How I wish President Trump would have chosen this day to announce that he is moving the US embassy to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem.

Why? Because…

Today is (was) a very special Jerusalem Day (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem_Day). It’s the 50th anniversary of the liberation of East Jerusalem and the reunification of the city, as one consequence of the Six-Day War in 5727 (1967) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-Day_War).

I may just be an inadequate historian, because I can’t think of anything in American history that would be an emotional equivalent of this anniversary and the event it commemorates. The closest we might have come to it was the Burning of Washington by the British in 1814 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burning_of_Washington) — IF they had occupied it for a long long time and IF it had been liberated by military force. But they just left the very next day, urged along by a hurricane.

The significance of Jerusalem and emotion attached to its reunification is captured with heartbreaking beauty in the Verdi chorus, Va, pensiero, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Va,_pensiero; a.k.a. the Hebrew Slaves Chorus – YouTube) from his opera Nabucco (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabucco), which is loosely based on biblical stories from the Book of Jeremiah and the Book of Daniel.

You don’t have to understand the Italian lyrics, or the dubious translation into English, to understand it, to feel it, to be gripped by it to the point of tears. Just listen with your heart. Hebrew Slaves Chorus – YouTube.

This chorus is said to be the unofficial national anthem of Italy, having been composed at the time of the Italian struggle for national unity, independence and freedom from Austrian oppression. I can’t for the life of me understand why it is not at least the unofficial anthem of the diaspora Jews, if not Israel itself.

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