I spent most of last night after Shabbos and this morning putting together a slideshow/video presentation for our local JCC, featuring pictures taken by local residents during their trips to visit Yerushalayim and the Kotel.
While going through my old collection of pictures from my time in yeshiva, I couldn't help but feel an immense pride and gratitude swelling up within me - as well as a strong desire to go back as soon as I can (grad school permitting).
Our shul doesn't really commemorate the holiday, but I'm wearing a white shirt today and stepped out into the hall during tachanun to say Hallel to myself. Even if I couldn't enjoy the beautiful singing I have experienced at YU and in Israel, I had to do something to commemorate the occasion for myself in a meaningful, spiritual fashion.
ASoG and I also read Rabbi Norman Lamm's drashos found in the back of his newest book "Majesty and Mystery" - dedicated primarily to Megillas Esther, but also containing several speeches he gave related to other holidays of praise and thanksgiving to HaShem. The selection printed about Yom Yerushalayim were written in 1967 as the events actually transpired - and the reader can follow Rabbi Lamm's personal and congregational spiritual journey form one Shabbos to the next as the war begins and then ends. It's a fascinating read, and I highly recommend anyone to go out and buy the sefer to read these - and then use it next Purim, too!
Anyway, I wanted to share with you guys an incredible video I found on Youtube, filmed during the actual re-taking of Har Habayis in 1967. I'm awestruck watching it...
Please check out my posts from previous years, including an incredible story told by President Richard Joel and a sicha by Rav Meir Goldvicht.
PS - for anyone who is friends with Shlomo Katz on Facebook, he has uploaded an incredible recording of him leading Hallel this morning at Rav Kook's house.