For Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day), I went to Jerusalem. Well, at least the Jerusalem in the Heights. Okay, so that sounds weird, but it's the only Jerusalem in Washington Heights - it's Casa Jerusalem, located at West 173rd street & Saint Nicholas Avenue. Yeah, it's not the real Jerusalem, but it's the closest one. Hopefully, the real Jerusalem won't be going out of business like it's Heights namesake.
It's tough considering what the meaning of Yom Yerushalayim is - what are we celebrating? Are we celebrating the victory of the Israeli army in 1967 over its Arab neighbors? Are we celebrating the Israeli army's capturing of the rest of the city of Jerusalem that wasn't yet in Israel's hands prior to the war (couple others as well as this one (hat tip))? Are we celebrating having Jerusalem? Are we celebrating Jerusalem (like Mother's Day or Father's Day)? Are we celebrating the positive emotional impact that the victory had on Jewish people worldwide?
As to the last question, perhaps, but 39 years later, it's not very relevant to those who have no connection to then. As per celebrating Jerusalem, we can always just celebrate it. As to celebrating having it, same goes. As to having capturing it in 1967, perhaps that's the strongest answer to celebrate. As to winning the war, the day the war ended was not on the same day as Jerusalem was captured, so that seems a little inaccurate.
I think that, just like Mar Gavriel, I am a tad skeptical of the celebration of the day.
What seems weird to me is that we both celebrate today the regaining of Jerusalem, but we also fast in the summer for having lost it. Contradiction? I think so. But maybe I'm naive. Anyways, wouldn't it make sense to not have a contradiction? (I'm suspecting you might say we mourn in the summer for the loss of the Temple, but we're celebrating regaining Jerusalem today - which are two separate topics. This seems like an after-the-fact distinction to me, IMHO.)
Tags: Jerusalem, Jerusalem Day, Yom Yerushalayim