Today is Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day.

Flash back 36 years.

It's 1967, and Israel has been at war with surrounding countries for several days. An unexpected string of victories has elated the Israeli public, and troops are finally, after 2 days of waiting outside the walls, told to take the Old City of Jerusalem. After more than 1900 years of exile, Jews once again controlled the place that G-d gave to them, almost 4000 years before.

Flash forward to now.

Millions of Israelis will instantly recognize the phrase "Har haBayit Bi'Yadaynu" ("The temple mount is in our hands.") That it was a mixed blessing, few would dispute. Whether it will remain Israel's is now seriously in doubt. But for the first time in centuries, since the early muslim rule in Israel, Jews are able to live in peace, and pray, at their holiest site.

It seems strange, but in Israel, this is what has real meaning. Not the politics, as tortuous as they are, but the fact that Israel is a homeland for the Jews. The fact that of all the states in the middle east, it is the only with freedom of worship for all of it's citizens. But maily, these Israeli's are proud, as strange as this seems, of their roots to this city that go back more than 3000 years. It may be crazy, but nobody is going to deny it's what Israel is about. I'm going to go daven at the kotel today. It is an opportunity that few Jews in the last couple of centuries have had.