Remembering Shavuot 1967
"I remember when I first went to the Kotel , that sense of epiphany…. The Kotel was only open to Jews. You're still surrounded by barbed wire and all kinds of warnings for land mines…
The plaza was very rudimentally prepared. The razing of the several houses had been done. The surface was just crude dirt.
The Shabbat Teshuva just before that, between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur (fall 1966), my parents very uncharacteristically said, "You know, let's go to Mt. Zion.:" Mt. Zion until '67 was the popular substitute for the Kotel. It was the closest you came as a Jew in Jerusalem to a holy site.
We went up there, we prayed, we got back and we said, "We had a great time, we should do this every year." The next Shabbat Teshuva we already had the Kotel itself.
So this is Shavuot. We went the same way. We went across the Ben Hinom Valley, the way we had done just half a year earlier. And suddenly, it's vast, it's open.
There were 200,000 people, jubilant. They came from all over the country,
with "tembel" hats, singing, dancing. It was biblical, like
a pilgrimage. [full
- Amotz Asa-El - senior Jerusalem Post columnist and a lecturer at the Shalem Center.
 Festival commemorating Moses receiving the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai
 The Western Wall, all that now remains of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, part of the outer perimeter wall from the Temple.
 Jewish New Year
 Jewish Day of Atonement
 Sabbath of Repentence, so called because it falls within the Ten Days of Repentence that lead to Yom Kippur.
 Soft cotton 'bucket' hat