Temple Mount Liberation, June 7, 1967
through the eyes of Rabbi Yisrael Ariel
In the June, 1967 Six Day War, Rabbi Yisrael Ariel was a young soldier in the paratrooper brigade, led by Gen. Motta Gur, which liberated Jerusalem's Old City. He was one of the first soldiers to reach the Temple Mount. The very first night that the Temple Mount returned to Israeli sovereignty, Rabbi Ariel was assigned the duty of guarding over the Dome of the Rock, site of the Holy of Holies in the Holy Temple. Looking back at that time, he relates to the uniqueness of the moment, both universally for all Jews and for himself personally: the return of the Jewish people to this spot, the one place on earth that G-d has chosen for Himself, to begin the resumption of the Divine service. Indeed, this moment was a harbinger for the birth of the Temple Institute.
Following are photographs taken during and after the conquest of the Temple Mount. These pictures reflect not only the unfolding events, but also impart a distinct sense of the profundity of the moment in the history of the nation of Israel: