Two BIG Days in Israel

The country is on standby to cry, and then to dance; to contemplate, and then to celebrate. Memories and Miracles

Adapted from a “My Aliyah Monologue” entry written on a previous eve of Yom Hazikaron.

I have just returned home and have proudly hung two Israeli flags over our balcony. It has been a wonderful Pesach time. The Spring is here and is so beautiful. Bur now there is that quiet, calm Friday afternoon feeling out on the street, and in the tone of people’s voices. There is an air of hushed expectation over the city. Tonight and tomorrow is Yom Hazikaron.

Tomorrow night and Thursday we celebrate our country’s 64th anniversary. Miracle of miracles. The State of Israel was born, AND it has survived and grown and thrived. The greatest miracles of modern times have given birth to our country, and have sustained our country.

The agony and the ecstacy. The martyrs and the miracles. The highs and the lows.

As the Air Force formation team practices their display over our city, many households lick the wounds left by the loved ones whom they have lost, and prepare to express and share the unique, respectful and magnificent Israeli ritual born from the agonies of life in the State of Israel – memorializing those who died so that we can live our lives and sit in the sunshine in Jerusalem.

Yom Kippur runs into Sukkot. Tisha B’Av runs into holiday time. Yom Hazikaron runs into Yom Ha’atzmaut.

The flags are flying. The barbeque meat is in the fridge. The bands are waiting to play. The simcha is waiting to start tomorrow night –

But first we remember, and we pay tribute.

Everyone has a tekkes (memorial service) to which they will go to pay their respects at eight o’clock tonight – however personal or communal.

The country is on standby to cry, and then to dance; to contemplate, and then to celebrate. No wonder we Jews are such a manic people.

G-d has blessed our nation with miracles. 1947-8, 1967, 1973. The rest of the world could only watch with open mouths as He took Our side, and helped us to overcome in ways that defy the laws of logic and reason.

The rest He left to the people of Israel – a rag tag, cobbled together, hodge podge of refugees, survivors, and a few idealists and intellectuals, who were thrown together to make it work; spontaneously and with only a school-boy army.

It is another miracle that Israel has survived and has developed as magnificently as it has.

We must give thanks and celebrate.

Ben Gurion famously said in 1948: “If you don’t believe in miracles you are not realistic”.

We are so privileged to be here, and to be a part of it. It is beyond words. Yet we are minnows in a sea of a magnificent species who have truly given of themselves through the last sixty-four years, to the survival and to the building of our Homeland.

Tomorrow night Yom Hazikaron will run into Yom Ha’atzmaut, and then the country will turn into one big party. We are joining the street celebrations in town, and then watching the fireworks and celebrating at a barbeque. The nation will celebrate late into the night, and throughout the next day.

In the meantime, please pray for our country and for the souls of our brothers and sisters over the next two days. And I hope that you enjoy sharing in the momentous occasion of the 64th anniversary of the Jewish State, whatever you are doing.