Yom Yerushalayim often gets the short end of the stick, often overlooked even by those who profess to celebrate it. This can be understood in light of the complex nature of the day. For many populations and from several different perspectives, the day is complicated or otherwise compromised.
For secular Jews, there isn’t so much interest in the return of Jewish access to holy places like the Kotel and Me’arat Hamachpelah.
For Zionists, the day is overshadowed by the celebration of the state on Yom Ha’atzma’ut mere weeks before.
From ethical and political perspectives, the day is inextricably linked to the Kibbush of the Palestinian people, which has posed multiple moral and pragmatic challenges.
From a Haredi perspective, the usual critiques of the secular State and its role in improperly pushing the redemption are particularly pronounced around the events of ‘67.
Many of these concerns are on target, and must be grappled with. Nevertheless, we can’t allow them to dampen or mute our excitement and appreciation over what took place.
It’s easy to take it all for granted now, and to forget that Israel was facing an existential threat leading up to the Six-Day War.
It’s easy to forget the challenge, back then, of inhabiting such indefensible borders.
It’s easy to forget that, for the first nineteen years of the State of Israel, Jews did not have the possibility of visiting the Kotel (let alone the Har Habayit) or Me’arat Hamachpelah.
So, in the face of all the mitigating issues and confounding factors, we have no choice but to thank Hashem for what transpired.
Shlomo Zuckier, Facebook post (2 June 2019) [https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1037168073141599&id=100005452486362]