Posts Tagged With: Israel Independence Day

Israel At 68

Shalom Y”all:

Beginning last night and ending nightfall this evening, Israelis celebrate Yom YaZicharon- the Day of Remembrance. This is Israel’s Memorial Day, the day on which Israel commemorates and pays tribute to Israelis who sacrificed their lives for their country or were killed by terrorists. Unlike America’s Memorial Day which marks the unofficial start of summer and is celebrated by going to the beach and barbecuing, Remembrance Day in Israel is a solemn affair. Sirens sound, the media tells stories of the fallen, and people visit graves of soldiers killed in the line of duty and people felled by terrorist attacks. It may be that the reason Israelis take this day so seriously is because since most Israelis serve in the military or have relatives who do so, death through conflict is not as remote a possibility. Furthermore,  since Israel is such a small country, many many Israelis know someone who paid the ultimate sacrifice, or was injured in conflict, or through a terrorist attack.

As night falls over Israel, the celebration shifts from one of solemnity to one of jubilation- Israel Independence Day has begun. The juxtaposition of the two days reminds all that freedom is not free; it is achieved only through the sacrifice of others.

Although the current State of Israel is only 68 years young, about 3,000 years ago King David defeated the Jebusites and established the capitol of  the first independent Jewish kingdom in Jerusalem. Jews ruled Jerusalem for over five hundred years. They lost their independence when the Romans conquered the city in the year 66 (over five hundred years before the birth of Mohammed) and did not regain it until 1948.

What’s happened to Israel during the last 68 years? Israel has been involved in 13 military conflicts, eight of them  wars. These repeated military actions have resulted in the deaths of  23, 447 Israelis. This past year alone there were 68 Israeli casualties of terrorism. Israel today has 9,000 families who have lost a loved one to war or terrorism, including close to 5,000 war widows. Israel is currently threatened by Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS, Iran and the Palestinians.

In efforts to make peace, Israel uprooted 2,500 people from the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula (Yamit) as part of the peace treaty with Egypt. As a peace offering to the Palestinians, about 9,000 Israeli citizens were expelled from their homes in Gaza and in four towns on the West Bank,

How has the world reacted to Israeli’s presence in the family of nations?  For the most part by trying to: isolate Israel, delegitimize it and ultimately end its existence. It has even resorted to rewriting history. For example, UNESCO’s executive board recently adopted a resolution ignoring the Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall and pronouncing these and two other biblical Jewish sites,  Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs, to be Islamic holy sites. It referred to Hebron and Bethlehem as, “Palestinian sites.” 33 countries voted for this resolution, while only six countries- Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States-  voted against the resolution. Among the countries supporting the resolution were such Christian countries as France, Spain and Sweden. How they could do so when they know that the New Testament speaks of the  Jewish Temple in Jerusalem  and that  Jesus the Jew preached in Jewish Jerusalem hundreds of years before Mohammed was born, speaks to the lack of concern for truth and the power of Islamic constituencies within these countries.

Israel is also plagued by countless NGOS within its borders whose sole purpose is to harm Israel. For an in depth look at what these NGOS and some countries are doing to besmirch Israel, read Catch the Jew, by Tuvia Tenenbom.

Why the wish for Israel’s demise? The existence of the State of Israel is an anathema to those who hate Jews. Instead of Jews being totally subject to the whims of the governments in the countries in which they reside, 43% of the Jews in the world now reside in Israel, a country which is economically stable and has its own defense forces. So to try to bring about the downfall of Israel, the Jew haters criticize virtually every Israeli action. In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted 20 resolutions against Israel, but only 3 resolutions against all the other countries in the world- one against the Syrian regime, which has already murdered 200,000 of its people, one against Iran and one on North Korea. No resolution was adopted against human rights abuses in China, Cuba, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, etc.

The BDS movement is alive and well and continues to gain new supporters. Since  criticizing Israel is accepted, it’s not very far from there to anti semitic rants against Jews everywhere. One has only to see the signs carried by protestors in Seattle during anti Israel demonstrations during the Gaza war to see how this has translated to raw anti-semitism. http://www.ruthfullyyours.com/2014/07/16/shocking-anti-semitic-hatefest-in-seattle-appalling-must-see-pictures/

Anti-semitism is now espoused by many groups on the left, including Britain’s Labor Party. Anti Semitism is also on the rise in Europe and Islamic terrorists now routinely target Jews in places such as France. Therefore, among the 36, 000 people who immigrated to Israel last year, about 8,000 were from France. This number is expected to rise.

The Palestinians continue in their efforts to get Israel to make dangerous concessions by using the power of public relations to tell tales that aren’t  true, which most of the world is all too ready to accept.  France and others will soon try to force Israel to make dangerous, one sided, concessions at the Paris “Peace Conference” which, if adopted,  will result in strengthening Hamas and creating additional threats to Israel and the moderate Middle Eastern countries.

So on this 68th birthday, why should Israel celebrate? All this misery, loss of life and hatred are depressing at best. How has Israel reacted? By adopting an attitude of life must go on and let’s live life to the fullest. Israel has become the  “Start Up Nation ” and has invented many of the world’s most innovative products and services such as: amniocentesis, drip irrigation, desalination, drones, baby monitors, office printers, instant messaging, Pillcam, flash drives, Centrino computer ships, Waze,  and Get Taxi. Israel’s concern for others has led it to participate in many humanitarian efforts including being the first on the scene to give relief after Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, and among the first to send aid to Japan after its 2011 earthquake. Almost daily, Israel rescues wounded Syrians from the war in Syria and treats them is Israeli hospitals. These Syrians are probably enemies of Israel and many may be members of Al Quaida affiliated groups. Since 2013, more than 2,000 Syrians  have been saved. This despite the fact that Syria has no diplomatic relations with Israel and has fought against it.

Israel’s military is among the strongest and most moral armies in the world, even notifying civilians in targeted areas (“roof knocking”) of upcoming attacks. ( The United States forces have now begun to do this in Iraq). Ultra Orthodox Jews and Arabs within Israel, especially Christian Arabs, are beginning to volunteer for the Israeli Army. (Like Jews, Druze Arabs are conscripted into the army and are truly loyal Israeli citizens.) Israel’s economy is robust. And, of course, unlike most Arab countries who refused to accept Palestinian refugees and now Syrian refugees, Israel absorbed millions of Jewish refugees, many from underdeveloped countries. Finally, polls indicate that Israel is one of the happiest countries in the world.

So let’s celebrate Israel’s miraculous existence and wish it a true peace with all its neighbors.

Categories: Israel, Jerusalem, Jewish, Jewish Blog, Jewish Holidays, Middle East, Politics, Pro Israel Post, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel Memorial Day and Independence Day

Shalom:

Beginning Sunday night, May 4, through Tuesday evening, May 6, Israelis experienced a whirlwind of emotions. On these two days, Israelis celebrated Yom Hazikaron, Memorial Day and Yom Haatzmaut, Independence Day.

While America also celebrates Memorial Day and Independence Day, Israeli Memorial Day is very different day than Memorial Day in America. Independence Day celebrations are much more similar.

In America, Memorial Day weekend, the last weekend of May, marks the start of summer and is a weekend of sales, barbecues, parades, and other fun activities. The Indianapolis 500 is held the day before Memorial Day, Sunday , as is the Coca Cola 600 stock car race.

On Monday, Memorial Day, the day Americans are supposed to commemorate those who died while serving in the U.S. military service, some people visit cemeteries and memorials honoring those who died defending the country. Parades featuring military marching bands, servicemen and vehicles, are held in many cities throughout the U.S. The flag is flown at half-staff till noon and raised to full staff for the rest of the day. The National Memorial Day concert is held on the west lawn of the US Capitol. Also, traditionally, the President of the United States lays a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery and delivers a speech in remembrance of those who died serving their country, although sometimes Presidents have asked their Vice Presidents to fulfill this duty. Other Americans simply barbecue, go to the beach, or otherwise enjoy the day.

Independence Day, July 4, is a totally separate holiday and not connected in anyway to Memorial or Veteran’s Day.

Contrast this with the Israeli celebrations of their Memorial Day and Independence Day.

Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial day, begins at sundown and ends at sundown the following day, as do all major Jewish Holidays. While Yom Hazikaron has been traditionally dedicated to the remembrance of fallen soldiers, those civilians killed in terrorist attacks are now also included.  

At 8PM, on the night of Yom Hazikaron, a one minute siren is sounded throughout the country to mark the beginning of the Israel’s Day of Remembrance ceremonies. All are requested to stand still in silence as the siren sounds. Many religious Jews say prayers for the fallen. The official ceremony marking the beginning of the day is held at that time at the Western Wall. The Israeli Flag is lowered to half-staff.  A muffled trumpet plays taps. A candle lighting ceremony with speeches honoring the fallen is held at the Western Wall with the Israeli President, Army Chief of Staff, and family members of the slain in attendance. Other solemn gatherings are held throughout the country.

The next morning, a second siren, lasting for two minutes is sounded at 11 A.M. Again, all are requested to stand still in silence for the duration of the siren. This second siren marks the beginning of the official ceremonies at all military cemeteries throughout the country. The main service is held at the military cemetery on Har Hertzl in Jerusalem. Families of the fallen, high level government representatives and members of the public are in attendance.

Memorial ceremonies throughout the country are attended by the families of the fallen, public figures and representatives of the government, police, security forces, and the public. The central service is held at the military cemetery on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem. Special prayers are said and public figures give speeches remembering the fallen and praising their sacrifice. The ceremonies often end with a military gun salute.

Throughout the day, the media broadcasts stories about those who died and their heroic acts and interviews with families of the slain. The music played befits the day. Many stores are closed and the day is a somber one.

At 1 PM a service is held at Mt Hertzl in memory of victims of terrorist acts.

At about 8PM, the torch-lighting ceremony at Mt. Herzl is the closing event of Memorial Day, and the opening ceremony of Israel Independence Day. The Israeli flag is returned to full staff and the festivities begin.

Israeli communities host their own Yom Hazikaron and Yom Haatzmaut, Israeli Independence day celebrations.

In Bet Shemesh, at one synagogue, the end of Yom Hazikaron was marked by short student readings of a number of biographies of fallen soldiers and civilians killed by terrorist acts. As the bios were read, the person’s picture was projected on the outside synagogue wall. Many in the audience were brought to tears.

At the conclusion of the readings, students performed a flag dance, signaling the end of Memorial day and the start of Independence day. Special Independence Day services were held in the synagogue including responsive Hebrew reading, a very long Shofar blast, acknowledgment of the Lord’s sovereignty  and a wish for Jerusalem to be brought to its full glory. At the conclusion of the services, free falafel was distributed to those in attendance.

Yom Hazikaron leads Into  Yom Haatmaut

Truly Meaningful.

That night, Bet Shemesh also held a large free concert highlighting the Gat Brothers and Eyal Golan, a very well known Israeli singer.

Gat Brothers in Bet Shemesh

Hassidic Gat Brothers Sing Simon and Garfunkel

Festivities also took place at the Western Wall, other parts of Jerusalem, and in cities and communities throughout  the country. Fireworks were visible throughout Jerusalem, Tel Aviv  and the rest of the country, as was community dancing.

That night and the next day the smell of barbecues permeated the air. Many went to beaches and parks to do the grill thing.

The Memorial Day of solidarity and solemnity, which pays tribute to the fallen, makes the Independence Day celebration immediately following it much more meaningful and joyous. People understand that you cannot have freedom and independence without the sacrifice of the brave.

Freedom is not free.

 

Categories: Israel, It Happened In Israel, Jewish, Yom Haatzmaut, Yom Hazikaron | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel Independence Day

Shalom Y’All:

Israel Independence Day is coming up. It’s begins on the night of April 15 and ends nightfall April 16. The state of Israel was created in 1948, so Israel is turning 65 this year. Quite an achievement for a country surrounded by enemies.

To celebrate its miraculous existence, JewTee has created a new design which appears on t shirts, sweatshirts, jerseys, hoodies, golf shirts,pajamas,  bibs, onesies, hats, mugs and tote bags.

Here’s what it looks like:

Israel At 65 Golf Shirt

Israel Now and Forever!

To see our entire collection of Israel At 65 products, click here.

To see our entire collection of Israel t shirts and gifts, click here.

Remember, shop with confidence as all our products come with a 30 day money back guarantee.

 

 

 

Categories: Israel T Shirts and Gifts, Jewish T Shirts and Gifts | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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