Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Yom Ha'atsmaut here in Israel

Yom Ha'atzmaut, 5 Iyar is an important day in the Israeli Calendar.  It is the day that the British Mandate ended, and the Jewish State of Israel was declared.  This was a first in the history of the world, that the Jews finally had their own state, an idea that had been debated ever since the Dryfus Affair at the turn of the 19th Century.  

We should be grateful for Yom Ha'atzmaut. The way the the Israeli holiday calendar works is that the sad days turn into happy days.  This is what happened at the beginning of the State of Israel, the Jews of Europe were decimated by Hitler, and then the Jews gathered together, to say "Never Again!" and fought for their new state.  Today is Yom HaZikron, the Remembrance day, so last night there was a siren, as well as today.  Of course I stopped the car, but I was saddened by the sight of people who just kept on walking during siren's two minute wail. 

Maybe they are too far removed from the realities of war?  They don't have the "remembrance" that before the State of Israel, Jews were vulnerable wherever they lived?  The ultimate sacrifice  that our soldiers made, really made a difference.  We as Jews can feel proud that we have our own state.  I have taught English students from Arab countries as an on-line English teacher, and even now, in the modern world, there are people who are afraid to walk down the street.  Who will disappear tomorrow? 

This will not happen in the State of Israel. Because of our history, we are proud to be Jews, and we have a modern state, yes there are problems, but with Hashem's help, we can solve them. 

Rachael Alice Orbach

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