(PHOTOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE)
As part of the four-day World Mizrachi Movement celebration of fifty years since Jerusalem’s reunification, Tzion Karasenti, Yitzhak Yifat and Chaim Oshri, the three Israeli paratroopers from David Rubinger’s iconic photo returned to the Kosel at the exact time of day when they liberated the holy site five decades ago.
This time, they were joined by thousands of Jews from around the globe that came to Israel to participate in the World Mizrachi Movement’s Yom Yerushalayim 50 Mega-Mission. The group came from the US, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Columbia, Gibraltar, Spain, UK, South Africa and Australia and were accompanied by Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and Chief Rabbi Efraim Mirvis of the UK.
Tzion Karasenti, who was the first paratrooper to reach the Kosel in 1967 described today’s event: “Seeing the magnitude of people here celebrating is simply incredible. The outpouring of love that we have received over the last few days from the participants of the World Mizrachi Movement has been amazing. Returning to the Kotel with these people was almost as exciting as my first time. To see the joy in their eyes, being with the three of us on this momentous occasion made the moment even more special.”
Rabbi Doron Perez, CEO of the World Mizrachi Movement and organizer of the event said: “This was the pinnacle of our four-day program, being able to stand at the Kosel with these three men at the exact time of day that they liberated the site fifty years ago, was a life changing experience. Jews from ten countries worldwide travelled thousands of miles for this moment alone. We hope that the experience imbued them with a deeper appreciation for the Land, Torah and People of Israel, which they will inject back into their communities.”
He added: “Make no mistake, the miracles of the Six Day War were the greatest thing to happen to the Jewish people since the time of Chanukah, if not the splitting of the Red Sea.”
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem/Photo Credit: World Mizrachi Movement)