsraCast):

This is Mordechai Twersky reporting from Jerusalem:

What you are now about to hear is perhaps one of the most riveting recordings in the modern-day history of Israel. I refer to the dramatic sounds of Israeli Defense Forces entering and liberating Jerusalem’s Old City and the Western Wall on June 7th, 1967. You hear the sounds of gunfire. You hear the footsteps of Israeli soldiers, as they draw closer and closer and as General Uzi Narkiss instructs them and asks to be shown where the Western Wall stands. We hear a triumphant Brigadier General Shlomo Goren, later to become the Chief Rabbi of Israel, as he recites the memorial prayer and sound the shofar, as Israeli soldiers weep with sorrow over their comrades killed in combat.

Listen closely to this piece of history, which is housed in the archives of the Avi Yaffe Recording Studio in Jerusalem.

Colonel Motta Gur [on loudspeaker]: All company commanders, we’re sitting right now on the ridge and we’re seeing the Old City. Shortly we’re going to go in to the Old City of Jerusalem, that all generations have dreamed about. We will be the first to enter the Old City. Eitan’s tanks will advance on the left and will enter the Lion’s Gate. The final rendezvous will be on the open square above.
[The open square of the Temple Mount.]

[Sound of applause by the soldiers.]

Yossi Ronen: We are now walking on one of the main streets of Jerusalem towards the Old City. The head of the force is about to enter the Old City.

[Gunfire.]

Yossi Ronen: There is still shooting from all directions; we’re advancing towards the entrance of the Old City.

[Sound of gunfire and soldiers’ footsteps.]

[Yelling of commands to soldiers.]

[More soldiers’ footsteps.]

The soldiers are keeping a distance of approximately 5 meters between them. It’s still dangerous to walk around here; there is still sniper shooting here and there.

[Gunfire.]

We’re all told to stop; we’re advancing towards the mountainside; on our left is the Mount of Olives; we’re now in the Old City opposite the Russian church. I’m right now lowering my head; we’re running next to the mountainside. We can see the stone walls. They’re still shooting at us. The Israeli tanks are at the entrance to the Old City, and ahead we go, through the Lion’s Gate. I’m with the first unit to break through into the Old City. There is a Jordanian bus next to me, totally burnt; it is very hot here. We’re about to enter the Old City itself. We’re standing below the Lion’s Gate, the Gate is about to come crashing down, probably because of the previous shelling. Soldiers are taking cover next to the palm trees; I’m also staying close to one of the trees. We’re getting further and further into the City.

[Gunfire.]

Colonel Motta Gur announces on the army wireless: The Temple Mount is in our hands! I repeat, the Temple Mount is in our hands!

All forces, stop firing! This is the David Operations Room. All forces, stop firing! I repeat, all forces, stop firing! Over.

Commander eight-nine here, is this Motta (Gur) talking? Over.

[Inaudible response on the army wireless by Motta Gur.]

Uzi Narkiss: Motta, there isn’t anybody like you. You’re next to the Mosque of Omar.

Yossi Ronen: I’m driving fast through the Lion’s Gate all the way inside the Old City.

Command on the army wireless: Search the area, destroy all pockets of resistance and make sure to enter every single house, especially the holy places.

[Lt.- Col. Uzi Eilam blows the Shofar. Soldiers are singing ‘Jerusalem of Gold’.]

Uzi Narkiss: Tell me, where is the Western Wall? How do we get there?

Yossi Ronen: I’m walking right now down the steps towards the Western Wall. I’m not a religious man, I never have been, but this is the Western Wall and I’m touching the stones of the Western Wall.

Soldiers: [reciting the ‘Shehechianu’ blessing]: Baruch ata Hashem, elokeinu melech haolam, she-hechianu ve-kiemanu ve-hegianu la-zman ha-zeh. [Translation: Blessed art Thou L-rd G-d King of the Universe who has sustained us and kept us and has brought us to this day]

Rabbi Shlomo Goren: Baruch ata Hashem, menachem tsion u-voneh Yerushalayim. [Translation: Blessed are thou, who comforts Zion and builds Jerusalem]

Soldiers: Amen!

[Soldiers sing ‘Hatikva’ next to the Western Wall.]

Rabbi Goren: We’re now going to recite the prayer for the fallen soldiers of this war against all of the enemies of Israel:

[Soldiers weeping]

El male rahamim, shohen ba-meromim. Hamtse menuha nahona al kanfei hashina, be-maalot kedoshim, giborim ve-tehorim, kezohar harakiya meirim u-mazhirim. Ve-nishmot halalei tsava hagana le-yisrael, she-naflu be-maaraha zot, neged oievei yisrael, ve-shnaflu al kedushat Hashem ha-am ve-ha’arets, ve-shichrur Beit Hamikdash, Har Habayit, Hakotel ha-ma’aravi veyerushalayim ir ha-elokim. Be-gan eden tehe menuhatam. Lahen ba’al ha-rahamim, yastirem beseter knafav le-olamim. Ve-yitsror be-tsror ha-hayim et nishmatam adoshem hu nahlatam, ve-yanuhu be-shalom al mishkavam [soldiers weeping loud]ve-ya’amdu le-goralam le-kets ha-yamim ve-nomar amen!

[Translation: Merciful G-d in heaven, may the heroes and the pure, be under thy Divine wings, among the holy and the pure who shine bright as the sky, and the souls of soldiers of the Israeli army who fell in this war against the enemies of Israel, who fell for their loyalty to G-d and the land of Israel, who fell for the liberation of the Temple, the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and Jerusalem the city of the Lord. May their place of rest be in paradise. Merciful One, O keep their souls forever alive under Thy protective wings. The Lord being their heritage, may they rest in peace, for they shalt rest and stand up for their allotted portion at the end of the days, and let us say, Amen.]

[Soldiers are weeping. Rabbi Goren sounds the shofar. Sound of gunfire in the background.]

Rabbi Goren: Le-shana HA-ZOT be-Yerushalayim ha-b’nuya, be-yerushalayim ha-atika! [Translation: This year in a rebuilt Jerusalem! In the Jerusalem of old!]

Mordechai Twersky, IsraCast.com

12 Comments:

What a powerful moment! It's hard for me to imagine Jerusalem without the Old City and the Kotel easily accessible.

By Blogger Shoshana, at Mon May 22, 04:45:00 PM GMT+3  

Just stunningly beautiful.

By Blogger Jack's Shack, at Mon May 22, 06:50:00 PM GMT+3  

Shoshana and Jack, I agree with both of you.

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Mon May 22, 09:08:00 PM GMT+3  

Oh how nice, Ze'ev. You are mentioning the six day war and the capture of Jerusalem and the Western Wall. Captured by the young and brave elite from the secular Kibbutzim, and now controlled by the Hareidi chief rabbinate which won't allow freedom of access to Jews who want to visit this national site.

The hypocrisy sickens me!

By Anonymous H, at Tue May 23, 02:53:00 PM GMT+3  

H, hypocrasy means saying one thing and doing another. If the Chief Rabbinate said Jewish men may go there but not irreligious Jewish men, that might be hypocrisy. But having a area be captured by the kibbutznikim(which really isn't true since there have always been a disproportianate number of religious soldiers in the IDF) and then be under Haredi control is irrelevent to the question of hypocrisy. In fact the Chief Rabbinate both enforces and observes their rules, the very opposite of hypocrisy. Maybe you dont like the situation but that doesnt make it hypocritical.

By Anonymous kahaneloyalist, at Tue May 23, 04:58:00 PM GMT+3  

Haim, perhaps you would like to elaborate on your claim that the Chief rabbinate prevents freedom of access.

What I imagine you are referring to is the fact that you have a problem with the Chief Rabbinate not bowing to the forces of coercion being laid on by the Refrom movement to turn the Kotel into a Jewish playground where absolutley anything goes...

You are welcome at the Kotel, as are all other Jews, and just like if you were ot visit a Mosque or a church you would respect the traditions and rules of the church you should not have a problem doing so at the Kotel either.

And, if you are really bothered by the freedom of access issue, then why so silent over the Jews not having freedom of access to the Temple Mount?

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Wed May 24, 08:49:00 PM GMT+3  

Wow. What a broadcast. This is the first time I've heard it. I wish the transcript were more faithful. It really skips stuff and even mistranslates at some points. For example, the directive was not to enter every holy place but rather to leave every holy place untouched.

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