New for Yom Ha’atzmaut and Yom HaZikaron

“As long as in the heart, within,

A Jewish soul still yearns,

And onward, towards the ends of the east,

An eye still gazes toward Zion.

Our hope is not yet lost,

The hope of two thousand years,

To be a free people in our land,

The land of Zion and Jerusalem.”

On the eve of Yom Hazikaron,

On Israel’s Remembrance Day for Soldiers and Victims of Terror

flame for memorial days Israel

flames are placed high above on many buildings.

It is a Day to Remember  every year.

military grave

 the young lives lost in too many wars.

There will be 23,320 Israeli flags placed,

one for each of those graves in cemeteries

located throughout Israel.

This past year 116 people were added to the list.

 Year after year much is the same,

as the sadness of Yom Hazikaron,

 is then transformed at nightfall into the celebrations of

sign Israel birthday

Israeli Independence Day.

I love the flyovers.

Knesset building with four planes flying near

 Even the dress rehearsal of the planes

woman looking at sky

attracts attention.

But you have to be quick to get a great photo

view of Jerusalem with 4 planes in formation

 and this year a bird got in my way.

Flags and planes are not the only symbols,

as you can see from this large Star of David hanging on the Chord Bridge.

In Israel, and especially in Jerusalem,

where there are so many ceremonies,

it can be hard to decide which one to attend.

 Some are prayer services.

This new Koren Yom Haazma’ut Mahzor,

with over 900 pages

new Koren mahzor

is a far cry from the xeroxed pages that we

used to use for Yom Ha’azmaut services.

This quality volume not only has all the prayer services

with full English translation and explanations,

but also includes services for

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day.

Included in the 248 pages of essays,

are both original writings and some English translations

 of works first published in Hebrew.

The essay “Six Knocks” by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik,

was written for Yom HaAtzmaut 1956,

but all you need to do is change some of the names

and it could have been written today.

This post began with the Koren translation of Hatikva.

It is difficult, even with photos,

to explain,

 year after year,

what happens in Israel on these holidays.

Perhaps this volume will help those in the Anglo world

to better understand the words of Hatikva.

Full disclosure,

I was pleased to see that so many people 

 I know were involved in preparation this book.

חג שמח

To Celebrate…62

Yom Ha’atzmaut

Israel Independence Day

6 Iyar 5770                   April 20, 2010

For many families the transition from Yom Hazikaron

into the celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut is difficult,

"picture Yom Hazikaron"

 going right after an intense day of mourning into party mode.

 But there were many and varied ways to celebrate this year,

62 years of the State of Israel.

Plenty of blue and white and flags,

   nighttime party options;

food and drink and music and fireworks…

 well into the night and morning hours.

For many families the day is begun

by watching the televised

International Bible Quiz

held at the Jerusalem Theater.

This year there was extra security,

as the Prime Minister’s son was the

finalist representing Jerusalem.

Provisions for extra security

were well under way the day before.

"picture President house Israel"

Located around the corner from the theater is Beit Hanasi, the President’s Residence

 where the annual Israel Prizes are awarded;

this could explain the blimp hovering over the area in the morning.

 The real Jerusalem streets were getting ready to celebrate,

parking spots on the sidewalk along Gan Sacher were filled quickly in the morning.

Not only was Gan Sacher full of people, but also

parks and nature strips all around the city and country, with people and mangals, BBQs,

the smell of grilled meat filled the air; a day for family and friend reunions.

Even the signs leading into Jerusalem were in holiday mode,

displaying holiday greetings and symbols, instead of the usual traffic congestion and accident warnings.

After dark Gan Sacher was still busy with people celebrating,

as the last remains of the charcoal turned to ash.

After all the celebrations,

people moved a little slow and looked a bit worn the next day.