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October 9, 2015 / 26 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Independence Day’

Secular Coercion and HaAchim Gat

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Secular Coercion bothers me. It especially bothers me when Hilonim (devoutly secular Jews) try to force religious Jews to go against their beliefs, and then call it “religious coercion” when they stand firm in response.

HaAchim Gat were invited to sing at the Mitzpe Ramon Independence Day event.

HaAchim Gat are two unquestionably Chareidi (ultra-Orthodox) singers, who happen to also be very popular among secular Israelis.

During their set, some of the men and women got up to dance together.

It is against the religious beliefs of the Chareidi brothers to sing and play music for mixed dancing. So much so, that there is a clause in their contract that permits them to stop their concerts if it happens.

So the soft-spoken brothers stopped their concert and politely asked the dancers to not dance together during their show.

This got some of the Hilonim upset and they posted to Facebook about the “religious coercion” of HaAchim Gat. Even the town’s mayor got in the picture saying he was surprised, and the brothers’ actions were unacceptable.

But you have got to wonder, are these people that completely ignorant?

Do they really think two Chareidi entertainers are going to play and sing to a crowd who are mixed dancing? What universe are they living it?

The Mitzpe Ramon municipality knew who they were inviting and they were not forced to hire them. The municipality was certainly not forced to sign their contract (assuming they even read it).

The only coercion here is secular coercion – like when Hesder students in the army are ordered to listen to women singing, against their religious beliefs.

HaAchim Gat continued their performance, and apparently some of the secular Jews continued with the mixed dancing – davka.

The coercion and intolerance here was not from the religious, and it’s twisted that they called it “religious coercion”.

67th Independence Day: Snow on Hermon, Rain on BBQs and IAF Flyover

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Snow fell on Yom Ha’Atzmaut on the Hermon for the first time in 32 years Thursday, and rain from the Northern Negev to the Galilee doused thousands of barbecues.

The unusual weather did not stop the Israel Air Force from carrying out its annual aerial flights over the entire country, from Eilat in the south to the northern border.

Approximately 140,000 visited national parks, holding on their hats on their way.

Gale force winds howled in the Galilee and in higher elevations in the Hebron Hills. During the day, heavy rain fell on several areas, including Gush Etzion and as far south as Kiryat Gat, 27 miles north of Be’er Sheva.

The annual air show featured old Beechcraft prop planes and modern F-15 jets.

President Reuven Rivlin awarded at his official residence in Jerusalem 120 soldiers for their distinguished service.

The IDF opened Arm, Navy and Air Force bases for visitors.

Fireworks at the Knesset - as usual.

Fireworks at the Knesset – as usual. (Flash 90)

Israel Air Force planes fly over Jerusalem on Thursday, Yom Ha'Atzmaut.

Israel Air Force planes fly over Jerusalem on Thursday, Yom Ha’Atzmaut.

Neither rain nor wind will stay Israelis from their BBQ (mangal) on Yom Ha'Atzmaut,.

Neither rain nor wind will stay Israelis from their BBQ (mangal) on Yom Ha’Atzmaut.

Surfer braves the cold, wind and rain as Israel Air Force jets fly over the Tel Aviv beaches.

Surfer braves the cold, wind and rain as Israel Air Force planes fly over the Tel Aviv beaches.

Girls dance with the national flag to celebrate Yom Ha'Atzmaut.

Girls dance with the national flag to celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut.

An Israeli hobby on Yom Ha'Atzmaut - hitting each other over the head with a plastic hammer.

An Israeli hobby on Yom Ha’Atzmaut – hitting each other over the head with a plastic hammer.

Prime Minister and Sara Netanyahu with soldiers awarded for distinguished service.

Prime Minister and Sara Netanyahu with soldiers awarded for distinguished service.

Zionism in Animation

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

A retelling of the history of Zionism was launched on Wednesday with an animated video chronicling the rebirth of Jewish sovereignty in its historic homeland through Israel’s Declaration of Independence.

The project, called ‘Zionism in Animation’, aims to tell the story of Zionism in a series of 100 short animated clips, and is the brainchild of Shlomo Blass, head of Rogatka, a short film-making studio which has released some of the most viral political and hasbara videos in recent years.

“We hope to tell the story of the return of the Jewish people to their homeland in an attention-grabbing way, and inform and educate Jews around the world, especially young audiences,” said Blass. “By doing so we hope to strengthen their sense of belonging to the Jewish people and to the land of Israel.”

“Sadly, many Jews, don’t know enough about one of the most miraculous chapters in world history: the return of the Jewish people to their homeland. We believe that knowing our history is fundamental to strengthening our sense of solidarity and commitment to our people and land.”

The first video ‘How Israel Was Born’ was released to coincide with Israel’s 67th Independence Day and is meant to inform Israelis and people around the world about the story of Israel’s founding. A few years ago, a survey of Israeli students found that 60% of respondents did not know the name of Israel’s first prime minister.

“The digital revolution has dramatically impacted the way most people, especially Millennials, consume content,” Blass continued. “Research shows that we increasingly read less and watch more, and that the most effective way of educating and engaging people is through short-form rich content. This revolution has created a need for relevant materials in the field of Jewish and Zionist education.”

The first video was released in partnership with the Israel Video Network and has already received widespread attention and praise from Jewish and Israel advocacy groups and organizations.

The video is the first of three videos that Rogatka is hoping to make through the Jewcer crowdfunding platform, which he hopes will raise enough to make the next two videos. After that, Blass is inviting organizations and individuals to fund videos of their choice on any Zionism-related issue.

Tears Lead to Triumph: Israel Celebrates 67th Independence Day

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

At sunset Wednesday, citizens in the State of Israel dried their eyes and raised their heads, left the cemeteries and bid farewell to their fallen warriors and victims of terror as Remembrance Day ended with the setting sun.

By nightfall, citizens around the country were streaming towards public parks and stadiums to attend celebrations marking the 67th birthday of the State of Israel.

The evening began with the raising of the nation’s blue and white flag to the top of the flag pole at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. Israel’s annual torch-lighting ceremony officially kicked off the beginning of Independence Day in the country with specially-selected individuals to light each of the torches.

This year, 14 trailblazers who reached unusual, inspiring achievements were selected, each having made a significant contribution to Israeli innovation and excellence. With two pairing up, they lit 12 torches. They were:

  • Danny Gold: one of the developers of the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system that saved so many lives in last summer’s war with Hamas
  • Ehud Shabtain: the developer of the WAZE GPS system, recently sold to Google for more than $1 billion
  • Or Asulin: age 17, CEO of a company that develops youth entrepreneurship in high tech – he lit a torch together with Ehud Shabtain.
  • Rami Levi: CEO of the supermarket chain in his name that has revolutionized food prices and marketing in Israel.
  • Alice Miller: First female pilot in Israel, sued the IDF in Supreme Court to break the military’s gender glass ceiling
  • Lucy Aharish: Muslim Israeli Arab journalist voice against racism in Israel, news anchorwoman on i24News
  • Prof. Marta Weinstock-Rosin: Researcher who developed Exelon, the ground-breaking medication for Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Dr. Gabriel Idan: Developed the medical mini-cam swallowed by patients in lieu of invasive procedures.
  • Rafi Mehudar: Inventor whose technologies have helped Israel and other nations conserve water.
  • Avihu Medina: Singer and songwriter who brought Israel into the world of Mediterranean music.
  • Sima Shine: Highest-ranked woman in Israeli intelligence, director of Regional Affairs Division, Strategic Affairs Ministry
  • Gal Lusky: head of Israel Flying Aid Foundation, which provides humanitarian relief in crisis situations around the world
  • Malka Piotrkowsky: Paved the way for women’s study of Torah and Talmud, honored for her work as a teacher and women’s rights activist
  • IDF Pvt. Dan Korkowsky, who is diagnosed on the Autistic Spectrum and serves with IDF Special Intelligence Unit 9900. He was joined by Sgt. Bat Chen Fumorchok, who leads the special needs soldiers’ division.

Fireworks lit up the skies in every town and city in Israel and in some places, in separate neighborhoods as well.

The annual International Bible Contest is scheduled to take place tomorrow (Thursday, Israeli Independence Day) at 11 am in Jerusalem, from where the event will be streamed over the Internet around the world. Contestants have been pared down to a final set of 67 competitors from 33 different nations, all of whom will be participating in Thursday’s event.

Israel’s Memorial Day

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

At 11:00 AM Wednesday morning, the 2-minute siren rang out throughout Israel in memory of Israel’s fallen.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Ruby Rivlin and Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot were at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem, while Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon presided at Tel Aviv’s Kiryat Shaul military cemetery.

Memorial Day began last night with a siren at 8pm and a ceremony at the Kotel.

23,320 Israelis have been killed in wars and terror attacks.

116 people were killed in the past year, including 67 soldiers and 5 civilians in Operation Protective Edge.

There are 535 soldiers whose burial place is unknown.

Over 270,000 virtual candles have been lit using and Israel Defense Ministry app.

Tonight, after sunset, Israel transitions into Independence Day.

Weather Forecast Rains Out BBQ for Yom Ha’Atzmaut

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

Israel’s favorite pastime on Yom Ha’Atzmaut is the Bar-B-Que, known in Hebrew as “mangal,” but it is going to be rained out in most of the country if the weather forecasters are right.

Predicting weather in Israel between winter and summer is tricky, and weather models differ on the amount of precipitation. Some forecast very heavy rain and others less than an inch.

All of them agree that it will be very windy and cold on Thursday, which would save Israelis from having to fan the coals if it weren’t for the probability that the coals will be too wet to light.

High winds and no rain would be a near-certain disaster for Israel’s few forests, which are dry enough to go up in flames if ignited by a spark for a mangal.

Yom Ha’Atzmaut is observed one day earlier than usual this year in order to prevent wholesale desecration of the Sabbath.

Remembrance Day ceremonies have been moved up to Tuesday night and Wednesday, followed by Independence Day the following day, which will be the 4th of Iyar instead of the actual date  of the 5th.

Temperatures will rise Sunday and Monday, when it will be warmer than usual for this time of year , but they will plunge on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by rain at night and on Thursday, possible as far south as the northern Negev.

Friday also will be wet and windy.

April is headed for the record books as the wettest ever.


Raising the Star

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Israeli workers raise a large Star of David (Magen David) onto the “Harp Bridge” at the entrance of Jerusalem on April 17, 2015, in honor of Israel’s upcoming Israel’s Memorial Day and the 67th Independence Day.

Israel will mark its 67th Independence Day on April 22, 2015.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/raising-the-star/2015/04/17/

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