Monday, May 1, 2017

Yom Ha’atzmaut 2017

Israel’s Independence Day is celebrated on the fifth day of the month of Iyar, which is the Hebrew date of the formal establishment of the State of Israel, when members of the “provisional government” read and signed a Declaration of Independence in Tel Aviv. The date corresponds to May 14, 1948. 

Yom Ha’atzmaut in Israel is always followed by Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day for the fallen soldiers. Conveying the message and of linking these two days is to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for Israel.

The “switch” from Yom Hazikaron to Yom Ha’atzmaut takes place a few minutes after sundown, with a ceremony on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, the flag is raised from half staff to the top of the pole. The president of Israel delivers a speech. 

For American Jews, celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut has been a way to express solidarity with the state of Israel.  In some communities during Yom Ha’atzmaut there would be an additional readings added to the service and, the singing of Hatikvah (the Israeli national anthem).

There is not a “tradition” of how to celebrate this holiday. For some it’s a day of celebration and others it’s a somber time. For Jews around the world, that remember Israelis celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut has become a link to the land of Israel.

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