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August 26, 2016 / 22 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘independence’

The Meaning of True Independence

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

{Originally posted to Col. Richard Kemp’s eponymous website}

“What kind of talk is this, ‘punishing Israel?’ Are we a vassal state of yours? Are we a banana republic? Are we 14-year-olds who, if we misbehave, get our wrists slapped? Let me tell you whom this Cabinet comprises. It is composed of people whose lives were marked by resistance, fighting and suffering.”

These were the words of Prime Minister Menachem Begin delivered to the U.S. President Ronald Reagan in December 1981. Begin, one of the greatest leaders and fighters of our times, knew the meaning of true independence.

He knew that it was not about firecrackers, dancing in the streets or lighting flames. It was about standing up for yourself and submitting to no man. Declaring to the world, “this is where we stand.”

Israel’s independence was bought at a high price in Jewish blood, fighting first against the might of the British Empire and then against five powerful Arab armies which sought its destruction.

For 68 years Israelis have fought again and again to defend their independence against enemies who would subjugate their country. No other nation has struggled so long and so hard, surrounded by such unyielding hostility.

But in making their stand, Israelis have never had to stand alone. From the beginning, Jews from the U.K., the U.S., Europe, Australia, South Africa and around the world rallied to the fight for independence under the glorious banner of the Mahal. Among them were non-Jews, including a Christian soldier from my own regiment.

In the years since, and even today, the courage of their young successors, the “lone soldiers”’ of the diaspora, travelling thousands of miles from the safety of their homes to stand and fight here to preserve Israel’s independence, inspires awe and humility. As Begin said: “This is the land of their forefathers, and they have a right and a duty to support it.”

Israel’s independence has a strength that cannot be known by those who have not had to struggle for their freedom. What is the meaning of this independence?

It means that Israel’s right to exist is not to be sanctioned by the peoples of the Middle East or by the leaders of the Western world. It is to be determined only by the Jewish people who, down the millennia, have fought, suffered and died for that inalienable right.

It means that Israel is not to have its borders imposed by international bodies or by foreign states, no matter how powerful they might be. It means that Israelis are not to be dictated to about where they can and cannot settle in their land. It means that Israel is not to be told how it may or may not defend the lives of its people under the sovereign independence of the law. It means that Israel is not to be lectured or scolded about human rights by those that have no glimmer of understanding of what human rights truly are.

The civilized world has an obligation to respect this independence just as it respects the independence of other free, democratic nations.

Israel has shown mankind how a besieged nation — against all odds — can survive and flourish, decide its own destiny and unwaveringly retain its honour, its decency, its dignity, its integrity and its compassion. It was not for nothing that British Premier Winston Churchill described the Jewish people as “beyond any question, the most formidable and most remarkable race which has appeared in the world.”

Today not just Israel but the whole of civilization should celebrate the independence of the nation that continues to shine a beacon light onto that world.

 

Colonel Richard Kemp

Israel’s Independence Day: We Have a Lot to Celebrate

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Candidly Speaking from Jerusalem}

Two weeks ago, we commemorated the genocidal murder of 6 million Jews – the most barbaric episode in our 2,000 years of exile which was sporadically interspersed with discrimination, persecution, expulsion and pogroms.

Last week, the nation mourned those who sacrificed their lives in the course of the creation and ongoing defense of our Jewish state.

Against this somber background, the next day, we celebrated the 68th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel.

This period evokes mixed feelings.

Our prayers for peace with our neighbors and our desperate hope that our children and grandchildren shall not be obliged to fight wars, remain but a dream with no respite on the horizon.

Moreover, those who believed that after Auschwitz, anti-Semites would represent an extinct species, were deluded and are dismayed at the upsurge of mankind’s most enduring hatred. Prior to the creation of the state of Israel, anti-Semites accused Jews of being the source of all the evils confronting mankind. Today hatred of the Jew as an individual has been transcended by global hatred of the Jewish state, which is widely perceived as the prime source of global instability, the greatest threat to peace and one of the most oppressive countries in the world. This warped view is promoted at a time when the Dark Ages of barbarism have returned to the region, with millions being killed, displaced and denied human rights.

Moreover, even Western countries – especially Europe, whose soil was soaked with Jewish blood during the Holocaust – once again stand by and either abstain or even formally support efforts to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state. It is somewhat like a déjà vu of the world’s indifference to the Nazi extermination of the Jewish people.

But, on Independence Day, while fully conscious of the evil surrounding us, we must resist the whining of the prophets of doom in our ranks.

We should celebrate that we are the most blessed Jewish generation in 2,000 years.

Jewish youngsters today graduating from schools and universities have no appreciation of the fear and insecurity that dominated the lives of Jews before the creation of the state empowered us.

As we follow the chilling anti-Semitic tsunami in Europe, including recent expressions in the British Labour Party, and observe European Jews once again being transformed into pariahs, we are angered rather than fearful. That is because a Jewish state guarantees that today Jews threatened with murder or oppression have a haven.

We should celebrate the fact that Israel has created the most powerful military force in the region. Our tiny state is one of the top 10 world military powers, with the ability to deter and defend itself against the combined forces of all our adversaries. Could Holocaust survivors, Jews oppressed in Arab countries, or Soviet Jews facing anti-Semitism 70 years ago, have even remotely dreamed that their descendants would enjoy the status we have achieved in an empowered Israel? That alone provides boundless grounds for rejoicing.

Furthermore, we have cause to celebrate the ingathering of our exiles, ranging from broken survivors of concentration camps to Ethiopian Jews – and the extraordinary success in which these Jews from all corners of the world and different levels of society have been molded into a vibrant nation.

Our political system is frequently condemned as dysfunctional and only a small percentage of our more talented citizens are tempted to enter into professional politics. Yet, the fact remains that despite being the only country in the world whose existence is constantly challenged, and facing ongoing terrorism and wars, we have succeeded in retaining one of the most democratic systems in the world.

Indeed, our freedom of expression and robust press has frequently been condemned for being over indulgent in providing platforms for elements promoting our enemies. We rightfully grant full equality to Arab Israelis, notwithstanding that their radical parliamentary representatives support our enemies and demonize their own state.

Our legal system, despite its weaknesses and the controversy over the excessive interventionist power of the High Court, ensures that all Israelis are treated with equality. Indeed the fact that a president, prime minister and senior cabinet ministers were indicted, convicted and imprisoned, highlights the proper functioning of our legal system. This, too, is an aspect of life in which we should take pride and celebrate.

We are blessed to have one of the most robust economies in the world and we must rejoice in the fact that we have more new high-tech initiatives and startups per capita than any other nation. Not to mention that over the past decade, our own desalination processes have overcome an endemic drought condition and, despite prevarications, we will in future become a gas exporting nation.

Beyond this, we can take pride in our vibrant cultural and religious life. This is a Jewish state that pulsates in accordance with the Jewish calendar, catering for religiously observant as well as secular streams. There is also positive evidence that more of the ultra-Orthodox are serving in the army and entering the workforce and there is gradual and steady progress of their integration into mainstream society. By and large, aside from the excessive influence of the ultra-Orthodox establishment and the Chief Rabbinate, there is a broad spiritual awakening and greater understanding between the various sectors of Israeli society.

The Israeli Jewish identity is still evolving, but at a time when assimilation and intermarriage are having a devastating impact on the number of Diaspora Jews, Israel guarantees the continuity of the Jewish people. This, too, is something to celebrate.

Finally, we should rejoice that, aside from parochial politics, the nation is today more united than it has been since the great divide over the Oslo Accords. Whether one supports or opposes Benjamin Netanyahu as leader, it is clear that the reason for the failure in peace negotiations is due to the Palestinian determination to bring about an end to Jewish sovereignty. We should be celebrating that today, aside from the extreme Left and Right, there is a consensus on these issues with the major Zionist political parties in accord that our objective is to separate ourselves from the Palestinians, but that for security reasons, we cannot move forward until a genuine peace partner emerges from their ranks.

So as we celebrate 68 years of statehood, we should dismiss the doomsayers and rejoice at our extraordinary achievements. If we review the progress we have made since 1967 – despite misgivings about retaining the status quo – we have every reason to celebrate this Independence Day. That in recent years Israelis have consistently polled as one of the happiest nations in the world, speaks for itself.

We pray that, with the help of the Almighty, we will continue to flourish and grow even stronger and ultimately realize our dreams for peace with our neighbors.

Isi Leibler

Newest Israelis Do Independence Day the Israeli Way

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

By Michael Zeff/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – As Israel marks its 68th Independence Day, millions of citizens take to the streets and squares of the country to attend parties, street dancing, barbecues, or concerts open to the public. While some of them celebrate the country’s independence for the 68th time, among the joyful multitudes of Israelis are the newest citizens, recent immigrants known in Hebrew as olim.

Many of these new Israelis expressed amazement at how the day is celebrated in Israel in contrast with their native countries.

“In France people don’t care about their Independance Day, but here everyone takes out their Israeli flags and people are proud. It’s a real celebration,” Deborah Bertrand, a 20-year-old from the French Riviera city of Nice, told Tazpit Press Service (TPS).

Bertrand immigrated to Israel a year ago and is now serving in the IDF. “I feel enormous pride to be in the Israeli army,” she said.

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, 36,000 olim arrived in Israel since last Independence Day. In 2015, 7,900 French Jews immigrated to Israel, against the backdrop of a wave of anti-Semitic attacks in the country. The second largest group of olim came from the Ukraine with almost 7,000 people.

Dimitri Arutiunov, a 24-year-old immigrant from war-ravaged Ukraine, described the difference between his previous Ukranian Independence Days and the one in Israel.

“The most obvious difference to me is the fact that in Israel Independence Day is celebrated only after a Memorial Day is observed,” he told TPS.

“Before celebrating the nation’s independence, the country honors those who are responsible for it. It’s unique,” Arutiunov explained. “In the Ukraine and Russia, people don’t even know who is fighting for their country and who dies.”

Nina Rabinowitz, a 29-year old from New Jersey, immigrated to Israel just a few months ago and also noticed a distinct difference in the local Independence Day spirit.

“In the U.S. it feels like a duty or a requirement, but here in Israel it’s just cool that the whole country is celebrating,” Rabinowitz told TPS. “It feels much more like a holiday.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

True Jewish Independence

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Several years back, I spent Yom Ha’Atzma’ut with my relatives from a charming moshav in the Negev. They live a stone’s throw from Gaza. Translated in concrete terms relating to life and limb, these are the kinds of people who have approximately 15 seconds-or less-to find cover before rockets rain down upon them. During Round 1 of the unfinished debacle of “Operation Cast Lead,” one side of the family sustained a direct hit to their house from a Grad rocket. Thank G-d, no one was harmed.

As I held the remains of two Kassam rockets, (the Grad was quickly confiscated by the IDF, and probably given to some leftist who went on to create metal peace doves out of the remains) I considered what the modern day Amalek is getting away with in our times. I was standing in the sovereign State of Israel, and yet I might as well have been standing in blood-soaked Europe. It doesn’t matter what Israel could theoretically do to these sub-humans. The unwillingness of our leadership to destroy our enemies, and their willingness to tolerate murdered Jews is unforgivable. This is the “shtetl syndrome” personified. But there is a critical difference. There were few choices in the shtetl. In Eretz Yisrael, G-d gifted us a country and a powerful army.

It is unwillingness, rather than inability to fight, which prevents our timid leaders from destroying these savages. This is not independence. This is a denial of our ability to be free from Arabs in our own country. This is Jewish weakness. This is a modern re-enactment of the sin of the spies. Our own leadership views us as grasshoppers, and often treat our lives with similar regard.

My relative’s house has long been repaired, yet the tool shed remains a testament to Arab destruction. Hundreds of holes, large and small, litter the shed, in addition to an adjoining stone wall, courtesy of shrapnel shards that pierced their walls. Some holes are at neck, skull, and torso level, and if a person was in the vicinity, they would be dead or wounded unimaginably from the shards alone.

Alone in My Head

I often feel alone on Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Don’t misunderstand me— I don’t grill burgers by myself in the backyard. The better part of Yom Ha’atzmaut is spent in the company of family and friends. We grill together, and even if the hot-dogs leave me wanting some American “Abel & Heyman” dogs, the company and camaraderie are always good. I speak of an ideological loneliness. An inability to relate to the world-view of those around me. The religious in my corner of the desert are overwhelmingly from that camp of religious mamlachtim (loyalists) whose views on Jewish governance are far from my own. My vision is that of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s teachings, a fusion of rational, action based obligations based upon Torah, and so I cannot relate to those well-intended Jews whose fervor for the day is so different from my own. Nor can I abide those who see the question of Hallel with or without a bracha as an expression or barometer of one’s Zionism, such as it is.

Their version of “Religious-Zionism” (As a halachic Jew, I hate the term) is too parve for my liking. Too positive and “pie-in-the sky,” when glaring problems demand rectification. I accept the obligation to recognize and celebrate our victory over the Arabs, yemach sh’mam. But not with blind loyalism, orchestrated ceremony, and compromising on the halachic laws of warfare and gentiles in the land. The religious do not see the problems as I see them. They have magical solutions from Rabbis I respect (some of them) but cannot follow. Many distort Jewish sources to apply the category of B’nai Noach to undeserving Arabs, as many normative yeshiva daati leumi are wont to do. So the Religious-Zionism that is popular leave me wanting a Yom Haatzmaut with more edge. With a spine. With a desire and a resolve to want true torah independence–and a willingness to fight for it.

I cannot dance when killers are freed, and when Jewish innocents are tortured and imprisoned. I cannot truly celebrate when an IDF general compares us to Germany in the 1930’s on Yom Hashoah! Or when elderly women are stabbed by Arabs in Jerusalem. I cannot endure that Har Habayit prohibits Jewish prayer, and that the Arab losers are the victors atop our sacred site. I cannot abide the unfinished work. Perhaps the greatest personal difficulty is the desire to want to fight, and the limited means at my disposal at the moment.

Nor do the secular celebrations have any connection to me, save for the loud Mizrachi music and karaoke which will wake my baby up throughout the night. The contemporary secular celebration of Yom Ha’atzma’ut is a spectacle of fireworks, party favors, and naked nationalism that blinds the eyes.  Sometimes simplicity and nonsense give way to perversion. Several years back our former notorious mayor, had a noted Israeli transsexual musician perform for the town on Yom Haatzmaut. Fortunately, I never attend these things, and so my disgust at this humiliation was second-hand. And fortunately that wicked little mayor is gone, and in her stead, we have a thoroughly decent man.

I don’t blame secular Jews. Secular Jews have a better excuse. They have no reference for a Torah perspective. The religious have much more to explain. And I speak of all different groups. Those who deny the miracles, as well as those who accept and celebrate them, but tolerate corrupt government because they view government per say as a sacred institution. Sacred in its inherent form, and not something which requires sanctification. There are of course other groups of religious Jews throughout the country whose views are equally anathema to me. For example, the religious pluralists who think that Torah and liberal democracy can be fused.

Perhaps so much of my feelings of isolation is that I am geographically far from like-minded Jews, who understand that we have unfinished business. This in a sense is why I always spend the day with certain relatives, whose views on just about everything relating to Israel are foreign to my own. They are the warmest people I know, and they embraced my transplanted family with true ahavat yisroel. If I cannot enjoy ideological commonality, I will substitute it with celebrations with the those I love who don’t even share my perspective. So I celebrate with them, and in my heart I burn for a day when true Jewish happiness fuels all Yom Haatzmaut celebrations. A Yom Haatzmaut free of Arabs murdering Jews because there will be no Arabs in Israel.

As Jews we have an obligation to thank G-d for the many undeserved miracles He performed (and continues to perform) on our behalf when the Arabs rose up to annihilate us. We are required to thank him despite the fact that some Jews spit at the heavens and scorn the gift. But I’ll celebrate Independence Day with a little more fervor when the Jewish people returns to the Torah. I’ll rejoice fully when laws of biblical warfare are resurrected in the war with the Arabs (may we see them destroyed in total). Because there is no authentic independence in Israel. We are still at war with the Arabs.

Nor would mere freedom from man be an ends in itself. Kedoshim Tihiyu. As I noted in a recent article, the only free man is the G-d fearing one concerned with the Torah. May we become free in the near future, so that the next time the chag comes around, we can refer to ourselves as being truly independent of man and men, and as genuine Servants of the Almighty.

One final point. The haunting sirens of this season do indeed resonate with me, and I have no cynicism for the custom, only for the failure of leadership to learn the lessons. It evokes all kinds of emotions. The simplicity of the blaring shriek is somewhat akin to the shofar. It is blaring. It evokes fear, the unknown, introspection, and so many others. It demands that we recall the heroism and sacrifice of sacred martyrs who died Al Kiddush Hashem. It reminds me of our accursed enemies and the mandate to obliterate evil. Thoughts of teshuva, both personal and national come to mind. I hope that our leaders will truly listen to the siren.

I am thankful to Hashem for the tremendous miracles He performed from us, and the salvation from modern day Amalekites. I acknowledge and appreciate that despite the myriad problems with our clueless and G-dless leaders, we are back in Eretz Yisrael, and we could bring Moshiach tomorrow if the Nation had the inclination to do so. Even in the muck of the negative, of the indifference, and the frustrating manifestations of Jewish weakness which stains the Nation, there are historically unprecedented positives. We are one step closer.

And so I await the day when we see true Jewish fireworks, and merit the authentic Jewish independence of the Messiah, may we see him in our times. Perhaps someday soon, the IDF will have a real man of Torah at the helm who will unshackle our soldiers and allow them to fight the enemy, in the manner that the Torah demands we fight wars. Tikkun Olam with an M-16, if you will. And on that day, perhaps there won’t be any question at all about the Halachic requirement of reciting Hallel with a brachah.

*I refrained from addressing the perverse ideology of Neturei Karta, and various off-shoots (some of them trying to be a more palpable Neturei Karta lite) who are as far from Judaism as man is from the moon. Any doctrine which permits alliances with people committed to murdering Jews, is contrary to everything Jewish, and the adherents of such a diseased way of thinking are wicked. The sins of Israeli governments (both real and imagined) do not justify their own vile actions which endanger the Am and constitute a chillul Hashem on the world’s stage. They must not be lumped with more normative chareidi approaches which reject Zionism based on their interpretation (wrong as I may see them) of Jewish sources. Those religious post-Zionist types who apologize for the NK by calling them “misguided” betray their ignorance of Torah, and speak little of themselves. The same can be said for those vulgarians who reject the moniker of “Neturei Karta” but have adopted their grotesque language with terms such as lsraHELL, Zionazis, etc., and equally un-Jewish worldviews. May Hashem open the eyes of all decent Jews to find Torah expressions to sanctify the Nation and bring Moshiach.

 

Donny Fuchs

IDF, Police, Foil Overnight Attempt to Celebrate Independence Day in Ruined Settlement

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Hundreds of Jewish patriots, including many who had been evicted from the two Jewish villages in Northern Samaria, Homesh and Sa-Nur, back in 2005, on Wednesday night, Israel’s 68th Independence Day, went back to revisit their demolished homes, only to be blocked by military and police forces.

The large group ran into several barricades which had been positioned by IDF soldiers in every possible access road to Sa-Nur, including roads leading from local Arab villages.

The event was planned as a combination celebration/protest, demanding to let Jews return to their old homes, from which they had been exiled by the Sharon government, with tacit approval from then Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The expulsion of Jews from north Samaria was done at the same time as thousands more Jews were forced out of the Gaza Strip.

The name Sa-Nur is a Hebrew paraphrase of the name of the nearby Arab village Sanur. The Hebrew name was proposed by the late composer/songwriter Naomi Shemer, and it means Carry a Light. The community was established in October 1977 and destroyed on August 23, 2005.

The families and their supporters who tried to return home argued that many who at the time supported the “disengagement” — the laundered name for the forced expulsion of more than 8,000 Jews — today recognize it was an abysmal failure that led to three consecutive wars in Gaza. “There’s no reason, from a security or a moral point of view, not to let the people of Homesh and Sa-Nur come home.”

Indeed, what would better express Israel’s independence than allowing the thriving communities of northern Samaria thrive again.

MK Bezalel Smotrich, who participated in the interrupted event, issued a statement saying, “There is no better fitting day than Independence Day for returning to the settlement of Sa-Nur to celebrate there our state’s independence. No demand is more righteous than the demand of these families. With God’s help, we will merit once more to return to our settlements and renew our independence across the Land of Israel. Happy Independence Day.”

JNi.Media

The Meaning of True Independence

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Colonel’s website, Colonel Richard Kemp}

“What kind of talk is this, ‘punishing Israel?’ Are we a vassal state of yours? Are we a banana republic? Are we 14-year-olds who, if we misbehave, get our wrists slapped? Let me tell you whom this Cabinet comprises. It is composed of people whose lives were marked by resistance, fighting and suffering.”

These were the words of Prime Minister Menachem Begin delivered to the U.S. President Ronald Reagan in December 1981. Begin, one of the greatest leaders and fighters of our times, knew the meaning of true independence.

He knew that it was not about firecrackers, dancing in the streets or lighting flames. It was about standing up for yourself and submitting to no man. Declaring to the world, “this is where we stand.”

Israel’s independence was bought at a high price in Jewish blood, fighting first against the might of the British Empire and then against five powerful Arab armies which sought its destruction.

For 68 years Israelis have fought again and again to defend their independence against enemies who would subjugate their country. No other nation has struggled so long and so hard, surrounded by such unyielding hostility.

But in making their stand, Israelis have never had to stand alone. From the beginning, Jews from the U.K., the U.S., Europe, Australia, South Africa and around the world rallied to the fight for independence under the glorious banner of the Mahal. Among them were non-Jews, including a Christian soldier from my own regiment.

In the years since, and even today, the courage of their young successors, the “lone soldiers”’ of the diaspora, travelling thousands of miles from the safety of their homes to stand and fight here to preserve Israel’s independence, inspires awe and humility. As Begin said: “This is the land of their forefathers, and they have a right and a duty to support it.”

Israel’s independence has a strength that cannot be known by those who have not had to struggle for their freedom. What is the meaning of this independence?

It means that Israel’s right to exist is not to be sanctioned by the peoples of the Middle East or by the leaders of the Western world. It is to be determined only by the Jewish people who, down the millennia, have fought, suffered and died for that inalienable right.

It means that Israel is not to have its borders imposed by international bodies or by foreign states, no matter how powerful they might be. It means that Israelis are not to be dictated to about where they can and cannot settle in their land. It means that Israel is not to be told how it may or may not defend the lives of its people under the sovereign independence of the law. It means that Israel is not to be lectured or scolded about human rights by those that have no glimmer of understanding of what human rights truly are.

The civilized world has an obligation to respect this independence just as it respects the independence of other free, democratic nations.

Israel has shown mankind how a besieged nation — against all odds — can survive and flourish, decide its own destiny and unwaveringly retain its honour, its decency, its dignity, its integrity and its compassion. It was not for nothing that British Premier Winston Churchill described the Jewish people as “beyond any question, the most formidable and most remarkable race which has appeared in the world.”

Today not just Israel but the whole of civilization should celebrate the independence of the nation that continues to shine a beacon light onto that world.

Colonel Richard Kemp

Uruguay Introduces Prayer for Israel Independence Day

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016
May 9, 2016, Montevideo, Uruguay — The Chief Rabbinate of Uruguay announced that on Israel Independence Day, the Jewish community of Uruguay will hold a community-wide celebratory prayer on the evening of May 11th, coinciding with the celebrations in Israel. At that service, a new prayer will also be introduced besides the additions suggested by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

The prayers will be held at the Hebraica-Macabi sports complex of Montevideo and is being organized by the Zionist Organization of Uruguay, under the leadership of their president Sami Mylsztejn. “I am extremely happy that we have been able to bring together the entire Uruguayan community for this special event,” stated Mr. Mylsztejn. “This is what gives our people strength. Unity.”

At the communal service an additional prayer will be recommended for the festive liturgy. The prayer, titled “Al Hanisim le’Yom Haatzamaut” (meaning, For the Miracles for the Day of Independence), is a new prayer that was composed by Chief Rabbi Ben-Tzion Spitz, together with Dr. Avi Shmidman of Bar-Ilan University in 2009.

The prayer follows the style and form of other prayers of thanksgiving, specifically those composed for the Jewish holidays of Hanuka and Purim. In the years since Spitz and Shmidman composed the prayer it has made its way to individuals and communities around the world who recite it on Israel Independence Day. However, this is the first time it has been embraced by the Jewish community of an entire country.

“It is a great honor that so many people have found meaning and an articulation of spiritual joy through our prayer,” Rabbi Spitz explained. “The formation of the State of Israel is nothing less than a modern-day miracle for the entire Jewish people. It is our obligation to thank God for his overt involvement in its creation, for returning us to our homeland after our exile of two thousand years. We are witnesses to a historic process, and for many Jews, observant or otherwise, they connect with the words of our liturgy on this day of celebration either as a stand-alone prayer, or as a part of the prescribed liturgy.”

The full text of the prayer as well as translations into English, Spanish and Portuguese can be found at http://alhanisim.blogspot.com

English translation below:

And for the miracles, and for the salvation, and for the mighty deeds, and for the victories, and for the battles which You performed for our forefathers in those days, at this time.
 In the days of the ingathering of the remnant of Israel from the lands of darkness and the shadow of death to their beloved inheritance, pioneers of the nation arose, raised the flag, composed a declaration, and claimed the right of the nation to be established with its own consent, as a Jewish government in the land of its birth. With song and dance, women and children, the old and the young, celebrated on the streets with joy and rejoicing. At that same time, their enemies converged forthwith, to eliminate all trace of Israel from the land, and to push into the sea all the keepers of its faith. But You hurried forth to rescue your nation. You strengthened the hands of their defenders, and destroyed the weapons of their enemies. A revival of glory you made, a country of beauty you established, the beginning of the longing of the generations, a refuge and a fortress for the return of all Your people.
al hanisim

 

Rabbi Ben-Tzion Spitz

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/holidays/uruguay-introduces-prayer-for-israel-independence-day/2016/05/10/

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