David Kolitz

That day, already special and exciting for Kolitz, became even more special.

David Kolitz grew up in a religious Zionist family in Jerusalem. His father had a travel agency in the city center named “Yerushalem Tours”. When he was asked about the missing letter in the name, (Yerushalem instead of Yerushalayim, the proper spelling of Jerusalem in Hebrew) he would say that he would add the letters when the Western Wall is in Israeli hands.

During the Six Day War Kolitz served as a military correspondent for the “Machanayim” journal, and every day he would ride the bus with other IDF journalists to cover the news. On Wednesday morning the press bus drove to Jerusalem, to cover the occupation of the city and the capture of the Western Wall.

The journalists entered the city through the Lions Gate, which Kolitz had been dreaming about for years, accompanied by soldiers and a small group of civilians. They were led through the streets of the Old City towards the Western Wall, and found that among the people in the narrow alley near the Wall were David Ben Gurion and Ezer Weizman. Ezer Weizman pointed to an Armenian ceramic sign that was attached to the Wall, with the inscription “Al Buraq”. He said “What is that sign? Take it down immediately!” and straight on they started looking for the thinnest person there, to climb on someone’s shoulders and remove the inscription.  Kolitz happened to be the thinnest man in that group at that time and place.  A hammer and a chisel were brought and Kolitz found himself on someone’s shoulders, working to remove the sign. From a journalist covering the event he now became part of it! That day, already special and exciting for Kolitz, became even more special.

Soon after the war, Kolitz’s friends and family gathered in his father’s travel agency office to witness him fulfilling his long-standing promise. He changed the agency name from “Yerushalem Tours” to “Yerushalayim Tours”.