Do the Israeli holidays, created by the secular state, have as much meaning and importance as the Torah holiday’s? Rabbi Mike Feuer joins Yishai on Spiritual Cafe to give meaning to Memorial Day and usher in, God’s Gift, Israeli Independence Day. Then, the Lone Soldiers Center hosts a very special English-speaking memorial for fallen IDF soldiers and Yishai was there.The Land of Israel
Could Israel Independence Day be the newest Biblical Holiday? The transition from solemnity and mourning on Memorial Day to the exuberant gratitude of Independence Day just moments later is like no other religious experience. Join Ari and Jeremy as they delve into the meaning of these days in this inspiring special for Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut.The Land of Israel
Eve is in the Galilee, musing on the most intense week in the Israeli calendar. Commemorating the Holocaust while Mourning Soldiers and Terror Victims while Celebrating Independence. How does it feel to be in Israel living history.The Land of Israel
President Reuven Rivlin’s Yom Ha’Atzmaut message to Jews in the Diaspora thanked them for contribution to the Jewish state but did not even whisper a hint that they should make Aliyah and come home.
Israel and Jews around the world celebrate Israel’s Independence Day Wednesday night and Thursday, one day before the usual date of the 5th of Iyar in order to avoid desecration of the eve of the Sabbath and celebrating through Friday evening.
This also is President Rivlin’s first year in office, and he did not even tiptoe the issue of Aliyah. He simply ignored it.
Suggesting Jews in the Diaspora to move to Israel usually is an itchy subject. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu angered some French leaders and especially the French government last year when he flatly stated after a terrorist attack on Jews at a kosher deli in Paris, “The State of Israel is not just the place to which you turn in prayer. The State of Israel is also your home.”
David Ben-Gurion, when he was Prime Minister in 1961, hit a brick wall in Baltimore when he told rags-to-riches millionaire Jacob Blaustein he expected several thousand American Jews to move to Israel every month.
Blaustein told Ben-Gurion, “American is our home.”
President Rivlin played it safe and patted American Jews on the back without ruffling any feathers.
He told them in the video that can be seen below:
Israel will forever be indebted to our friends and supporters abroad. Those who have contributed and continue to contribute to charities and foundations, those who have volunteered in the Israel Defense Forces even at times of war, those who stand up for Israel in the media – you are all part of the Israeli family, and should take joy and pride in Israel’s independence celebrations….
Together, we can work to ensure that Israel fulfills its promise of a Jewish and democratic country, with equality and freedoms for all its citizens.
I wish you all Chag Atzmaut Samayach and may we all enjoy a successful and prosperous Israel.
Americans, especially Jews, love to hear about “equality and freedom” in Israel. It makes them feel proud to be Jewish Americans – and not American Jews – so the non-Jewish community can huff and puff that the United States of America is the model for Israel.
America, the country where church is church and state is state and never the twain shall meet.
America, the melting pot.
America, where the assimilation rate among Jews is 70 percent.
If the Obama administration has not convinced American Jews to move to Israel, maybe Hillary Clinton can succeed.
Many Israeli communities celebrate Yom Ha’Atzma’ut with fireworks, and Shiloh is no exception. Decades ago, when we were living in Bayit V’Gan Jerusalem, only the big national and municipal ceremonies had such impressive displays. We could see the fireworks at Mount Herzl from our apartment and later on, when the trees got taller, from the roof of the building.
As is our custom here in Shiloh, we greet the festive day, making the transition from Memorial Day to celebrating Independence Day in the Mishkan (Tabernacle) Shiloh Synagogue when everyone comes to pray together, no matter which of the many Shiloh synagogues we normally pray in. First we pray Mincha, the afternoon prayer and then while waiting for nightfall, Rav Elchanan Bin-Nun gives an inspiring sermon. After that begins the Evening Prayer, Aravit which includes dancing and singing plus a long shofar blowing to remind us that the siren is modeled on the Jewish Biblical shofar.
I’m optimistic that things here in Israel will get better and better. It’s really up to us. That’s the “hope,” “Hatikvah,” which is based on faith in G-d.Batya Medad
Every year the moment comes when sadness and happiness have a strange meeting. I ask: Have I mourned enough for those who have sacrificed their lives? What is the width of the line that separates Israel’s Memorial Day and the Jewish State’s Independence Day?
In Israel, two special days take place one after the other – the very second that Memorial Day comes to an end, Israel Independence Day begins. It often feels as though there isn’t enough time to feel the sadness of Israel’s Memorial day–Yom Hazikaron, yet the celebrations of Independence day have already begun. Sometimes there is a inner-conflict in which the feelings of sadness have already faded and there is a restless wait until the celebrations begin.
This year, I experience this transition as a soldier for the first time. I joined the army just a few months ago, and am still trying to figure out how to carry the huge responsibility of protecting my family and country. Today, two contrasting moments come together and for me, raise many questions.
Why would someone make the decision to put these days together? I think that maybe it’s because it is the only way to really recognize why Israel is so precious to the Jewish people. The two days complete each other–the happiness rising from the grief.
Many times in life, you can only reach the top after you’ve been in the lowest place. My mother said to me once, “You can only become a complete person once you’ve had your heart broken in two.” That’s exactly the contrast I’m talking about–the juxtaposition of pain and joy – when remembrance becomes happiness. These days can only come together.
Now that I am part of IDF, I feel even stronger my personal connection to those fallen soldiers. They were mostly young soldiers just like I am and that realization is quieting. In their death, these soldiers pass on the heritage of loyalty and pride in the values of the IDF. I owe my life to them. We all do. These soldiers have motivated me to build a better future for Israel.
And here I am. With pride I bear my heritage. Now I’m the soldier who is defending Israel. I’m one of those who look after my nation. Now it is me who carries the responsibility on my own shoulders.
Israel Independence Day for me is pride in living. Here is the only place in the world where being a Jew is normal. We are living by our own rules, under our own principles and beliefs, not dependent on anyone else–that’s what it means to be independent. If those soldiers hadn’t fought and died with bravery, the present would be completely different. We wouldn’t have a reason to celebrate the great gift that they’ve given us. A dream of 2000 years that the Jewish people hoped would come true. This is the gift of Israel’s fallen soldiers, and this is why on Israel Independence Day–we celebrate!IDF Spokesperson's Office
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/idf-blog-blogs/a-soldiers-account-of-grief-to-happiness/2014/05/05/
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