#onthisday, 1880, Rabbi Ben-Zion Meir Hai Uziel (1880-1953) is born in Jerusalem.
Rabbi Uziel who lived until the age of 73, held a few truths to be time honored and hallowed, those of Jewish unity and harmony being chief among them. Throughout his illustrious career as Sephardi chief rabbi of both Mandatory Palestine and the State of Israel, he preached these values, garnering both halachic and aggadic sources to bolster his position.
Born to an illustrious family, his father (R. Yosef Raphael) having served as chief sephardic rabbi of Jerusalem, R’ Uziel was destined for greatness.
R. Uziel was appointed Hakham Bashi of Jaffa in 1911, where he worked closely with R. Abraham Isaac Kook, who at the time was leading the Ashkenazi community.
By the age of 20 he was teaching at the Tiferet Yerushalayim Yeshiva and helped found the Machzikei-Torah Yeshiva for Sephardim.
R. Uziel fought for God, His Torah and His people as a powerful spiritual leader and activist. During WW1, he worked for the protection and rights of Jews in Israel at the time which led the Ottoman Turks to exile him to Damascus until his return in 1920 after the British took over.
By 1939, he was appointed the Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Eretz Israel and then of the State of Israel from 1948 until his death in 1953.
The 3rd picture is R. Uziel at Israel’s Declaration of Independence.
🕯️May his righteous memory be a blessing and an inspiration ✍🏽 @thehabura 💬 share & save 🗣️ educate others
“For us, the Old City was a symbol of something unfinished. It’s ours. The Old City should be ours. This is our capital. It symbolized what we strove for for nineteen years...”
“Then I saw the proof of what I had previously assumed, that there is in all of us, religious and non-religious alike, in the entire Jewish people, an intense quality of Jewishness that is neither destroyed by education nor blurred by foreign ideologies and values.”
Quotes from soldiers who fought in 1967 in Jerusalem during the 6 Day War in the book titled, “The Seventh Day: Soldiers Talk About the 6 Day War” compiled and written just two months after the war ended by the likes of Amos Oz and Avraham Shapira.
#onthisday, Iyar 28, 5727 (June 7th, 1967), the IDF broke through Jordanian forces to liberate the Old City of Jerusalem - marking today as Yom Yerushalayim (or in English, Jerusalem Day)
“By the evening of June 6 and the fierce battle at Latrun, the Israeli forces had beaten back the ‘unbeatable’ Jordanian army…”
Then, the very next day, after short deliberation from Israeli officials and military personnel, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan ordered the Old City be captured (and later correctly labeled a, ‘liberation’.)
“The short battle for the Old City, which was conducted without tanks, artillery or aircraft for fear of damaging the holy sites, Gur declared his famous words: ‘The Temple Mount is in our hands’.”
For the previous 19 years of Israel`s existence, Jews were banned from visiting the Western Wall, no less the Temple Mount. The Jewish Quarter of the Old City had been desecrated (nearly all synagogues destroyed) and Jews living on the eastern side of the city after the 1949 ceasefire agreement, were ethnically cleansed by the Jordanian side.
Although Jewish presence in Jerusalem has been around since the destruction of the 2nd Temple in the year 70; a strong, independent & free Jewish presence in Jerusalem was practically non-existent.
Today, 56 years ago, all of that changed - not just for Jews, but for all peoples currently in Jerusalem today.
Not without its challenges and controversy, there is no denying that in the 56 years since Jerusalem’s re-unification, the city has flourished in ways not seen for a millennia or ever.
Thank you to the brave soldiers that fought then, that fight today, that will continue to fight tomorrow.
Thank You HaShem for the miracles revealed during these 6 Days in June of ‘67, may we merit to use these opportunities to bring about a more complete peace.
✍🏽 @jewishistoryguy 🗣 share & educate 💬 how are you celebrating Yom Yerushalayim?
📸 via @stateofisrael Defense Ministry Archives
Quotes from @timesofisrael PHOTO ESSAY 50 years on, just-released photos show horror, then joy, in Battle for Jerusalem
#onthisday, 1965, Eli Cohen, a prominent Israeli spy with Syrian-Jewish roots in Egypt, was executed. Fluent in Arabic, English, and French, Cohen was perfect for Israeli Intelligence who recruited him in 1960.
Posing as a Syrian businessman in Buenos Aires, he built strong ties with Syrian communities and officials. Moving to Damascus in 1962, his connections led him to crucial Syrian military intelligence. He cleverly suggested planting Eucalyptus trees at military sites, feigning non-fortification and shade for soldiers. This intel proved crucial for Israel during the 6 Day War that we celebrate on this very day. Over the years, he rose prominently in the echelons of power within Syria.
Despite warnings, Cohen`s Morse Code transmissions were intercepted by Syrian counter-intelligence in 1965, leading to his arrest. Even under torture, he gave no evidence against Israel. His execution, laden with anti-Zionist and antisemitic signs, was broadcasted on Syrian television.
His last message to his wife emphasized forgiveness, strength, and hope for a better future. His body remains unrecovered.
The letter reads:
“My darling Nadia, and my dear family, I am writing you these last words, minutes before my end, with the hope that you stay together forever.
I beg my wife to forgive me, to take care of herself and our children. Look after them, raise them up and educate them well, and don`t deprive them or yourself of anything…
Do what you must, don`t deprive the children of a father. I give you my blessing. I beg you my dear Nadia do not spend your life weeping for what has passed.
Concentrate on yourself; look forward to a better future!
I send you my last kisses to you and to the children: Sophie, Irit, and Shaoul and to the rest of my family, especially my mother…
Please pray for my soul.”
🕯️ May his memory be a blessing and an inspiration.
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