A Prayer for Yom Yerushalayim

Today, the 28th of Iyar on the Hebrew calendar, is the day we commemorate the reunification of Jerusalem during the Six Day War in 1967.

Jerusalem today is a city physically united and spiritually divided.

The Haredi want to impose their views of Torah on everyone else – no women praying in prayer shawls at the Western Wall, no secular Jews going to the movies on Shabbat. Throwing stones at cars driving on Shabbat and spitting at priests.

The secular want to force the Haredi to change their lifestyle.

Right wing settlers funded by an American billionaire “Judaize” Arab neighborhoods, needing armies of armed guards for protection.

Arabs throw stones at settler cars.

The government insists Arab East Jerusalem is “united” with Jerusalem, yet it refuses to provide an equivalent level of municipal services – schools, parks, paved roads, garbage pickup – to the residents.

Wouldn’t it be better if the city were physically divided and spiritually united?

Here’s my prayer for Jerusalem on this Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day:

Ribono shel olam, Master of the Universe

God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob

God of Jesus

God of Mohamed

Help us find the teachings of love in your Torah, your Bible, your Koran

Give us compassion and understanding

Show us how to live in peace, each according to his or her custom

Grant us the wisdom to know how to share our holy places – we all want to honor and praise you

Bring our leaders to the path of righteousness, caring for all, responsible for all the holy city’s residents

Bring us peace

True peace

May Jerusalem truly be Ir Shalem, a city whole, not divided by hatred, the true City of Peace




Barry Leff

Rabbi Barry (Baruch) Leff is a dual Israeli-American business executive, teacher, speaker and writer who divides his time between Israel and the US.

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